Dr. Richard Csiernik

Dr. Richard Csiernik

(on sabattical)

Dr. Richard Csiernik

Full Professor

Phone: 4377
Email: rcsierni@uwo.ca


Rick Csiernik teaches courses in four areas at King’s University College: group work, addictions, research and field practice.

In taking the required group work course I will expect you to already know how to hit a fastball, how to be organized, to be tasked centered and to be academically adept. What I do not expect of you is to be able to hit a curve ball…that is what you will learn in this class, the importance of process, how creativity co-exists with outcome and to give of the I to allow for the we.

When you are doing drugs with Dr. Csiernik you will be asked to consider three domains of knowledge, the biological, the psychological and the social. To integrate these will require you to challenge your values of what is licit and illicit and why. You will be asked to consider the range of theoretical ideas from the moral model to Marxism. You will be asked to consider how addiction oppresses all people, both users and non-users. You will asked to challenge your concept of what is success, is it abstinence or is it keeping a chronic user of psychoactive drugs alive for just one more day?

Research is not numbers, it is problem solving. Research is not abstract concepts is it justifying your practice and proving to those within and outside our profession there is a rationale for what you and we do. Your goal in completing this class should not be to obtain a good grade, that is inadequate and insufficient. Your goal upon entering the class should be to leave having become a knower.

Field practice is what takes your social work education from the proposed to the actual. It allows you to experiment, to attempt and to make mistakes in a supported environment. You will be asked to risk, to be honest and to learn to practice and to value yourself as much as you value your clients. You will be given the opportunity and the responsibility to educate your colleagues and to educate your professor, and you will succeed at both.


  • McMaster University - BA/BSW (Honours)
  • McMaster University - BSc (Psychology)
  • University of Toronto -MSW
  • Wilfrid Laurier University - Graduate Diploma in Social Administration
  • University of Toronto - PhD (Social Work)


I have an interest in knowing.  Over the course of my professional and academic life I have conducted research in the areas of addiction, Employee Assistance Programming and workplace wellness, social work field practice, spirituality, mental health, housing and homeless, poverty and social inclusion, school-based social work, innovative social work practice including client retention and social worker retention and remain open to other areas that intersect with those I have explored.

Rick Csiernik's teaching interests are in the areas of social work practice, group work, social work field education, research and addiction.

Selected Publications


Csiernik, R. (2014). Workplace Wellness:  Issues and Responses. Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press.

Csiernik, R. (2011).  Substance Use and Abuse: Everything Matters.  Toronto:  Canadian Scholars Press.

Bruno, T., & Csiernik, R. (2018). The Drug paradox: Normalizing and problematizing drugs in Canada. Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press.

Csiernik, R., & Birnbaum, R. (2017). Practicing Social Work Research: Case Studies for Learning, second edition. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Csiernik, R. (2016). Substance Use and Abuse: Everything Matters, second edition. Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press.

Csiernik, R. (2014). Just Say Know: A Counselor’s Guide to Psychoactive Drugs. Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press.


Csiernik, R., & Rowe, W.S. (2017). Responding to the Oppression of Addiction: Canadian Social Work Perspectives, third edition. Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press.

Csiernik, R. (2014). Workplace Wellness: Issues and Responses. Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press.


Brideau, M., & Csiernik, R. (2014)  How open is the meeting? Attending AA in a wheelchair. Journal of Groups in Addiction and Recovery, 9(1).

Chechak, D., & Csiernik, R. (2014). Canadian perspectives on conceptualizing and responding to workplace violence. Journal of Workplace Behavioural Health

Csiernik, R., & McGaghie, C. (2014). Meeting professional competencies through specialized distance education: the McMaster University Addiction Studies Program. Journal of Teaching in Social Work.

Csiernik, R., & Arundel, M.K. (2013). Does counselling format play a role in client retention? Journal of Groups in Addiction and Recovery, 8(4).

Csiernik, R., & Brideau, M. (2013). Examining the intersection of addiction and issues of ability in Canada. Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, 13(2), 163-178.

Vander Vennen, M., Smit-Vandezande, M., Van Wyk, K., & Csiernik, R. (2013) Bringing EAP to  Faith Communities: Genesis of a Canadian Congregational Assistance Program, Journal of Workplace Behavioural Health, 28(2), 81-93.


Brideau, M., & Csiernik, R. (2017). Agency Capacity to Serve Individuals with Intersecting Addiction and Sensory Ability Concerns in London, Ontario. Canadian Social Work

Csiernik, R. (2017). Utilizing utilization rates in Canadian EAPs: The folly of comparing cumquats to tangerines. EASNA Research Notes, 6(2), 1-8.

Csiernik, R., Darnell, K., & Trotter M.L. (2017). Perceptions of Congregational Assistance Plan Counsellors. Christianity and Social Work.

Csiernik, R., Forchuk, C., Buccieri, K., Richardson, J., Rudnick, H., Warner, L. & Wright, A. (2017). Substance use of homeless and precariously housed youth in a Canadian context. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 1-15. 10.1007/s11469-016-9656-4

Yorke, J., Grant, S., & Csiernik, R. (2016). Horses and baseball: Social work’s cultivation of one’s ‘Third Eye’. Social Work Education, 35(7), 845-855. 10.1080/02615479.2016.1189526

Csiernik, R., Chaulk, P., McQuaid, S. & McKeon, K. (2015). Applying the logic model process to Employee Assistance Programming. Journal of Workplace Behavioural Health, 30(3), 306- 323.

Csiernik, R., Darnell, K. & Trotter, M. L. (2015). Perceptions of employee assistance counsellors: Dichotomous findings for a dichotomous field. Journal of Workplace Behavioural Health, 30(4), 344-362.

Lovarco, F., & Csiernik, R. (2015). School social workers’ use of solution-focused brief therapy with truant adolescent students. Canadian Social Work, 17 (1), 10-27.

Meier, A., Csiernik, R., Forchuk, C. & Warner, L. (2015). The Stigma Scale: A Canadian Perspective. Social Work Research, 39(4), 213-222.

Brideau, M., & Csiernik, R. (2014). How open is the meeting? Attending AA in a wheelchair. Journal of Groups in Addiction and Recovery, 9(1), 4-13.

Chechak, D., & Csiernik, R. (2014). Canadian perspectives on conceptualizing and responding to workplace violence. Journal of Workplace Behavioural Health, 29(1), 55-72.

Csiernik, R., Sharar, D., & Granberry, S. (2014). The Canadian national behavioral consortium industy profile of external EAP vendors. Journal of Workplace Behavioural Health, 29(3), 195- 209.


Csiernik, R. (2013). What We’ve Been Doing in Addiction Treatment and Why it Hasn’t Worked: So Now What? Outreach Workers Network, Thorold, Ontario, September 24.

Csiernik, R. (2013). The History of Addiction in Canada. Café Scientifique.  London, Lawson Health Research Institute, April 17.

Csiernik, R., & Brideau, M. (2012).  The Intersection of Addiction and Disability:  The Knowns and Unknowns.  Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Waterloo, Ontario, May 29.

Csiernik, R., & Didham, S. (2012). Trauma Exposure and the Social Work Practicum. Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Waterloo, Ontario, May 29

Csiernik, R. (2011). The State of the Nation in Employee and Family Assistance Programming.  Canadian EAP Association, National Teleconference, September 27.

Csiernik, R. (2010). Addiction and Mood Disorders. Mood Disorders: Evidence Supporting Treatment Modalities, London, October 29.

Csiernik, R. (2010). Spirituality and the social work practicum: Mediating the trauma of field work. International Conference on Spirituality and Social Work. Calgary, Alberta, June.