Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Engaging ideas, transforming minds

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Canadian Scholars
442 pages
6.75 x 9.75 inches
May 2020
Print ISBN: 9781773381695


With the aim of producing counterstories that participate in social resistance, Critical Clinical Social Work focuses on integrating critical theory with direct clinical practice. Exploring the impact of oppression and power in constraining and limiting people’s voices, this timely resource moves social work forward by highlighting the practical application of feminist, narrative, anti-racist, and postcolonial frameworks. The contributors tackle a range of substantive issues including ethics, working with complex trauma, men’s use of violence, substance use among women and girls, Indigenous social work praxis, critical child welfare approaches, counterstorying experiences of (dis)Ability, and animal-informed social work practice.

Written by Canadian social work educators and filled with illustrative case studies, this text offers a Canadian perspective on the diverse issues social workers encounter in the field. This edited collection is an indispensable resource for social work practice and theory courses, and a must-read for professional practitioners.


  • promotes critical clinical skills consistent with anti-oppressive and social justice paradigms of social work
  • offers case histories and examples of direct critical clinical practice
  • concludes with reflections on social resistance and transformation through counterstorying

Table of Contents

Donna Baines

Part I: Introduction

Introduction: Critical Clinical Social Work: Counterstorying for Social Justice
Catrina Brown and Judy E. MacDonald

Chapter 1: Critical Clinical Social Work: Theoretical and Practical Considerations
Catrina Brown

Chapter 2: Critical Clinical Ethics
Merlinda Weinberg

Part II: Critical Clinical Practice: Mental Health, Trauma, and Social Justice

Chapter 3: Feminist Narrative Therapy and Complex Trauma: Critical Clinical Work with Women Diagnosed as “Borderline”
Catrina Brown

Chapter 4: Critical Clinical Approaches with Girls and Their Experiences of Sexualized Violence
Marion Brown

Chapter 5: Exploring Trauma and Masculinity among Men Who Perpetrate Intimate Partner Violence
Tod Augusta-Scott

Chapter 6: Strategies for Critical Clinical Practice in Veterans' Mental Health
Catherine Bryan and Tessa Barrett

Chapter 7: Safety, Belonging, and Voice: Critical Clinical Practice with Girls and Women Struggling with Substance Use
Nancy Ross and Jean Morrison

Chapter 8: Animal-Informed Social Work: A More-Than-Critical Practice
Cassandra Hanrahan and Darlene Chalmers

Part III: Critical Social Welfare and Institutional Practices

Chapter 9: The Whole or Part? Postcolonial Theory versus Clinical Approaches to Marginalized Groups' Quest for Social Services
Ifeyinwa Mbakogu

Chapter 10: Critical Intercultural Communication and Practice: Applying Knowledge and Skills to Prevent Entry or Re-entry of Children and Youth into State Care
Sara Torres, Monique Nutter, Donna Mae Ford, Yvonne Chiu, and Kathi Campbell

Chapter 11: Epistemic (In)Justice in Child Welfare Risk Assessment
Marjorie Johnstone

Chapter 12: AIDS Quarantine Revisited in British Columbia’s Treatment as Prevention: Possibilities for Critical Clinical Social Work in the Era of HIV Criminalization
Eli Manning and MT O’Shaughnessy

Part IV: Working in the Context of Marginalization, Oppression, and Diversity

Chapter 13: Spirituality as a Resource for Well-Being in African Canadian Communities
Wanda Thomas Bernard, Josephine Etowa, and Barbara Clow

Chapter 14: (De)Colonizing Indigenous Social Work Praxis within the Borderlands
Gail Baikie

Chapter 15: Counterbalancing Life with Chronic Pain through Storying Women’s Experiences of (Dis)Ability
Judy E. MacDonald

Chapter 16: Validating Voice in Critical Clinical Work with Older People
Joan R. Harbison and Donna Pettipas

Part V: Conclusion

Chapter 17: Doing Critical Clinical Work from the Ground Up: Exploring the Dalhousie School of Social Work Community Clinic
Jeff Karabanow, Sarah Oulton, Meagen Bowers, and Cyndi Hall

Conclusion: Practices of Resistance through Counterstorying for Social Justice
Catrina Brown and Judy E. MacDonald

Contributor Biographies


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