Skip To Content

Athabasca University

Dr. Sandra Collins, R. Psych. (AB)

Professor

Contact

Please view my professional website above for more detailed information about my various professional roles and interests.

Education

  • Ph.D. (1998, University of Calgary), Faculty of Education, Division of Applied Psychology
    Dissertation titled: A multi-site exploration of adolescent health-related needs: Student and adult perceptions
  • M.Sc. Comparative Psychology (1993, University of Calgary), Faculty of Education, Division of Applied Psychology
    Thesis titled: Adolescent Needs: A comparison of adult and student perspectives.
  • B.A. Psychology (1984, Carleton University)

Professional Designations and Affiliations

I am a Registered Psychologist with the College of Alberta Psychologists.

Teaching and Learning

I have chosen a career at Athabasca University, in part, because I am interested in, and committed to, the continued improvement of teaching and learning. My research has included a focus on enhancing counsellor education, online and distributed learning, competency-based practice and education, course and program design, creative and multimedia learning processes and activities, and more recently, open source educational resources. I see myself, first and foremost, as a counsellor educator, and my sense of meaning and satisfaction comes from seeing students thrive in their courses, find their voices through their thesis journey, and take their learning forward to their work with clients and their other roles within the professions of counselling and psychology. I am delighted and humbled to be a recipient of the 2018 AUGSA Outstanding Distinction Award for Athabasca University Faculty.

Over the past decade, I have had the privilege of functioning as an external reviewer for other graduate counselling programs in Canada. I have learned a great deal from my colleagues across the country, which has enhanced my own learning, teaching, and curriculum development.

Clinical Interests

I have been in private practice as a counselling psychologist, and for a period of time as a registered clinical counsellor, on and off throughout my academic career. I value the privilege of working with clients in individual and group contexts to collaborate with them to make sense of their lived experiences and presenting concerns and to work with them to promote a healthy sense of self, satisfying relationships, and meaningful life and work. In some cases, this involves working together to bring about change in contexts of their lives that contribute to their distress. I bring particular expertise in culturally responsive and social justice counselling practice, and have focused on working with women and members of the queer community. I am a past president of the College of Alberta Psychologists.

I also invest energy in working with broader systemic challenges faced by nondominant populations in our society and exploring avenues for advocacy and social action at the community and society levels. My partner and I were among the many Canadians who participated in the private sponsorship process to raise funds and support the transition of refugees to Canada. I was a the president, and then for many years, a member-at-large on the board of the Social Justice Chapter of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. I continue to look for opportunities to work with colleagues across the country to explore meaningful ways of challenging social, economic, educational, political and other forms of cultural and systemic oppression.

Primary Research Interests

My current research focuses primarily in the area of culturally responsive and socially just counselling. I am interested in what kinds of competencies counsellors and counselling psychologists require to be able to honour cultural diversity and address social justice issues, both with individual clients and in the broader systems that impact clients’ lives, as well as how we best instill those competencies through counselling and psychology programs. My related research and writing in this area focuses on counselling women and clients of nondominant sexual orientation and gender identity, feminist and multicultural therapy, intersectionality and multiple nondominant identity development, and multicultural supervision. I am also very committed to my own continuing competency development in processes of decolonization and Indigenization within counsellor education and professional practice more broadly.

I am delighted to announce the publication of my new book. This e-book introduces the culturally responsive and socially just (CRSJ) counselling model as a foundation for working with all clients, and in particular, those marginalized within society on the basis of their cultural identities and social locations. I have also created an open source teaching and learning guide that reflects the commitment of Athabasca University to making knowledge accessible and to excellence in teaching and learning.

  • Collins, S. (2018). Embracing cultural responsivity and social justice: Re-shaping professional identity in counselling psychology [EPub version]. Victoria, BC: Counselling Concepts. Available from https://www.vitalsource.com/en-ca/
  • Collins, S. (2018). Culturally responsive and socially just counselling: Teaching and learning guide [EPub version]. Edmonton, AB: Faculty of Health Disciplines, Athabasca University. Retrieved from https://crsjguide.pressbooks.com/

My research in multicultural counselling and social justice ties into my passion for innovation in teaching and learning models and, in particular, best practices models for enhancing student competencies for culturally responsive and social just counselling, the link between enhanced awareness and applied practice skill development, as well as the relationship between professional psychology education/licensure and social justice (i.e., privileged and disparate access to both education and the profession). I am committed to the removal of barriers to learning, human growth and development, and to supporting full and equal participation in society by all persons and peoples, both as part of my academic role and my research focus.



Recent Publications

Here are some of my recent publications in my areas of teaching, applied practice, and research interest.

Books

Collins, S. (2018). Embracing cultural responsivity and social justice: Re-shaping professional identity in counselling psychology [EPub version]. Victoria, BC: Counselling Concepts. Available from https://www.vitalsource.com/en-ca/

Collins, S. (2018). Culturally responsive and socially just counselling: Teaching and learning guide [EPub version]. Edmonton, AB: Faculty of Health Disciplines, Athabasca University. Retrieved from https://crsjguide.pressbooks.com/

Collins, S. (2016). Professional writing in the health disciplines [open source e-book]. Retrieved from http://epub-fhd.athabascau.ca/professionalwriting/

Arthur, N., & Collins, S. (Eds.). (2010). Culture-infused counselling (2nd ed.). Calgary, AB: Counselling Concepts. The first edition was awarded the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Annual Book Award in 2006.

Journal Articles

Collins, S., Arthur, N., Bisson, S., & McMahon, M. (2015). Assessing the multicultural and social justice competencies of career development practitioners. Canadian Journal of Career Development, 14(1), 4-16. Available at http://cjcdonline.ca/archives/#year2015

Collins, S., Arthur, N., Brown, C., & Kennedy, B. (2015). Student perspectives: Graduate education facilitation of multicultural counseling and social justice competency. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 9, 153-160. https://doi.org/10.1037/tep0000070

Arthur, N., & Collins, S. (2014). Counsellors, counselling, and social justice: The professional is political [Introduction to the special edition]. Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 48, 171-177. Available at https://cjc-rcc.ucalgary.ca/article/view/61030

Brown, C., Collins, S., & Arthur, N. (2014). Fostering multicultural and social justice competency through counsellor education pedagogy. Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 48, 321-342. Available at https://cjc-rcc.ucalgary.ca/article/view/60997

Audet, K., Collins, S., Jay, M., Irvine, K., Lehr, A., & Schmolke, C. (2014). Poverty, mental health, and counsellors for social justice: Reflections on an interactive workshop. Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 48, 300-320. Available at: https://cjc-rcc.ucalgary.ca/article/view/60036

Collins, S., Arthur, N., McMahon, M., & Bisson, S. (2014). Development of the multicultural and social justice competencies (MCSJC) scale for career development practitioners. Canadian Journal of Career Development, 13(1), 14-24. Available at http://cjcdonline.ca/archives/#year2014

Collins, S., Arthur, N., Brown, C., & Kennedy, B. (2013). Counselor and supervisor views of multicultural and social justice education. Journal of Counsellogy, 279-295. Retrieved from https://journals.indexcopernicus.com/

Sharpe, H., Alderson, K., & Collins, S. (2013). An exploration of positive identity development in women living with chronic pain. The Qualitative Report, 18(Art. 29), 1-22. Available at http://www.nova.edu/ssss/QR/QR18/sharpe29.pdf

Arthur, N., Collins, S., Marshall, C., & McMahon, M. (2013). Social justice competencies and career development practices. Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 47, 136-154. Available at https://cjc-rcc.ucalgary.ca/article/view/60929

Collins, S., Arthur, N., Brown, C. (2013). Counsellor and practicum supervisor critical incidents in the development of multicultural and social justice competency. International Journal of Social Sciences, II(2), 16-32. Available at http://www.iises.net/counsellor-and-practicum-supervisor-critical-incidents-in-th.html

Collins, S., Arthur, N., Brown, C. (2013). Critical incidents in graduate student development of multicultural and social justice competency. Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, 2(9), 105-115. https://doi.org/10.5901/ajis.2013.v2n9p105

Collins, S., Arthur, N., & Wong-Wylie, G. (2010). Enhancing reflective practice in multicultural counseling through cultural auditing. Journal of Counseling & Development, 88, 340-347. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.1556-6678.2010.tb00031.x

Collins, S., & Arthur, N. (2010). Culture-infused counseling: A fresh look at a classic framework of multicultural counseling competencies. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 23(2), 203-216. https://doi.org/10.1080/09515071003798204

Collins, S., & Arthur, N. (2010). Culture-infused counseling: A model for developing cultural competence. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 23(2), 217-233. https://doi.org/10.1080/09515071003798212

Book Chapters

Collins, S., & Arthur, N. (2018). Challenging conversations: Deepening personal and professional commitment to culture-infused and socially just counseling practice. In C. Audet & D. Paré (Eds.), Social justice and counseling: Discourse in practice (pp. 29-41). New York, NY: Routledge.

Arthur, N., & Collins, S. (2017). Culture-infused counsellor supervision. In N. Pelling, A. Moir-Bussy, & P. Armstrong (Eds.), The practice of clinical supervision (2nd ed., pp. 267-295). Bowen Hills, QLD: Australian Academic Press.

Arthur, N., & Collins, S., (2016). Multicultural counselling in the Canadian context. In N. Gazzola, M. Buchanan, O. Sutherland, & S. Nuttgens (Eds.), Handbook of counselling and psychotherapy in Canada (pp. 73-93). Ottawa, ON: Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association.

Arthur, N., & Collins. S. (2016). Culture-infused counselling supervision: Applying concepts in clinical supervision practices. In B. Shepard, B. Robinson, & L. Martin (Eds.), Clinical supervision of the Canadian counselling and psychotherapy profession (pp. 353-378). Ottawa, ON: Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association.

Arthur, N., & Collins, S. (2015). Culture-infused counselling and psychotherapy. In L. Martin, B. Shepard, & R. Lehr (Eds.), Canadian counselling and psychotherapy experience: Ethics-based issues and cases (pp. 277-303). Ottawa, ON: Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association.

Arthur, N., & Collins, S. (2015). Multicultural counselling, education, and supervision. In A. Sinacore & F. Ginsberg (Eds.), Canadian counselling and counselling psychology in the 21st century (pp. 42-67). Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press.

Arthur, N., & Collins, S. (2014). Diversity and social justice: Guiding concepts for career development practice. In B. Shepard & P. Mani (Eds.), Career development practice in Canada: Perspectives, principles, and professionalism. Toronto, ON: Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling.

Collins, S. (2010). Women on the margins: Honouring multiple and intersecting cultural identities. In L. Ross. (Ed.). Counselling women: Feminist issues, theory and practice (pp. 21-50). Toronto, ON: Canadian Scholars' Press / Women's Press.



Conference Presentations

I appreciate the opportunity to present my work, in collaboration with my colleagues, at national and international conferences.

Arthur, N., & Collins, S., (2014, May). Connecting counsellor education and supervision to social justice. World Congress of Psychological Counselling and Guidance, Victoria, BC.

Collins, S., Wheeldon, L., Hill-Lehr, A., & Audet, C. (2014, May). Acknowledging power and privilege in counselling: Socially just counselling practices. Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association 2014 Annual Conference. Victoria, BC.

Collins, S., Arthur, N., & Brown, C. (2013, September). Critical incidents in counsellor education for multicultural counselling and social justice. World Congress of Psychological Counselling and Guidance, Istanbul, Turkey.

Collins, S., Arthur, N., Brown, C. (2013, September). Counsellor and practicum supervisor critical incidents in the development of multicultural and social justice competency. International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences 8th International Academic Conference, Naples, Italy.

Collins, S., Arthur, N., Brown, C. (2013, September). Critical incidents in graduate student development of multicultural and social justice competency. 3rd International Conference on Human and Social Sciences, Rome, Italy.

Collins, S. [Invited Keynote Address]. (2013, March). Social justice in a culture of disconnection. 3rd Annual Counselling Psychology Research Conference in British Columbia, Vancouver, BC.

Arthur, N., & Collins, S. [Invited Pre-conference Workshop] (2012, May). Multicultural counselling and social justice: From concepts to practice. Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association 2012 Annual Conference. Calgary, AB.

Collins, S., Audet, C., Seaborg, M., Johannsen, K., & Wheeldon, L. (2012, May). Counsellors without borders: Expanding self and practice. Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association 2012 Annual Conference. Calgary, AB.

Collins, S., Arthur, N., Kennedy, B., Brown, C. (2012, May). The practice of social justice: Preparing for the journey. Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association 2012 Annual Conference. Calgary, AB.

Funding Support

I collaborated with Dr. Nancy Arthur, University of Calgary, in the following funded research projects.

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Standard Research Grant, Co-Investigator - Critical Incidents in Counsellor Education for Multicultural Counselling and Social Justice , $88,200 (2010-2013).

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Standard Research Grant, Co-Investigator - Social justice and diversity competencies of career development practitioners, $99,022 (2005-2008).

Updated December 11 2018 by Student & Academic Services

AU, CANADA'S OPEN UNIVERSITY, is an internationally recognized leader in online and distance learning.