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Donna Murphy

Calgary Counsellor and Professional Social Worker

My Bio

I hold a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Dalhousie University in Halifax and registered with the Alberta College of Social Workers.  I also hold instructor certification in Primordial Sound Meditation from the Chopra Centre in California, yoga and adult education.

Over the past 15 years working in the field of social work I have seen people struggling navigating relationships such as those with spouses, children, families, friends, and colleagues.  Navigating a healthy relationship can complex mix of many factors such as communication, empathy, compassion and background influences.  The first step in bringing healthier relationships into our lives is to have a healthy relationship with ourselves through learning compassion, empathy and self awareness.  This is the foundation for improving our relationships with those we interact.

When many people hear “social worker” their minds often turn toward making a connection to child welfare.  While many social workers do in fact work in the field of child welfare, it is a misconception that social workers only work in this area.  In fact social workers operate in many areas including private counselling, health services, military, government, and not for profit centres, just to name a few.

My Philosophy

My approach integrates meditation, spirituality, mind/body connection and cognitive reshaping.

Life has its ebbs and flows.  We have been trained in our Western culture to assume that life needs to feel happy and good all the time.  We begin to believe that when our lives are in a period of down waves that we are not successful.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  Life is full of those times when it is good, stressful, joyful, fearful, uncertain and relaxing.  We can learn to bring all those experiences into our lives and not become overwhelmed by them.  Through various strategies and techniques we can learn to approach life in a more even manner.

Whatever is concerning you now in your life, know it is not hopeless and there is help to learning different ways of thinking and communicating.

Common Misconceptions about Social Work

People automatically assume that I work in the area of Child Welfare.

Often when I tell people that I am a social worker, they automatically assume that I work in the area of Child Welfare.  While many social workers are hired by government to conduct the work of child protection, social workers operate in many diverse areas.  Social workers can be seen in areas such as mine, private counselling, counselling for EFAP providers, social justice and community work, administrative and policy work, working with seniors in nursing homes, hospitals, mental health, just to name a few.  Just because you hear the individual is a social worker, don’t assume they work for child protection.

In order to receive counselling you need to see a psychologist or a psychiatrist.

Many people believe that in order to receive therapy you need to see a psychologist or psychiatrist.  Psychologists too provide counselling services which overlaps with social workers.  The profession of social work is influenced by two areas historically; the settlement house movement and the church.  These two streams formed what we know as the profession of social work.  The settlement house movement worked with organizations such as organized unions while the churches were providing more clinical work such as psychotherapy.  The two merged to become social work.

Social workers are bleeding hearts which is all you need to become one.

The reality is that social workers are highly trained in university settings and hold professional degrees such as Bachelor’s, Master’s Degree’s and Phd’s.  The field of social work has emerged in a unique manner to embrace many areas of social ills such as community activism, clinical work and in government settings.

Let’s take the next step and work together