Theses (Child and Youth Care)

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    The Elders speak about the best interests of a Stó:lō child: family, connection and culture
    (2024-02-05) Mussell, Dayna Gawi-neh; Wright Cardinal, Sarah
    In response to recent legislative changes by the Government of Canada many Indigenous nations are engaged in the development of legal and practice frameworks to regulate culturally safe and equitable child and family services. To support this process there is a need to define the best interests of the child according to the nation based on cultural knowledge and traditions. Storywork, an Indigenous storied approach, is used to examine the question, “How do Stó:lō people define the “best interests of the child” based on the cultural, linguistic and governance structures of their nation?” Drawing on Indigenous literature and the history of child welfare in Canada affirms that culture is central to developing Indigenous based services. A series of sharing circle discussions with Stó:lō Elders from the Coqualeetza Cultural Education Centre and the Fraser Valley Aboriginal Children and Family Services Society were held to gather their life-experience stories. The Elders’ unique worldview and understanding of the teachings of a good Stó:lō life were central to mobilize community-based Indigenous knowledge on child-rearing in the past and present that centers the teachings of our ancestors. Thematic analysis was then used as a way to make meaning from the Elders’ life-experience stories to create new knowledge informing what is in the best interests of the Stó:lō child. As a result, a Longhouse Framework was created using four-story poles representing new stories of child well-being. These story poles include: 1) How children experience and understand shxwelí (life spirit); 2) Children learn the ways of co-reliance; 3) Families and communities care for their children; and 4) Raising children in healthy Stó:lō ways. This knowledge will be used to inform better practices for those working in the field of Indigenous child welfare and offer recommendations for communities which are moving towards self-determination in the area of child welfare.
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    “Care” and Carcerality in a Colonial State: A Critical Exploration of Secure Residential Youth Care in Ontario
    (2024-01-08) Baylis, Amy Sarah; Mucina, Mandeep Kaur
    Secure residential youth care has been employed as a mechanism of both protection and control for young people deemed vulnerable or “at-risk.” There is little academic literature in the Canadian context on this topic; this study will provide an overview of the historical and current landscape of secure residential youth care in Ontario including the identification of populations that are uniquely impacted by state-sanctioned confinement as a mechanism of “care.” I explore this topic through a critical discourse analysis that makes visible the ideological and political underpinnings responsible for the development of the legislative framework that enables secure care. I employ Critical Race Theory, Anti-Carceral/Abolitionist Feminism, and intersectionality as theoretical foundations and lenses through which I analyze the data which reveal the disparate experiences of Black, Indigenous, and queer youth in secure care. The results of this research will provide important implications for practice and considerations for further research. I propose that care models, extricated from carceral logics that contribute to the criminalization of youth, are possible and must be built upon the provision of robust, youth-informed, and dignity-centred supports.
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    Liberating and Loving Youth Who Use(d) Drugs: A Foundation for Building New Worlds
    (2023-09-20) Rai, Emma; Kaur Mucina, Mandeep
    Abstract In this thesis, I intentionally embody and politicize the acts of liberating and loving youth who use drugs. Liberatory love provided a conceptual starting place, from there I emersed myself in the critical addiction, violence and response-based practice, and youth substance use literature to build and create a strong yet flexible foundation from which to begin. This research engaged six youths who have use(d) drugs in intimate inquiry with the intention of gathering storied life experiences and surfacing the political from within the interpersonal. Proximal to questions of how love shows up in youth’s drug use journey, and what might change if love guided our responses to youth who use drugs, emerged the collective experiences of the mind, body, and heart as youth made visible their interactions with liberation and love. Through this research youth who use(d) drugs interactions with liberation and love kept me grounded and urged me to continuously return to the values and teachings that brought me to this work, reminding me to move slowly and intentionally, resisting the false pretense of collective safety promised in racial-capitalist societies.
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    Survivor's Narratives of Early Childhood Sexualized Violence
    (2023-08-29) Lindner, Kylee; Kakuru, Doris; Kaur Mucina, Mandeep
    This thesis adopts a Critical Feminist Research methodology to reveal how young children (6 years old and under) resist, respond to and heal from sexualized violence. Using memoirs that include first-person narratives as the data set, I utilized reflexive thematic analysis to sort the data into the following themes; “Resistance”; “Survival Techniques”; and “Healing”. Additionally, themes of narrative theory and response-based practice were utilized to collect and sort data. Ultimately, this thesis reveals a disparity between the highlighted academic literature and the selected memoirs. More specifically, the academic literature sparsely included first-person narratives, largely utilized third party evaluators and promoted a single story of damage. Whereas, the selected memoirs revealed multiple stories of resistance, healing, survival, pride, and determination. This thesis argues that the current state of psychology’s academic literature contributes to victim blaming, rape culture and structural violence. Based on this thesis, I recommend that psychology researchers shift their focus away from the damage narrative and towards a narrative of dignity.
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    The Photo Album: Autoethnographic Witnessing and the Post-Shoah Re-creation of Memory
    (2023-04-27) Herzog, Julia; Mucina, Mandeep Kaur
    With a focus on a family photograph album this doctoral dissertation uses the idea that testimonial objects speak and initiate the creation of new memory. To frame her theoretical approach the author refers to the literatures of memory studies, Holocaust studies, material cultures, autoethnography and contemporary psychoanalytic theory. The author was particularly influenced by an early reading of Art Spiegelman’s (1973, 1986) classic graphic novels about his family’s experience in the Shoah, Maus I and Maus II, long before this dissertation was imagined. The author contends that literature and art is an effective way of communicating experience that defies direct reference. Recovering the stories of her forebears is this author’s mechanism of understanding silence, retrieving the existence of family members, some of whom were believed to have perished in the Shoah, honoring their memory and helping future generations connect to their ancestors. The author describes her research methodology for her doctoral dissertation as a blend of autoethnography, narrative inquiry and an organic emergent approach. Historically, as we emerge into a period of time where there are fewer eye-witnesses to the Shoah and new approaches to learning about its impact, the author’s research rests on the idea that there is an emerging third generation discussion. The key methodological question asked in this doctoral dissertation is how creative autoethnographical witnessing and exploration of family stories in a narrative can help develop insight concerning the transgenerational impacts of the Shoah. Will the process of autoethnographic creative writing combined with multi-media depictions of a story as an art-based expression of research develop a representation of that which had been disavowed? Can the representation then be added to the repertoire of effective discourse and action toward combatting antisemitism and other forms of hate? The author proposes that research as an act of transgenerational witnessing can lead to illumination benefiting those within and outside of her community regarding cataclysmic loss.
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    Weaving Histories
    (2023-04-25) Benoit-Jansson, Annika; White, Jennifer
    My mother grew up in a family of 11 siblings, all born in 11 years and 11 days, in a small town in Nujio’qonik, Ktaqmkuk (Bay St. George, Newfoundland). Our family is French, Mi’kmaw, and Irish/English, and are some of the best storytellers I know. Through a series of semi-structure interviews with ten of the siblings, this research project set out to study family stories, passed down through generations, and the importance these stories play in fostering connections. The project continued an ever-growing process of building-up our own stories and understandings of our connection to home, to Nujio’qonik, to who we are and where we come from, and is set against the backdrop of complicated personal and community journeys of identity and recognition of Ktaqmkukewey (Newfoundland) Mi’kmaq people. At the core of the research, I was looking to study connection and stories, and, just like a story should be, the process was one of twists and turns, weaving and unravelling, re-building and re-telling. As this abstract gives a glimpse of, this thesis is not so much a clean summary of the results and findings, but rather a story in itself – a story of the process of finding connections and yet not studying them, of taking the data from the academy and re-creating a collection of stories that no longer exist in this space. And, like so many good stories I have heard, there’s a trickster, in this case Blue Jay, who hops in regularly to remind me of what I am missing, to keep me laughing [often at myself], and to guide me through not only the research process, but the very words you are reading here now.
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    Sexual Health and Sexuality Education in Child and Youth Care Curriculum
    (2022-12-21) Gray, Angelina; White, Jennifer
    In higher education, sexual health and sexuality education (SHSE) topics are clearly absent from the curriculum in the human services field. With many competing priorities in these fields to offer rich and broad educational opportunities for developing practitioners, SHSE is often not prioritized. This thesis seeks to understand how SHSE is being taken up in the Child and Youth Care (CYC) undergraduate curriculum. The CYC undergraduate program develops practitioners that work with children, youth, and families across the lifespan, often working in schools, recreation centres, and social services. The inclusion of SHSE content in their program will help support competencies in these emerging practitioners. An intersectional, feminist, queer orientation informed the lens in which this research was undertaken, employing a qualitative, multilayered approach to analysis. Findings show strengths in the curriculum in areas of gender and sexuality, and identify gaps in discourses of pleasure, a continued focus on the risk factors associated with youth sexual activity, and identify many opportunities for enriching the curriculum to align more closely with UNESCO’s International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education. Supporting the inclusion of sexual health and sexuality education content in the CYC program will help practitioners fill in potential gaps in their own learning, and increase their ability to support the SHSE needs of their clients.
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    Children’s Rights to Participate in Health Care Decision-Making and the Role of Child Life Specialists in the Netherlands: A Critical and Focused Ethnography
    (2022-12-19) Matthiesen, Amarens; Gerlach, Alison
    Children’s participation in decision-making is widely recognized as an important and beneficial legal right with moral and ethical implications. In pediatric health care settings, however, many children are not provided with adequate opportunities to express their wishes, needs, and desires regarding their care or hospital-wide decision-making. While adults (e.g., caregivers, health care providers) play a pivotal role in shaping children’s opportunities for decision-making, a lack of research exists on the role of child life specialists (CLSs) in shaping children’s participation rights. CLSs are psychosocial health care providers who are charged with garnering the trust of children and families and soliciting children’s views in health care contexts. Therefore, child life practice represents an ideal profession in which to explore children’s participation rights. Through a theoretical lens rooted in critical sociology- and nursing-based scholarship, the purpose of this study was to explore the role of CLSs in shaping children’s participation rights in the context of two children’s hospital in the Netherlands. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with CLSs (n=12) and hospital directors (n=5) and pertinent legal, institutional, and professional documentation (e.g., policies, hospital booklets) were analyzed. Thematic analysis of the data revealed that children’s participation in decision-making was characterized as a complex and relational process that was shaped by various inter- and intra-personal and contextual complexities. Findings demonstrated that participants associated value and importance to children’s participation in decision-making processes. However, children’s participation processes were predominantly conceptualized as adult-dominated and shaped by developmental discourses on children’s age-based decision-making abilities. The study findings underscore the potential for embedding relational and inherently critical understandings of children’s participation rights in pediatric health care practices (e.g., child life, nursing), education, and policy development. The knowledge generated by this study can contribute to efforts in bridging a gap between an idealized rhetoric of children’s participation rights and their implementation in complex health care contexts.
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    Queering Survivorhood
    (2022-12-14) Wolfe, Audrey; White, Jennifer Hume
    There has been little research conducted in general that explores the impact of sexualized violence on lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer (LGBTQ) youth. There is even more limited qualitative research, and almost none of it from a therapeutic perspective. This led me to engage with the fictionalized stories of LGBTQ youth characters who have survived sexualized violence to learn how these stories might inform the work of helping professionals. This thesis provides a reflexive thematic analysis of three novels written by queer authors. Through the lens of response-based therapy, intersectional feminism, and queer theory, it considers the ways in which the characters are impacted by their experiences with sexualized violence and their responses to it. Findings indicate that the characters were affected by childhood sexual abuse at a time in their lives when their sexual identities were on the cusp of being formed. Their experiences with sexualized violence impacted the ways that the characters learned to live with contradictions; experienced ambivalence in the relationships with the adults who caused them harm; and engaged in small acts of resistance against the impact of sexualized violence in their lives to create futures in which they could thrive. The characters’ experiences with casual sex and sex work are shown as an act of resistance against violence. This research aims to queer the discourses on LGBTQ youth who have experienced sexualized violence, expose the small acts of resistance that they perform against the impacts of sexualized violence, and transform the ways that child and youth care workers, therapists, social workers, and other helpers understand the resilience and experiences of LGBTQ survivors.
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    Calling in Outdoor Education to Create Anti-Colonial Change in Canada
    (2022-09-23) Walker, Calvin; Harper, Nevin
    Contemporary Outdoor Education (OE) has been criticized for continuing to operate in ways that uphold settler colonialism, including having taken minimal action in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action (2015b). Despite their advantageous positioning, the voices of organizational leadership in OE have been observed to largely be absent from the anti-colonial conversation. This study strives to contribute to anti-colonial change in OE through calling in three executives representing leadership from national-level, Canadian OE organizations to explore the question: How can OE leadership mobilize their organizations towards meaningful anti-colonial change, specifically in regards to the TRC’s Calls to Action (2015b)? Guided by a narrative methodology informed by anti-colonial theory and critical constructivism, two rounds of semi-structured interviews were conducted. Results highlighted ongoing inaction characterized by unintentional and intentional exemption, sustained by colonial cycles of unawareness, innocence, and ignorance. Several current and future anti-colonial pathways were identified, which target evolving OE and its organizations into spaces that are safe, welcoming, and belonging for Indigenous peoples. An anti-colonial framework for settler OE practitioners and organizations is also proposed. Future research is encouraged to explore Indigenous perspectives of OE as safe, welcoming, and belonging spaces; improving awareness, implication, and accountability throughout the field; and, identifying avenues to bring the field together in anti-colonial action.
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    Reintegrating Darkness: An Exploration into Lived Experiences of Natural Darkness
    (2022-09-08) Frey, Sean; Harper, Nevin
    Background: With current environmental issues of light pollution as a point of departure, this thesis draws a link between Western society’s subjugation of darkness within personal and collective psyches, and the harmful impacts caused by the decline of Natural Darkness (ND) at night, via the use of artificial light. Purpose of Research: Global and societal issues related to light pollution, viewed through a Jungian ecopsychological framework, led to the exploration of reintegrating ND within the human psyche through outdoor, overnight therapeutic practices in wilderness settings. Methods Used: Semi-structured interviews were conducted via Zoom with eight participants who described their memories with ND during overnight therapeutic wilderness experiences. Findings: Participants assigned ND with characteristics including spaciousness, magical, enveloping, and being cocoon-like; and described experiences of reduced boundaries, increased fear, feelings of interconnection, as well as greater connection to the spiritual realm and to unprocessed psychological material. Conclusion: Findings suggest that, for this sample, ND provided conditions for rest, spiritual connection and the processing of psychological material.
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    Sense of Home and Belonging in Forced Migration: A Case of Farsi-Speaking Youth in Malaysia
    (2022-09-02) Lamouchi, Rashin; Ball, Jessica
    This qualitative study sought insights into forced migrant youths’ sense of belonging. The study was part of the Youth Migration Project, an ongoing investigation of how young forced migrants construct their identities, sense of belonging, and future aspirations while perched on the edge of mainstream society – without normative entitlements or a voice in decision-making about their futures. Through purposive and snowball recruitment methods, the project gathered narratives of 52 forced migrant youth aged 11 to 17 who were born in conflict areas of Asia and Africa, primarily in Myanmar, Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan, Iran, and Somalia. In the present study, I focused on the experiences of eight forced migrant female participants living in prolonged displacement in Malaysia. My guiding research question was: How do the processes and experiences of forced migration shape migrant youths’ sense of belonging? Through a mixed-method approach, including a novel, arts-based peer-mediated storyboard narrative method, now known as Storyboard Peers, and follow-up interviews, youth shared their migration narratives, the challenges they faced while living in Malaysia, and their expectations and aspirations for their futures. The theme of safety figured prominently in the girls’ accounts and I constructed the themes of physical safety and social safety to represent the data the girls contributed. The girls’ sense of belonging and feeling at home had a direct relationship with feeling safe, valued, and loved. I also found that their physical and social environments informed their sense of belonging. Sense of belonging is neither a static nor a fixed concept; rather it is a flexible, everchanging, and reconstructed with ongoing, everyday experiences, reflections on the past, and anticipations of what the future could hold. The girls’ accounts conveyed that feelings of “belongingness” and “at home” shifted from tangible places and familiar faces to abstract concepts such as love, peace, and family. Overall, feeling safe and “at home” were rooted in basic needs being met. My findings lead me to call for governments and nongovernmental organizations to significantly reduce the length of time that youth spend in transit, promote safety, combat discrimination, fulfill basic needs, and ensure access to education and healthcare.
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    Beginning Within: Exploring a White Settler Emerging Practice for Justice-Doing
    (2022-08-30) Laliberte, Julie; Wright Cardinal, Sarah
    There is an increase of White settler Child and Youth Care (CYC) practitioners who are questioning how to be useful in their attempts at solidarity and justice-doing amidst precarious ethics and tensions. Meanwhile, Indigenous women, girls, trans and two-spirit people are being murdered and taken (MMIWGT2S+) at genocidal rates with little action from Canadian government and RCMP. Drawing from critical race theory, intersectional feminism, and anti-oppressive praxis, this research traces my own path to justice-doing and solidarity exploring the concept of witnessing as a White settler. With a critical examination of self, Whiteness, and White supremacy, I attempt to answer the research questions: In what ways can witnessing function as a useful practice framework for White settler solidarity? Secondarily, how can art act as witness or co-conspirator? Using an arts-based critical autoethnography, this study combines personal narratives with arts-based reflections on researcher’s experience as White settler facilitator of the program Youth for Dignity on unceded Kaska territory in Watson Lake, Yukon. The research focuses on the creation of a collaborative art piece on MMIWGT2S+ to explore witnessing as one pathway for White settlers committed to social change. Building on the work of Vikki Reynolds (2010a, 2010b, 2012) and other literature on solidarity and witnessing, seven witnessing intentions that inform my White Settler Emerging Solidarity Practice surfaced from this research: (a) critical examination of self; (b) reciprocal and respectful relationships; (c) intersectionality; (d) embodied listening; (e) honouring resistance; (f) action; and (g) accountability. This research has the potential to provide a possible pathway for other CYC practitioners to engage with the complexities and tensions of White settler solidarity practice.
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    The Lived Experiences of Child and Youth Care Practitioners Who Use Tactile Objects in Practice
    (2022-08-29) Stickney, Allison; Harper, Nevin
    This study explores the lived experiences of using tactile objects in Child and Youth Care (CYC) Practitioners’ practice. This thesis includes the definition and scope of tactile objects, explores what being a CYC Practitioner means, describes the many roles that CYC Practitioners hold, and shares what CYC Practitioners articulate about the use of tactile objects in their office space and environment. This study focused on the lived experiences of CYC Practitioners who work with clients and provide or utilize tactile objects in their practice. By interpreting the experiences, co-constructed themes identified how tactile objects are used, what beliefs guide their use, feelings that come up in use, and ideas about outcomes from their use, along with some emerging observations. The results from this study provide a case for increased education for CYC Practitioners, better tools for them and their clients to have access to and will help fill the gap in CYC literature about experiences of tactile objects in practice.
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    How do Early Childhood Educators’ Preprofessional Music Experiences Shape their Practices with Young Children: An Interpretive Phenomenology Study
    (2022-08-25) Varga, Veronika; Gerlach, Alison
    Music activities and free musical play have significant developmental, social, and emotional benefits for young children. Early childhood educators can play an important role in integrating music-related activities into children’s everyday lives. This study explored the music experiences of early childhood educators in British Columbia (BC) before they become educators. Using an interpretive phenomenological approach (IPA), this study sought to address the following research question: How do early childhood educators’ pre-professional music learning and pedagogical experiences influence their use of music in their practices with young children in formalized childcare settings? In this exploratory study, I conducted semi-structured and in-depth interviews with six early childhood educators who had studied early childhood education (ECE) in BC, worked in the Greater Victoria area, and had music-related experiences before and during their post-secondary studies. I identified the following three main themes in the data: (a) Sense of Belonging; (b) Repeating and Performing, and (c) Growing by Doing. These themes highlight further subthemes to present insights into the relationship between early childhood educator participants’ music experiences (before becoming early childhood educators) and their views on and use of music with children in their ECE practice. The findings and their implications based on participants’ shared stories can assist ECE post-secondary programs, BC educational policymakers, as well as future researchers in this area to address and support early childhood educators’ music-related professional experiences.
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    Queer Play, Failure, and Becoming: Investigating Queer Young Adults’ Memories of Play and Exploring Gender and Sexuality in Child and Youthhood
    (2022-08-22) Jack, Astri; White, Jennifer
    This study investigated (1) how and where queer young adults remembered playing and exploring gender and sexuality in their child and youthhoods, and (2) how those memories influenced their identities as queer young adults. Eight young adults from Southern Vancouver Island were recruited to the study using non-probability and purposive sampling. Each participant took part in a narrative interview and was asked to recreate in a sand tray one or more places where they remembered exploring gender and/or sexuality in their childhood or youthhood. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis through a queer phenomenological lens inspired by Sara Ahmed. It was determined that “queer failure,” as described by Jack Halberstam, was a critical, formative process that contributed to the reorienting of queer children and youth towards queer futures. The way that queer failure was responded to by significant adults appeared to have enduring impacts on participants’ self-esteem and self-regard, with having a supportive caregiver being associated with positive self-regard as a queer adult, and a lack of support associated with long-term poor mental health and lower likelihood of experiencing pride in being queer. Additionally, participants demonstrated how access to the outdoors provided a meaningful locus of self-discovery wherein the limitations and structures of gender were less omnipresent and they felt more external and internal acceptance of their queer identities.
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    Exploring women’s visual narratives of brain injury
    (2022-05-02) Roer, Jacquelyn; Mucina, Mandeep Kaur; Harper, Nevin
    This qualitative exploratory study centres on the identity, relationship and experiences of six women who have survived a brain injury, as told through their narratives and photographs. Situated in a critical feminist disability framework, and using a visual narrative methodology, this study utilized photo-voice inspired methods with semi-structured individual and focus-group interviews to combine visual and narrative dialogues. The focus of this research is on how the body plays a role in identity, relationships and being in the world after the challenge of surviving a brain injury. This research invites the reader into the intersections between public spaces, cultural norms and societal expectations, and the private worlds, perspectives and identities of the participants.
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    Trait emotional intelligence, client symptoms, and predictive factors in wilderness therapy
    (2022-04-28) Zolotas, Kostas; Harper, Nevin
    Background: Mental health issues and harmful substance use are problems that affect many Canadian youth. Wilderness therapy (WT) is a residential adventure-based therapy modality shown to have some success in treating these issues. Further research is needed regarding the ways that participants change, and if there are certain individuals that benefit more from this treatment than others. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to explore the changes in presenting problems and trait emotional intelligence of participants at one WT organization in Ontario, Canada. The working alliance - shown to have a positive impact on therapeutic treatment - along with sex and age, were examined to determine if these elements moderate outcomes. Methodology: Two separate samples were created from archival data provided by the participating organization. The first sample includes pre and post Youth Outcome Questionnaires (N=30, 14 to 18 year olds). The second sample includes pre and post Trait-Emotional Intelligence Questionnaires (N=68 youth, 16 to 20 year olds). All participants in both groups completed one Working Alliance Inventory post-WT. Descriptive statistics were calculated, paired t-tests were run, and Pearson correlation matrices and visualizations were created. Findings/Conclusions: Findings indicate that older male individuals report greater reductions in presenting problems as a result of their participation in WT. Trait emotional intelligence did not seem to change, and the working alliance did not seem to moderate any of these outcomes.
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    Tuning into child and youth care: an audio drama inquiry with child and youth care practitioners who have lived in residential placement
    (2022-04-21) Vachon, Wolfgang; White, Jennifer Hume
    Child and youth care (CYC) practitioners (CYCPs) who have lived in residential placement as children or youth represent an understudied and thus largely unknown cohort. This lack of knowledge has resulted in assumptions, generalizations, and unfounded claims impacting discourses, and potentially practices, within CYC. Based on the development of an original research method—audio drama inquiry—this sonic dissertation presents the first documented examination of the perspectives, experiences, and insights of 17 Canadian CYCPs “from care” (CYCPfC). Informed by research-based theatre, CYC theory, and care ethics, two audio drama series were created asking “what does residential placement experience do to CYCPs, and how do CYCPfC do CYC?” The resulting performances reveal frictions and desires related to working for, within, and at times against the same systems that one grew up in. CYCPfC articulate benefits resulting from their “lived experience,” such as identification, empathy, inimitable systemic knowledge, and motivations to initiate change within such systems. However, the audio dramas also reveal perils related to their personal histories, the institutions in which they work(ed), and the “the field” more broadly. Through greater understanding of CYCPfC, who provide insights, cautions, and learnings from their unique perspectives, this study advances our knowledge regarding what is done when doing CYC. Moreover, Tuning into CYC broadens existing frames of qualitative inquiry through explicating and demonstrating the theoretical and practical elements of audio drama inquiry.
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    “You have to deconstruct narrative just like narrative therapy deconstructs people’s problems”: exploring critical anticolonial narrative therapy with sexualized violence practitioners
    (2021-12-09) Reed, Alina; Mucina, Mandeep Kaur
    This qualitative study draws on intersectionality, antiracism, and anticolonialism to unpack the long history of colonial violence in the mental health and social service fields, such as counselling, victim services, social work, and child and youth care. In addition, this thesis explores and interrogates the use of narrative therapy by white and Indigenous sexualized violence practitioners who work specifically with Indigenous girls and women. Narrative therapy is a non-individualistic and non-pathologizing approach that has shown potential with Indigenous girls and women. However, while it holds promise, how sexualized violence practitioners interact with narrative therapy and critical frameworks is less known. In this study, experienced practitioners were asked how they draw on narrative therapy and critical frameworks, how they grapple with narrative therapy’s complicity in colonial violence, and how they resist, contest, and reproduce colonial violence in their own practice. Three themes emerged from the interviews: (1) narrative therapy as useful but not enough; (2) deconstructing and unsettling narrative therapy; and (3) smuggling practices and double practice. Discussion of these themes demonstrates and explores the complex and multifaceted issues practitioners are engaging with in their practice and suggests great promise for a future narrative therapy that involves critical frameworks and attends to body, ethics, accountability, and ongoing colonial violence.