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Dr. Michael Ungar

Michael Ungar, Ph.D., is both a family therapist and a Professor of Social Work at Dalhousie University, where he co-directs the Resilience Research Centre (RRC).

The RRC coordinates more than five million dollars in funded research in over a dozen countries. In recent years, Dr. Ungar has designed research and evaluation projects in collaboration with organizations ranging from The World Bank, The Red Cross, and the National Crime Prevention Centre, to SOS Children’s Villages, Big Brothers Big Sisters, northern Aboriginal communities and national public health agencies.

His research focuses on resilience among children, youth and families and how they survive adversity in culturally diverse ways. He has published over 180 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on this topic and is the author of 15 books. His books for researchers include The Social Ecology of and Youth with Complex Needs, Youth Resilience and Culture, The Social Ecology of Resilience, Resilience: A Handbook for Theory and Practice and Researching Resilience. Dr. Ungar has also published books designed for mental health professionals, such as Strengths-based Counselling with At-risk Youth, We Generation: Raising Socially Responsible Children and Teens and Too Safe For Their Own Good: How Risk and Responsibility Help Teens Thrive.

In addition to his research and writing, Dr. Ungar maintains a small family therapy practice in association with Phoenix Youth Programs, a prevention program for street youth and their families. He was the recipient of the 2012 Canadian Association of Social Workers National Distinguished Service Award, and his work has been featured in numerous magazines (Reader’s Digest, Body and Soul, Today’s Parent) and newspapers (Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, USA Today), Dr. Ungar has been recognized as the most cited Social Work writer in Canada. Among his many contributions to his community, Dr. Ungar co-chaired the Nova Scotia Mental Health and Addictions Strategy Advisory Committee and acts as an executive board member of the American Family Therapy Academy, as well as the Scientific Director of the Children and Youth in Challenging Contexts Network.

In the past ten years Dr. Ungar has made over 350 invited and peer-reviewed presentations to mental health professionals, parents and policymakers across North America, Europe, Africa, South America and Asia, including keynotes for organizations such as the International Family Therapy Association, The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and The International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect. His blog, “Nurturing Resilience,” is featured on the website of Psychology Today.

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