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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
October 18, 2017
Canadian Excellence

Dr. Shoshana Pollack


Contact Information
Phone: 519-884-1970 ext.5220

Office Location: FSW-308

Languages Spoken


Academic Background

1989     B.A. English Literature, University of Toronto

1993     MSW, Carelton University, Ottawa ON

2000     PhD Social Work, University of Toronto


Practice Background

 Since 1991 I have been working as a clinical social worker in the areas of violence against women and childhood sexual abuse. I've worked in an Aboriginal community health centre, residential treatment centres and at the former Kingston Prison for women, doing trauma based counselling. I currently maintain a private practice in Toronto providing GLBTQ positive counselling  for issues related to childhood and adult abuse, gender identity, sexual orientation, depression, anxiety and related issues. Part of my private practice is also using a healing modality called Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy, which is a mindfullness based therapy facilitating greater self-awareness and connection between body, mind and spirit. In this therapeutic method, horses are co-therapists in the client's healing process. 


The Walls to Bridges Program (Formerly Inside-Out Canada)

In 2011, I initiated a partnership between the Faculty of Social Work and Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener to develop courses through the Walls to Bridges Program. This is a powerful and innovative integrated learning opportunity that brings MSW students to study together with incarcerated women at Grand Valley Institution. Please see the following articles about FSW Walls to Bridges (Inside-Out courses):

Due to the generous support of the Hallman Foundation ( the FSW and the Faculty of Arts are currently able to offer several Walls to Bridges courses per year.  For more information about the Walls to Bridges program please see

Courses Taught

In the MSW program I teach Diversity, Marginalization and Oppression, Practice with Individuals, and Differential Use of Self.  In the Doctoral program I teach a core course on Theory Development and various reading courses such as violence against women, anti-racist theory, feminist theory, immigration, women and crime, and governmentality studies.


I conduct qualitative research on women, crime and imprisonment, violence against women, women's mental health, and equine facilitated psychotherapy.  Analytically, my research draws on feminist post structural approaches, anti-racist theory and critical theory. I am currently working on a  participatory study on student's experiences of taking I-O courses through the FSW and Grand Valley Institution for Women. 

Pollack, S. (2012). An Imprisoning Gaze: Practices of Gendered, Racialized and Epistemic Violence International Review of Victimology.

Pollack, S. & Rossiter, A. (2010) Neoliberalism and the Entrepreneurial Subject: Implications for Feminism and Social Work. Canadian Social Work Review 27, 2, 155-169.

Pollack, S. (2010) Labeling Clients ‘Risky’: Social Work and the Neo-Liberal Welfare State. British Journal of Social Work 40(4): 1263-1278.