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Heather M Boynton, PhD, MSW, HBPE, RSWLakehead University Honour's Bachelor of Physical and Health Education: “The effects of a co-operative games program on physical and verbal aggression in pre-adolescent males”
Lakehead University Master of Social Work: “Children’s Spirituality: An exploration of literature and a rationale for its inclusion in social work”
University of Calgary PhD Social Work: “Navigating in seclusion: The complicated terrain of children’s spirituality in trauma, grief and loss”
Areas of Research
Spirituality is a critical dimension of holistic social work practice across the lifespan. It is an important factor in posttraumatic growth from adverse and traumatic childhood events, and grief and loss. Children's spirituality, spiritual development, and spiritual intelligence should be fostered for optimal growth, health and wellbeing.
Dr. Heather M Boynton has a passion for this area as well as holistic healing practices, creative expressive approaches, and physical health (exercise, sports, yoga) and the intersection with mental health and wellbeing.
Interprofessional education and collaboration is paramount in the physical, mental, and spiritual health of individuals. Social workers need to be prepared to work effectively with other health professionals and have the skills, attitudes and knowledge for competency in this area.
Having worked in the mental health field for over 30 years Dr. Heather M Boynton has extensive knowledge of evidence-based practices and treatments. Her research goals are for improving the mental health and wellbeing of individuals, families and communities. Spirituality and culture play a strong role in mental health and wellbeing.
Working with this supervisor
A supervisor and student relationship that is founded on open and honest communication, transparency, respect and reciprocity is essential for learning, co-creating, and transformation. The relationship is an ongoing collaborative process in which I aim to guide and mentor students to reach their highest potential as learners and knowledge creators. I continually seek opportunities for students to expand their resources, networks, and skills through writing, events (conferences, symposia, workshops etc.), and partnerships, as well as knowledge of funding supports.
Students who work with me are critical thinkers who enjoy lively conversations, are passionate about developing and honing their research areas and interests. They are ethical, independent and responsible for their commitment to scholarly work and timelines, while seeking guidance and support when needed. They are also responsible for communicating their style of work, preferences and expectations of a supervisor, and articulating goals, timelines and the process of work to ensure a mutual understanding of supervision and their desires and needs. I aim to be responsive and support students in their personal learning endeavours.
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