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Faculty Profiles

Susan Pratten

Susan Pratten

Professor, Social Service Worker- Gerontology program

Program Area: Community Studies

Susan Pratten is a full-time Professor in the Social Service Worker and Social Service Worker Gerontology Programs and a Researcher at the Sheridan Elder Research Centre. She has also held the positions of Program Coordinator as well as Placement Coordinator and Academic Advisor. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from Queen's University, a Master of Social Work from the University of Toronto and is a registered member of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.

Susan’s practice experience includes direct service and supervisory positions at a number of social work settings primarily in the aging, mental health, and addictions fields. She has also worked in rehabilitation and forensic mental health settings.

As an educator she believes in the power of reflective practice to enhance creativity and critical thinking skills and is passionate about the growing field of neuroscience and brain plasticity in understanding learning at all ages. Susan believes that mistakes are a necessary part of the learning process and that learning is life-long.

Highly concerned about integrity and standards of practice, Susan currently is engaged in the development of guidelines for faculty to evaluate student readiness and suitability for social service work practice.

Experienced with solution-focused therapies, crisis assessments, individual and group psychotherapy, marital counselling, cognitive behaviour therapies, case management, and discharge planning within a multidisciplinary team, Susan’s practice framework is from a strengths perspective with client populations ranging from young teens to older adults and their families.

Susan has considerable training in bereavement and palliative care, the Emotional Freedom Technique, Mindfulness Meditation and a number of stress reduction and relaxation therapies including Reiki and Therapeutic Touch. She is an advocate of Stanford’s Self-Management Program and promotes awareness of the positive impact that the creative arts such as dance, music and story-telling, can have on health and quality of life.

Susan’s work at the Elder Research Centre includes the completion of a needs assessment of familial caregivers providing support to older adults living with mental health and addiction issues; the development and evaluation of multi-media self-directed training tools for front-line workers and managers in the aging, mental health and addiction fields; implementation of an inter-generational model for technology training with older adults; and the development of guidelines for recruiting older adult research participants.