I received my PhD in Social Work from the University of Toronto in 2000 and my MSW in Social Work from Carleton University in 1993.
Prior to joining Laurier, I worked as a clinical social worker at the (former) Kingston Prison for Women, providing individual trauma counselling. I have been working as a clinician in the field of women’s mental health with a focus on violence against women and childhood abuse since 1991. In addition to my academic career, I maintain a small private psychotherapy practice in Toronto. Part of my private practice involves working with horses in the healing process. Please see www.shoshanapollack.com for more information about my equine facilitated psychotherapy practice.
The primary focus of my research is on the criminalization and imprisonment of women. I have conducted studies on the effectiveness of peer support teams in women’s prisons, women’s routes to law-breaking, treatment and programming for incarcerated women, women’s experiences of post-prison release and the impact of the Walls to Bridges program on both imprisoned women and MSW students.
Other research studies include an assessment of mandatory charging policies on women survivors of domestic violence and a pilot study on the effectiveness of equine facilitated psychotherapy with criminalized women in addiction treatment.
The Walls to Bridges Program In 2011, I initiated a partnership between the Faculty of Social Work and Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener to develop courses through what was then called the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program. The Canadian program is now called the Walls to Bridges Program which is a powerful and innovative integrated learning opportunity that brings university enrolled students to study together with incarcerated women at Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener. Due to the generous support of the Lyle S. Hallman Foundation, the national office of the Walls to Bridges Program is housed in the Faculty of Social Work.
For further information about the Walls to Bridges Program, refer to the Walls to Bridges page.
Please see the following media articles about Faculty of Social Work Walls to Bridges (formerly Inside-Out) courses:
-Center for Courage and Renewal: Deep meets -Deep at the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program -Center for Courage and Renewal: Learning to Speak from My Soul -The Cord: Going to Prison -The Star: Women see the other side