2000: PhD, Faculty of Social Work, Wilfrid Laurier University
1990: MSW, Faculty of Social Work, Wilfrid Laurier University
1985: Bachelor of Arts, University of Waterloo
Susan's research concerns positive aspects of stress and coping in various health situations, particularly posttraumatic growth. She is a member of several multidisciplinary research teams in pediatric palliative care. Current research includes posttraumatic growth in parents caring for a child with a life-limiting illness, couples coping with caregiving together as well as undertaking an exploration of family bereavement over time when a child dies. Susan is also a member of a team working to increase social work education in palliative care through the development of social work competencies.
Susan has always been passionate about strengths in social work and human service. One strength that she has always recognized is spirituality. For some, this is the same as religion and for others, those are very different. However they are defined, they can be a source of power and strength and meaning for individuals. Since discovering the notions of the strengths perspective in social work practice and posttraumatic growth, she has dedicated her career in academia to examining the positive aspects of stressful experiences alongside the negatives. She has advocated for more inclusion of spirituality in social work by becoming part of the beginning Canadian Association of Social Work and Spirituality and helping to organize their conferences for many years. She has written about the need to incorporate spirituality more into the notion of posttraumatic growth. And Susan is passionate about palliative care, especially pediatric palliative care.
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