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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
September 23, 2017
Canadian Excellence

Dr. Deena Mandell

Associate Professor

Contact Information
Phone: 519 884-0710 ext.5239
Fax: 519 888-9732
Office Location: FSW-303

Academic Background

PhD, Social Work, University of Toronto

MSW, Carleton University, Ottawa

Honours BA in English Language & Literature and Sociology, University of Toronto


Dr. Mandell teaches in the Individuals, Families and Groups concentration of the MSW program, the Writing for Publication course in the PhD program, co-ordinates the seminar she initiated for ESL students in the faculty, offers an annual Writing Workshop for MSW Students .

Particular areas of interest in teaching are: education for practice that expands the concept of "use of self" to include critical reflection and brings critical and feminist perspectives into preparation for clinical practice. Previous research and writing have focused on understanding individual problems in the context of systemic social relations, policies and practices. Her book, Revisiting the Use of Self: Questioning Professional Identities is used as a text by several Faculty of Social Work instructors. Other published work has focused on subjectivity and social construction in relation to separated fathers and child support obligations, families coping with chronic health problems, Family Group Conferencing, the experiences of employees and families in the child welfare and mental health systems, and a review of the literature on the child welfare system and Aboriginal peoples of Canada. She has also been involved in a study of the use of course syllabi by students and instructors.

Dr. Mandell's experience as a practitioner in the community includes family services, outpatient mental health and inpatient hospital services, direct service with individuals, families and groups, program development and professional development education.

Forthcoming publications:

Fine, M., & Mandell, D. (Accepted). Family talk: Parents and children involved with the child welfare system submitted. In G. Cameron, M. Fine, N. Freymond and S. Maiter (eds.). Towards positive systems of child and family welfare: Families' realities and service responses.

Mandell, D., Stalker, C., Harvey, C., Frensch, K. (Accepted). When the going gets tough: A workplace study of four southern Ontario Children’s Aid Societies. In G. Cameron, M. Fine, N. Freymond and S. Maiter (eds.). Towards positive systems of child and family welfare: Families' realities and service responses.

McDonald, J. Siddall, G., Mandell, D. & Huges. (In press). Two sides of the same coin: Student-faculty perspectives of the course syllabus. Collected Essays on Learning and Teaching, 3.

Selected  publications:

Mandell, D. (Ed.) Revisiting the use of self: Questioning professional identities. Canadian Scholars Press. This is a collection of articles on use of self written from a critical perspective by a diverse group of contributors in a wide range of social work settings.

Mandell, D. (2008). Power, care and vulnerability. Considering use of self in child welfare practice. Journal of Social Work Practice, 22(2), 235-248.

Mandell, D., Curtis, R., Gold, M., & Hardie, S. (2005). Anaphylaxis: How do you live with it? Health & Social Work, 30 (4), 273-352.

Mandell, D. (2002) "Deadbeat dads: Subjectivity and social construction. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.