I joined the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary as an Assistant Professor in 2009. I moved here from the Ottawa Valley (Ontario), so I am also relatively new to Alberta. I got all my degrees (BSW, MSW, PhD) at Carleton University where I also taught in the School of Social Work for four years.
My community-based social work practice has been working with women who have experienced interpersonal violence. I was at the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre for 10 years, and Executive Director of a women's shelter for a short period before going into my PhD program. I facilitated a group for moms and children who experienced violence; empowerment groups with exotic dancers; lots of groups with survivors of sexual assault and historical sexual abuse; and crisis intervention with individuals face-to-face and over the telephone. It was in those early years at the ORCC that I first learned how to use minduflness as a grounding tool with women in flashbacks, and also where I was lucky to have a clinical supervisor who was a practicing Buddhist. My PhD research was about integrating mindfulness with feminist practice, and as a result of that I am now working on a manuscript on a modality I call Mindfulness Based Feminist Therapy (MBFT).
My formal teacher training in mindfulness based interventions (MBI) began in 2006 - in June I attended the 7-day Professional Training in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction in Mind-Body Medicine at the Omega Institute, Rhinebeck NY with Jon Kabat-Zinn; then went back the following month for a 5-day Professional Training in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy with Zindel Segal and Susan Woods. Since then I have continued my personal daily mindfulness practice, professional development in MBIs and my own mindfulness research agenda. I adhere to the good practice guidelines set out by the UK Network for Mindfulness-Based Teachers. I have taught an average of 3 MBSR/MBCT courses in the community per year since 2006, with an average of 12 people per course; I've taught meditation at the Buddhist Temple of Southern Alberta to 30-40 people; and I have taught mindfulness meditation and MBI theory to many social work students so by my estimate I have taught mindfulness to over 300 people!
My particular area of research interest at the moment is the role of mindfulness in building resilience and preventing burnout in social workers. Teaching mindfulness is my bliss. I look forward to sharing this mindfulness journey - what Jon Kabat-Zinn calls "an adventure of a lifetime" - with you.
(403) 915-6051 (cell)