Heather Boynton

Assistant Professor

Edmonton Campus

Ph.D. (Social Work)

University of Calgary

Master in Social Work

Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, ON

Honour’s Bachelor of Social Work

Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, ON

Honour’s Bachelor of Physical and Health Education

Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, ON

Contact information

Location

Courses

Current Courses

  • F2020 - SOWK 660A - Advanced Practicum
  • F2020 - SOWK 662A - Integrative Seminar
  • W2021 - SOWK 660B - Advanced Practicum
  • W2021 - SOWK 662B - Integrative Seminar

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Research Activities

Research areas

  • Spirituality
  • Health, Mental Health and Wellness
  • Infant, Children and Adolescents
  • Trauma and Violence
  • Practice Approaches
  • Human Service Organizations and Systems

Research and Teaching Activity

Heather co-edited a book on Spirituality, Trauma and Posttraumatic Growth which includes chapters from social workers across Canada on a variety of practice areas and across the lifespan to be published this year.  

Current Research

She is working on research related to the lived experience of social workers related to COVID19

Professional and Community Associations

Heather is on the Board of the International Journal of Children’s Spirituality.  She also is on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Society for Spirituality in Social Work and Liases with the American Society for Spirituality in Social Work. She has a working partnership with CASA Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health.


Biography

Dr. Heather Marie Boynton is an Assistant Professor at the University of Calgary, Faculty of Social Work, Central and Northern Alberta Region. She joined the faculty in 2020 with over 32 years of frontline experience in Northwestern Ontario as a child and youth worker, social worker, case manager, and family therapist, as well as management in adult mental health. Her teaching interests include spirituality in social work, trauma, grief and loss, child, adolescent and family social work, theory and practice, interprofessional education, field practice, social work in healthcare, mental health and wellbeing. 

Heather’s research interests are focused on advancing knowledge for practice and education in the areas of spirituality and social work. She has examined children’s spirituality in trauma, grief and loss in outpatient counselling.  She has been involved in spirituality research on mental health, and program evaluation of spirituality groups in mental health services.  Heather has also been a co-investigator in the areas of postpartum depression, stigma, quality of life, and intimate partner relationships.  Her HBPE dissertation examined preadolescent aggression and cooperative games. Her expertise is in qualitative research, in particular grounded theory and constructivist phenomenology.  Other areas include interprofessional education and collaboration, and holistic therapies.


Publications

EDITOR

H. Boynton & J. Vis (Eds.) (in press). Trauma, spirituality and posttraumatic growth in clinical social work practice. 

GUEST EDITOR

H. Boynton, & J. Vis (Eds.) (2014). Introduction.  Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Social Work: Social Thought, 33. 

H. Boynton, & J. Vis (Eds.) (2014). Conclusion.  Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Social Work: Social Thought, 33. 

CHAPTERS

H. Boynton & J. Vis (Eds.) (in press). Introduction. Trauma, spirituality and posttraumatic growth in clinical social work practice.

H. Boynton & J. Vis (Eds.) (in press). Conclusion. Trauma, spirituality and posttraumatic growth in clinical social work practice.

Boynton, H. (in press).  Spirituality and possibilities for posttraumatic growth in children.  In H. Boynton and J. Vis (Eds.) Trauma, spirituality and posttraumatic growth in clinical social work practice.

Poluchowicz, S., & Boynton, H.M. (in press). The Soulful Journey: A spiritual based group for treatment.  In H. Boynton and J. Vis (Eds.) Trauma, spirituality and posttraumatic growth in clinical social work practice.

Wark, J., Boynton H.M., & Vis, J. (in press).  Spirituality and child welfare practice with Indigenous families: Fostering a "culture of strengths." In H. Boynton and J. Vis (Eds.) Trauma, spirituality and posttraumatic growth in clinical social work practice.

Smith, T., Boynton, H.M., & Vis, J. (in press).  Trauma-informed schools: Creating a school community equipped to supporting Children exposed to interpersonal trauma.

Boynton, H.M., & Vis, J. (2017).  Spirituality, trauma, grief and loss: Impacts and therapeutic considerations across the lifespan.  In B. Crisp (Ed.), Routledge handbook of religion, spirituality and Social Work.

Boynton, H.M. (2016). Children’s spirituality: A component of holistic care in child welfare.  In Raymond Neckoway and Keith Brownlee (Eds.) Child welfare in rural remote areas with Canada's First-Nations peoples: Selected readings. Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, ON: CERPYD. 

PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL ARTICLES 

Boynton, H.M. (2014).  The Healthy Group: A Mind, Body and Spirit Approach to treating anxiety and depression in adolescents.  Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Social Work: Social Thought. 33, 236–253.

BOOK REVIEWS 

Boynton, H.M. (2012).  Book Review: Spirituality and Social Work. Social Work Education, 31(4), 531-533.  DOI:10.1080/02615479.2011.621765

TECHNICAL PAPERS

Boynton, H.M., Shute, T., Rawlin, D., Smith, K., Willet, T. (2014).  Interprofessional Education and Care for Seniors: An Environmental Scan. SIMOne for the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. 

Boynton, H., Lehto, O., Tarjan, A., Loud, C. & Schmidt, F. (2014). An evaluation of the Child and Family Services Team at Children’s Centre Thunder Bay.  Submitted to: Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health.


Awards

2016 - Trudeau Scholarship Nominee - PhD Committee

2016 - Governor General and Chancellor Awards Nominee - PhD Committee

2012 - Recognition of Excellence-Cullen Ramsey Personal Achievement Award $500

2012 - Student Publication Award $300

GRANTS

2016 - Women’s Xchange $15K Challenge, Women’s College Research Institute Project Title: The experience of postpartum mental health changes and intimate relationships. Principal investigator Dr. A. Maranzan, Co-investigators: Dr. H.M. Boynton & Rosemary Scofich

2015 - Women’s Xchange $15K Challenge, Women’s College Research Institute. Project title: Group treatment for postpartum mood disorders: Improving women’s mental health and reducing stigma.  Principal investigator Dr. A. Maranzan, Co-investigators: Dr. H.M. Boynton & Rosemary Scofich

2013 - Doing Evaluation Grant, Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health $35,000.  Principal investigator: Heather Boynton, Co-investigators: Dr. F. Schmidt, Anna Tarjan, Chris Loud, Leanna Sigsworth

2009 - SSHRC Entrance Scholarship PhD $80,000

2006 - SSHRC Entrance Scholarship MSW $17,5000