Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Canadian Scholars’ Press
Approx. 350 pages
6.75 x 9.75 inches
May 2020
Print ISBN: 9781773381695
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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

Catrina Brown and Judy MacDonald
Chapter 1: Critical Clinical Social Work: Theoretical and Practical Considerations
Catrina Brown
Chapter 2: Critical Clinical Ethics in Social Work Practice
Merlinda Weinberg
Chapter 3: Ethnography and Intervention: Moving Clinical Social Work Practice Forward through a Critical Engagement with Ethnography
Catherine Bryan
Chapter 4: Direct Practice with Girls Who have Experienced Sexualized Violence
Marion Brown
Chapter 5: Safety, Belonging and Voice: Critical Clinical Practice with Girls and Women Experiencing Substance Abuse and/or Addiction Issues
Nancy Ross
Chapter 6: Feminist Narrative Therapy and Complex Trauma Work: Restorying the “Borderline” Diagnosis
Catrina Brown
Chapter 7: Dominant Masculinity, Trauma and Use of Violence: Repairing the Effects
Tod Augusta-Scott
Chapter 8: Counter-Balancing Life with Chronic Pain through Storying Women’s Experiences of (dis)Ability
Judy E. MacDonald
Chapter 9: Validating Voice in Clinical Work with Older People
Joan Harbison and Donna Pettipas
Chapter 10: Animal/Human Bonds
Cassandra Hanrahan
Chapter 11: Epistemic (In)Justice in Child Welfare Risk Assessment
Marjorie Johnstone
Chapter 12: Critical Intercultural Communication and Awareness: Preventing Entry or Re-Entry of Children and Youth into State Care
Sara Torres
Chapter 13: The ‘Community’ Knows What is in the ‘Best Interests’ of their Children: Bringing Custom Adoption Legislation into the Children and Family Services Act in Nova Scotia
Nancy MacDonald
Chapter 14: The Whole or Part? Postcolonial Theory versus Clinical Approaches to Marginalised Groups' Quest for Social Services
Ifeyinwa Mbakogu
Chapter 15: Critical Afrocentric Social Work
Wanda Thomas Bernard
Chapter 16: AIDS Quarantine, Treatment as Prevention in British Columbia, and Possibilities for Critical Clinical Social Work
Eli Manning and MT O’Shaughnessy
Chapter 17: Doing Critical Clinical Work from the Ground Up: Exploring the Dalhousie School of Social Work Community Clinic
Jeff Karabanow, Cyndi Hall, Sarah Oulton, and Michelle Titus
Conclusion: Social Resistance and Transformation through Counterstorying
Catrina Brown and Judy MacDonald

Catrina Brown

Catrina Brown is an Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator in the School of Social Work at Dalhousie University, with cross-appointments in Gender and Women’s Studies and Nursing. Her anti-oppressive work centres on women’s health and mental health, substance use, feminist narrative research, and integrating critical theory into direct practice.

Judy MacDonald

Judy MacDonald is the Director of the School of Social Work and Assistant Dean of Equity and Inclusion in the Faculty of Health at Dalhousie University. Her work focuses on access and inclusion within post-secondary institutions for students with (dis)Abilities, autoethnographic and narrative storying of (dis)Ability, and anti-oppressive ways of working across abilities.

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