Introduction

Welcome. As I gaze around the final bend of my academic and professional journey, I think about what I want to behind in terms of contributions to the fields of counselling and psychology. I have set up this resource to profile some of what I have learned over the past 25+ years of academic and professional life and to highlight some of my work.

This site is a work in progress that I hope to build upon over the next few years.

About Me

I currently live and work in beautiful Victoria BC in the Fernwood neighbourhood, which is known for it eclecticism, artistic culture, and community spirit. I acknowledge this unceded land as the traditional territory of the Lkwungen-speaking peoples of the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations. I recognize my position as a colonizer on Turtle Island, and assume my collective responsibility for the ongoing cultural oppression of Indigenous peoples and lands, from which we benefit, both personally and professionally. I strive to actively oppose psycholonization and social injustice in my life and work.

I appreciate that gift that we are all given to cherish and protect the land on which we live. I enjoy gardening, walking by the ocean, spending time with my spouse and my friends, appreciating the artistic expression and creativity of others, as well as doing my own painting and writing. I value the uniqueness of each person I encounter, embrace opportunities to learn more about myself and others, and believe in our individual and collective capacity to grow, change, overcome, and thrive!

Teaching and Learning

I chose a career in academia because I am interested in, and committed to, the continued improvement of teaching and learning. I focused part of the my research and writing on enhancing counsellor education, promoting online and distributed learning, advancing competency-based practice and education, exploring course and program design, developing creative and multimedia learning processes and activities, and more recently, creating open source educational resources. I have spend a lot of time experimenting, learning from others, enhancing my technical skills, and listening to feedback from students. I see myself, first and foremost, as a counsellor educator, and my sense of meaning and satisfaction comes from seeing students thrive in their courses, find their voices through their writing journies, and apply their learning to their work with clients and their broader roles within the professions of counselling and psychology. I have particular enjoyed my roles as program and curriculum developer.

Research and Writing

My current research focuses primarily in the area of culturally responsive and socially just counselling. I am interested in what kinds of competencies counsellors and counselling psychologists require to be able to honour cultural diversity and address social justice issues, both with individual clients and in the broader systems that impact clients’ lives, as well as how we best instill those competencies through counselling and psychology programs. My related research and writing in this area focuses on counselling women and clients of nondominant sexual orientation and gender identity, feminist and multicultural therapy, intersectionality and multiple nondominant identity development, and multicultural supervision. I am also very committed to my own continuing competency development in processes of decolonization and Indigenization within counsellor education and professional practice more broadly.

My research in multicultural counselling and social justice ties into my passion for innovation in teaching and learning models and, in particular, best practices models for enhancing student competencies for culturally responsive and social just counselling, the link between enhanced awareness and applied practice skill development, as well as the relationship between professional psychology education/licensure and social justice (i.e., privileged and disparate access to both education and the profession). I am committed to the removal of barriers to learning, human growth and development, and to supporting full and equal participation in society by all persons and peoples, both as part of my academic role and my research focus.

Consultation

I have enjoyed my opportunities to function as a consultant, particularly in the areas of multicultural counselling and counsellor education. It is a pleasure to work with colleagues to integrate a culturally responsive and socially just (CRSJ) counselling lens across curriculum. In recent years, I have been involved in program reviews for graduate counsellor education programs across Canada. Over the past decade, I have also had the privilege of functioning as an external reviewer for other graduate counselling programs. I have learned a great deal from my colleagues across the country, which has enhanced my own teaching, and curriculum development.

Core Themes

I’ve organized the main sections of this e-book according to the core themes that I am passionate about that are expressed across my professional roles. I have begun with my current work on fostering culturally responsive and socially just (CRSJ) counselling.

More themes will be added over time.

License

Academic and Professional Contributions Copyright © by Sandra Collins. All Rights Reserved.

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