Dr. Catherine de Boer, PhD, RSW
School of Social Work
St. John's College
Dr. Catherine de Boer has a BSW from King’s College at the University of Western Ontario, a Master of Arts from the University of Toronto and a Master of Theological Studies, a Master of Social Work and a PhD in social work from Wilfrid Laurier University. She has over twelve years of practice experience working in the areas of children’s mental health, homelessness, and medical social work.
Prior to coming to Memorial, Dr. de Boer taught in the School of Social Work at Renison University College at the University of Waterloo (2005-2008) and also served as their acting Field Education Coordinator (2007-2008). Her primary research interests are in the areas of identity development and transformation, poverty, children’s mental health, and narrative studies. Her doctoral research was a study of the impact of social group disengagement (for example, leaving a religious, cultural, professional, or gender group, or “coming out” experiences) on one’s sense of self and the associated identity transition processes.
Dr. de Boer is continuing to conduct identity research with a focus on: 1) forced identity transitions, such as those predicated by unemployment, injury, and illness, and 2) the role of peer support groups in helping facilitate successful identity transitions. She has also done writing and research in the areas of multi-modal course development and delivery, teaching, and field education. Dr. de Boer’s teaching interests are in the areas of micro practice, social work theory, and qualitative analysis.