Teaching and Course Development

Teaching Areas of Interests

  • Spirituality in Social work practice
  • Meditation-self-care for students
  • Communication / counselling skills
  • Expressive arts therapy
  • Group work
  • Teen-aged female development
  • Women’s embodiment and health
  • Arts-based research
  • Holistic Education

Courses Taught at UNBC


Jan 2016 - SOCW 453


Sep 2015 - SOCW 302
June 2015 - SOCW 453
March 2015 - SOCW 439


Sept 2014 - SOCW 300
Sept 2014 - SOCW 301
May 2014 - SOCW 498 / 610
Jan 2014 - SOCW 402
Jan 2014 - SOCW 613


Sep 2013 - SOCW 300
Sep 2013 - SOCW 630
Sep 2013 - SOCW 604
Sep 2013 - SOCW 704
May 2013 - SOCW 453
Jan 2013 - SOCW 402


Sept 2012 - SOCW 499
Sep 2012 - SOCW 300
Sep 2012 - SOCW 630
Sep 2012 - SOCW 603
Summer 2012 - SOCW 604
Jan 2012 - SOCW 610
Jan 2012 - SOCW 402


Sept 2011 - SOCW 300
Sept 2011 - SOCW 630
Sept 2011 - SOCW 604
August 2011 - SOCW 437
July 2011 - SOCW 437
Jan 2011 - SOCW 402
Jan  2011 - SOCW 610


Sept 2010 - SOCW 300
Sept 2010 - SOCW 630
Sept 2010 - SOCW 603
Jan 2010 - SOCW 402
Jan 2010 - SOCW 421
Jan 2010 - SOCW 701


Sept 2009 - SOCW 300
Sept 2009 - SOCW 630
Sept 2009 - SOCW 201

Courses Taught at SFU


May - August 2015 - EDUC 849: Artists, Society & Education


EDUC 849: Artists, Society & Education

Course Development

SOCW 453: Spirituality and Social Work Practice-I developed and taught this course for the first time in our program. It explores the concept of spirituality as it broadly relates to professional social work practice. Metaphor, myth, and story were integrated. The main objective was to understand how and when to incorporate spirituality into the engagement, assessment, intervention and ending process. Special issues in spirituality including guilt, shame, and forgiveness, trauma, death and dying and gender were addressed. Spirituality was differentiated from religion, and the use of both religion and spirituality as a tool of oppression and social justice were highlighted. I introduced a lab on meditation in an effort to address the need and request to learn more self-care strategies in the program. Emphasis was placed on developing as a reflective practitioner and applying spiritually focused interventions. I foresee this course being important in the future of social work education and it can now be used as a basis to teach. 

SOCW 604: Directed Readings- SW and Boxing with Youth- I developed this course in collaboration with a graduate student. It focused on an understanding of different strategies to help at-risk youth develop communication skills and reduce violent behavior. Emphasis was placed first on theoretical and conceptual understanding of the literature, purpose, benefits, and challenges of helping at-risk youth reduce violent behavior through sport and other physical means. More specifically, this course provided a backdrop of literature to make a case for the use of boxing as a therapeutic intervention for youth. One component of this course included the student’s exploration of his personal/professional connection to this topic.

SOCW 701: Research Practicum-This research practicum was created to aid a graduate student to develop skills as a researcher that specifically pertained to arts based methods. A practicum learning contract was drawn up between myself and the student that outlined 5 learning goals including: applying for a research grant, learning the philosophy and the framework behind arts based research, learning how to analyze qualitative arts based research, learning how to write up findings of qualitative arts based research and learning how to develop a Research Ethics Board application.

SOCW 300/630: Social Work Communication Skills-I incorporated a new social work communication text that focuses on Northern and remote practice, provides more focus on assessment and generalist social work practice.  I spent more time on assessment theory and skills. I incorporated storytelling and role play where the entire class participates as a teaching method, and meditation and visualization as a practice for self-care and techniques to use with clients. I implemented student feedback and incorporated one extra teaching assistant to assist with skill acquisition, by way of extra lab time and an increased number of role plays by the instructor and the teaching assistants to model effective counselling practice.

SOCW 402: In my field faculty role, I advise and respond to undergraduate students on a weekly basis. As the BSW coordinator I am responsible to support and advise students having difficulty in our program and assist the BSW student representative with liaising between faculty and students. I also co-supervised a CIHR undergraduate award recipient through the WNN/Northern FIRE Centre.

SOCW 610: Wellness: Alternative Approaches-I taught and developed this course for the first time in our program in 2010. I have taught this course 3 times. It is a course that meets a growing need for alternative interventions and healing methods in social work. I created this course from my research and knowledge in therapeutic arts and meditation. I implemented a new applied text, The Creative Connection for Groups, by Natalie Rogers, based in the person-centred approach, which aligns with much of social work practice. I also incorporated Foundations of Expressive Arts Therapy, edited by Stephen and Ellen Levine. This course addresses an accreditation requirement to have more direct practice courses. I recently adapted this course to teach students at the undergraduate level.

SOCW 604: Directed Readings - Using Autobiography to Strengthen Qualitative Arts-Based Research-The instructor developed this course as a way to facilitate some graduate students’ growing interest in autobiography as a valid form of inquiry. This course focused on an understanding of autobiography within the emerging genre of qualitative arts based research. Emphasis was first placed on theoretical and conceptual understanding of the literature, purpose, benefits, challenges, and personal investment of autobiographical research and second, on developing the craft of personal narrative writing. The student met with the professor to engage in analytical and reflective discussions concerning the reading materials on a bi-monthly basis.

SOCW 499: Directed Readings - Linking Dance and Girls’ Relationships - The instructor developed this unique course from her research area of which one student was interested. It examined theory, practice and other issues related to adolescent girls at risk/or in violent dating relationships and the possibilities of dance as therapeutic intervention for this population. This course covered theoretical and conceptual frameworks of a creative embodied practice for therapeutic purposes, and specifically linked these concepts to girls in or at risk of violence in dating relationships. The literature survey focused on practice as well as theory, which is an important consideration as it fulfills accreditation recommendations to have courses that focus more on application of theory.

SOCW 603: Women & Human Services: Critical Issues in Policy and Practice-
I taught this seminar course twice. I created an online blackboard shell to ensure that students could access an online course package to avoid paying prohibitive copyright costs and extensively revised and updated course readings.

SOCW 437: Social work with groups and communities- This course was extremely successful. To implement group theory into practice, I developed an assignment where students chose partners to co-facilitate a psychoeducational group for university students experiencing stress at a specific group stage. This in class assignment was extremely engaging for students and provided an excellent balance between lecture and experiential learning.

SOCW 604, Directed Readings: Violence against Women and The Canadian Legal System- I developed this course in collaboration with a graduate student. This course will focus on an understanding of Canadian legal policies and practices with regard to women enduring violence. Emphasis will be placed on theoretical and conceptual understanding of marital, property, civil and criminal law and the practical implications these laws have for women and often, their children, with regard to child custody and living with the continued threat of sexual and physical violence.