Thompson Rivers University

Natalie Clark

Name: Natalie Clark
Position: Full Professor


Dr. Clark currently holds the position of Full Professor and Co-Chair of the School of Social Work and Human Service at Thompson Rivers University. Natalie is also the Co-Chair of the Status of Women Committee for TRUFA. Natalie is also on faculty with BCIT (for over 15 years) where she teaches in the Business program, as well as the Justice Institute of BC (over 20 years) where she teaches courses in trauma and violence informed practices and addictions, and Indigenous trauma informed practices.

Natalie continues to practice as a clinical supervisor, educator and counsellor specializing in violence and trauma as well as a girls group facilitator for Indigenous girls. Natalie's practice, teaching, activism and research over the last 25 years has focused on healing from violence and trauma with children, youth and their families and communities and the coping responses to trauma and violence. She possesses over 25 years experience in the area of trauma and violence with a focus on healing and resistance, and coping responses including self-harming, substance use, disordered eating and other survival responses.

In carrying out her work, Natalie takes into consideration the impact of colonial and gendered policies on Indigenous children, youth, families and communities. Natalie's work is informed and mobilized through her interconnected identities including her Settler, Secwepemc and M??tis kinship, - as grandparent, auntie and parent of Secwepemc children, a solo-parent of three Indigenous children for 12 years; an activist and scholar and violence counsellor and as part of the Secwepemc community.

Natalie's interests are in the area of violence, trauma, youth health and wellness within an Indigenous and intersectional framework, girls groups and trauma and violence-informed practices in a variety of settings.

Research Interests

Natalie's research interests include Indigenous feminist methodologies and community based participatory research projects within intersectional frameworks. Her most recent research (2019) is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Indigenous Research Capacity and Reconciliation Connection Grant, The project, in partnership with Elder Minnie Kenoras and Indigenous faculty, community and girls, , Cu7 me7 qwelewu-kt, translates to Come on, lets go berry-picking, and is an intergenerational, land-based research program that expands upon a weekly girls group that currently operates in the Neskonlith community.


Natalie received her Bachelor of Social Work from UBC in 1990 and continued her academic studies to attain her Master of Social Work (UBC) with a focus on healing from abuse and trauma in 1992, followed by her PhD (SFU, 2018) with specialization in Secwepemc and Indigenous approaches to healing children and youth from violence. Natalie has extensive training in play therapy and sexual abuse counselling at the graduate level.


Recent publications see

Employment History

Dr. Clark returned to TRU in 2016 as an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work and Human Service. Prior to that she spent 4 years at UBC in the School of Social Work as Chair of Field Education and Assistant Professor. Natalie also worked for TRU from 2005 2013 as Instructor and Field Education Coordinator for the Human Service Program.

Natalie continues to teach at BCIT in the Business program and at the Justice Institute of BC.

Since completing her Master's in 1992 focusing on healing responses to sexual abuse, Natalie has practiced in the area of sexual abuse and trauma, youth addictions; child and youth mental health; family counselling and art and play therapy with children who have experienced child sexual abuse and trauma. Natalie has over 25 years of experience as a therapist working with trauma and in the area of youth health; including working in non-profit programs for over ten years and as a consultant and clinical supervisor. Natalie continues to practice counselling as a counsellor for First Nations Health Authority, Neskonlith Education Centre and provides clincial supervision in addition to supporting the development of Indigenous girls groups in the province of BC.
Natalie has also worked as a consultant with organizations such as Childrens' Hospital on youth issues and with a variety of other organizations and community groups provincially and federally on developing competencies, best practices and healthy relationships at all levels in our society.

Courses Taught

At TRU, I teach practice courses and special topics in abuse and trauma in addition to teaching field practice courses and groups. In my 4 years at UBC I taught both Master's and undergraduate courses in social work, in addition to directed readings courses on Indigenous trauma. In addition, I facilitate workshops for girls on topics including body image, anger and self-harming/depression. I also continue to teach at the Justice Institute of BC on topics of child sexual abuse and trauma; in addition to teaching online management courses through BCIT.

Professional Affiliations

Member of Canadian Association of Social Workers, and Registered Social Worker in addition to membership with the BC Play Therapy Association. .


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