Dr. Laura Beres

Dr. Laura Beres

Associate Professor

Office: FB311
Phone: 4575
Email: lberes2@uwo.ca

VIEWS ON SOCIAL WORK:

I graduated with my MSW 30 years ago and have worked in direct practice to some extent ever since then. I continued working part-time in front-line counselling settings while I completed my PhD in Critical Pedagogy and Cultural Studies, and now provide one evening a week of counselling at DAYA, in the London community. I recently completed an additional MA, in Christian Spirituality, in the UK, as I was interested in a rigorous academic grounding in this area as I have begun integrating spirituality into social work practice and research. In addition to my formal university education I also completed advanced training in Narrative Therapy with Michael White at the Dulwich Centre in Australia. These experiences, combined with my ongoing collaboration with Jan Fook in the area of Critical Reflection of Practice, has led to my current interests in my research and teaching within social work.

I am a clinical social worker and academic committed to the practitioner-researcher model, critical reflection of practice, and anti-oppressive, post-modern and social constructionist ways of engaging with people. These commitments infuse my research, writing, counselling and teaching practices. I invite students to engage in these ways of working in my courses, which has resulted in students presenting and publishing their work with me in international settings, journals and edited books. The most recent example of this has involved five former MSW students contributing chapters to an edited book, Learning Critical Reflection: Experiences of the Transformative Learning Process, which I have co-edited with Jan Fook. My MA dissertation, which will become part of my next book, is regarding Teresa of Avila's and Edith Stein's contributions to counselling generally, and Narrative Therapy particularly, as I examine their writing about spirituality and personhood.
 

Education

  • York University - BA (Hons)
  • University of Toronto - MSW
  • Sarum College, University of Winchester, UK, MA with distinction
  • University of Toronto - PhD

Research

Narrative therapy and strengths-based practice; Spirituality and mindfulness; Critical reflection on practice; Currently involved in a research project with local agencies providing services to people with experiences with the refugee process and trauma. 

Selected Publications

BOOKS:

Béres, L. & Fook, J. (Eds). (in press). Learning Critical Reflection: Experiences of the Transformative Learning Process. London: Routledge. 

Béres, L. (Ed). (2017). Practicing spirituality: Reflecting on meaning-making in personal and professional contexts. London: Palgrave MacMillan. 

Béres, L. (2014). The Narrative Practitioner. London: Palgrave MacMillan. 

Duvall, J. & Béres, L. (2011). Innovations in narrative therapy: Connecting practice, training, and research. New York: W. W. Norton. 
 

CHAPTERS IN BOOKS:

Béres, L. (2019). Valuing critical reflection and narratives of practice wisdom. In J. Higgs (Ed.). Practice Wisdom. Leiden: Brill Sense, pp. 277-288.

Gardner, F. & Béres, L. (2018). Social work and spiritual care. In L.B. Carey & B.A. Mathisen (Eds). Spiritual care for allied health; A person-centered approach. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, pp. 94-112.

Béres, L. (2017). Celtic spirituality: Exploring the fascination across time and place. In B. Crisp (Ed.). The Routledge handbook of religion, spirituality and social work. New York: Routledge.

Béres, L. (2017). Narrative therapy ideas and practices for working with addictions.  In R. Csiernick (Ed.). Responding to the oppression of addiction: Canadian social work perspectives, 3rd Edition. Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press.

Rogers, M. & Béres, L. (2017). How two practitioners conceptualise spiritually competent practice. In J. Wattis, S. Curan & M. Rogers (Eds). Spiritually competent practice in health care. Boca Raton: CRC Press.

Béres, L. (2016). What is spirituality and how does it relate to professional practice? In L. Béres (Ed.). Practicing spirituality: Reflecting on meaning-making in personal and professional contexts. London: Palgrave MacMillan.

Béres, L. (2016). The Rule of St. Benedict: Considering hospitality and welcoming spaces in contemporary therapeutic practice. In L. Béres (Ed.). Practicing spirituality: Reflecting on meaning-making in personal and professional contexts. London: Palgrave MacMillan.

JOURNAL ARTICLES:

Béres, L. (2018). How travel might become more like pilgrimage: an auto-ethnographic study, Journal for the Study of Spirituality, 8 (2): 160-172.

Béres, L. (2017). Maintaining the ability to be unsettled and learn afresh: What philosophy contributes to our understanding of ‘reflection’ and ‘experience’. Reflective Practice: Multidisciplinary and International Perspectives, 18(2): 280-290. 

Béres, L. (2013). Celtic spirituality and postmodern geography: Narratives of engagement with place, Journal for the Study of Spirituality, 2 (2); 170-185.

Béres, L. (2012). A thin place: Narratives of space and place, Celtic spirituality and meaning, The Journal of Religion, Spirituality and Social Work, 31 (4): 394-413.

Béres, L., Bowles, K. & Fook, J. (2011). Narrative therapy and critical reflection of practice: A conversation with Jan Fook, Journal of Systemic Therapies, 30(2), 81-97.

Béres, L. & Page Nichols, M. (2010). Narrative therapy group interventions with men who have used abusive behaviors, Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services, 91(1), 60-66.

CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS:

Béres, L. & Saxby, C. (June 2019). Critical reflection and transformative pedagogy. CASWE, Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C.

Lenet, J., Wilson, T., Béres, L., Mulvale, J., & Smith Carrier, T. (June 2019).  How might the importance of relationship for dialogue be honoured and celebrated in academia? CASWE, Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C.

Béres, L. (May 2018). Reconciling the language of the soul with narrative therapy. 6th European Conference on Religion, Spirituality and Health, and the 5th International Conference of the British Association for the Study of Spirituality, Coventry University, Coventry, England 

Béres, L. (May 2018). Postmodern therapeutic practices and the language of the soul. Iterations: Spirituality in post-Christian times. Sarum College, Salisbury, England 

Béres, L. (March 2018). A critical analysis of the extent to which everyday travel experiences can be understood as pilgrimage: An auto-ethnographic study. Pilgrimage and the Evolution of Spiritual Tourism, Waterford, Ireland

Béres, L. (May 2016). Reflections on witnessing the maintenance of traditional cultural practices within Roman Catholic Indigenous communities in northern Canada.  The 4th International British Association of Studies in Spirituality conference, Manchester, in England.

Béres, L. (2014). Listening to the ‘little sacraments of daily living’ and developing preferred storylines. The 3rd International British Association for Studies in Spirituality Conference, Berkhamsted, England.

Béres, L. (2013). The conversational maps of narrative practice as structures of ethical engagement: Privileging people’s values, hopes, and dreams. A Narrative Future for Health Care, Narrative Medicine Conference, London, England.

Béres, L. (2012). Narratives of 'thin places': Learning from the traditions of Celtic spirituality, The Canadian Association for Studies in Spirituality and Social Work, Thunder Bay, Canada.

Béres, L. (2012). Celtic spirituality and post-modern geography: Narratives of engagement with place.  The British Association for Studies in Spirituality Conference, Northampton, England.

LOCAL INVITED PRESENTATIONS:

Béres, L. (April 2019). How to bring spirituality into the therapy room. Invited to facilitate a half-day workshop to Catholic Family Services of Toronto.

Béres, L. (March 2019). Humanizing our work with newcomers. Invited to provide a day-long workshop to representatives from Vanier Children's Services, Craigwood, Ways, Muslim Resource Centre, and LHSC, on the narrative therapeutic posture and critical reflection on practice.

Béres, L. (February 2018). Tree of life, as a narrative practice. Invited to provide staff development at Vanier Children's Services, London, Ontario.

Béres, L. and Rogers, D. (October 2016). Narrative Practices in Child Welfare. Invited to co-facilitate a day-long workshop at London CAS, London, Ontario.