Jan DeFehr, MSW, Ph.D.
Klinic Community Health Centre
545 Broadway Avenue
Jan DeFehr, PhD, is a counselor with the Klinic Community Health Centre Drop-In Counseling Program located in the diverse West Broadway neighborhood of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. A teaching hub for Family Therapy and Social Work students from two universities, Klinic’s counseling programs are most distinguished by the active presence of community volunteers, significantly more numerous than paid staff throughout the organization’s decades-long history. Jan joins fellow staff in mentoring new counseling practitioners in this client-centered learning context where each person—whether student, staff, client, or volunteer—is both learner and teacher. She is also in private practice.
Jan teaches university courses as a sessional instructor and facilitates workshops for healthcare and social service providers, in agency and conference settings, locally and internationally. As a practitioner educator and practicing counselor, Jan is passionate about shared social inquiry that honors and elicits the unique local resources and wisdom of each person, each relational network, culture, and community. Accepting the premise that dialogic engagement is inherently generative and transforming (Anderson, 1997), Jan encourages practitioners to respond compassionately and spontaneously in each inter-active moment, rather than encouraging counselors’ reliance on pre-figured interventions, expert-led strategies, and treatment formulations.
Her dissertation extends her sustained interest in reciprocity and mutual influence in human service work. Entitled, Transforming Encounters and Interactions: A Dialogical Inquiry into the Influence of Collaborative Therapy in the Lives of its Practitioners, this bi-lingual, inter-cultural work features the face-to-face conversation and journal writing of 14 Collaborative therapy colleagues from 6 countries. The project’s method adopts its Collaborative practitioner-members’ everyday dialogic methods of inquiry: Its developmental process is situationally-driven, unsystematic, propelled forward tentatively by the in-the-moment mutual, embodied responsivity of its participants. Jan has additionally earned an Associateship in piano performance from the Conservatory of Music, University of Toronto. All of her endeavors are enriched by her on-going participation in the arts.
Transitioning from PhD studies, Jan is currently writing for publication drawing directly on her dissertation work, and also venturing into a new collaborative writing project with four of her former students at the Inner City Social Work Program, University of Manitoba.