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Dr. Kate O’Neill, Ph.D., RTC

Associate Program Director, Clinic Coordinator

I have been working at City University since 2022 and it is an absolute pleasure to be here.  I initially began collaborating within the Masters of School Counselling program to develop writing and research supports for students.  From there I began teaching courses for this program as well as the Masters of Counselling program.  Most recently, I have become an Associate Program Director; my specific role is as Clinic Coordinator for the Neighbourhood Houses, which provide internship experiences for students in both counselling programs.  

Research

My Ph.D research explores decolonization as a process of recovery from collective trauma, specifically focusing on the Rwandan genocide, which took place in 1994.  My interest is in recognizing the ways that colonial structures inflict trauma and intentionally block the pathways that can allow individuals and communities to move towards recovery.  Practices that dismantle colonial structures create opportunities to recover agency and identity. Engaging with experiences and memories of trauma is therefore an act with personal, social, and political implications. As a counselor, I see that supporting trauma recovery is an act of decolonization that has impact for both the client and counsellor.  My current project is to develop resources that support counsellors in recognizing and working with colonial and decolonizing dynamics inside their counselling relationships.  

Teaching

I am an enthusiastic educator and I love to bring my full self to each group of students that I work with.  It is my pleasure to open discussions and to invite the ideas, responses, and questions of others.  In particular, I believe that it is important that cognitive learning be paired with emotional exploration. I am interested in how ideas feel as much as how ideas fit together. In my classrooms, I am emotionally responsive and transparent. I encourage students to make space and bring attention to their emotional responses within all learning experiences.  This practice is also an act of decolonizing.  Making space for felt somatic knowing and expression is a direct challenge to colonial divisions of mind and body and deepens our collective understanding of ourselves and others.

Courses

EGC 533 Child and Adolescent Development

EGC 530 Individual Counselling Theories and Practice

EGC 648 Family Systems Theory and Practice

CPC 600 Child and Adolescent Counselling 

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