Dr. Edward Rawana, C.Psych.
- M.A., Ph.D. (U. of Waterloo); C. Psych. (Ontario)
Spanning over four decades, Dr. Edward Rawana’s career in Psychology has been a continuous and colourful journey toward the subject he is most passionate about: strengths. He is highly active in exploring and promoting the assessment of psychological strengths and incorporating this information into practical methods that address issues of education, addiction, and mental health.
His broadly-based research and clinical interests have encompassed a variety of populations including youth in conflict with the law, and those exhibiting other challenging and potentially high-risk behaviours. Many organizations that address these types of challenges have benefitted from their consultations with Dr. Rawana. This research has also extended to working specifically with the Aboriginal population involving children, adolescents, and, more recently, adults.
To assist these efforts, Dr. Rawana co-created a psychometric tool called the Strengths Assessment Inventory (SAI) for children and adolescents which is featured on its own website at strengthassessment.ca and has attracted considerable attention from a wide range of professionals who also work with youth in varying capacities throughout Canada and internationally. There is also a working version of the SAI for adults, whose development is still in progress.
Dr. Rawana provides training and consultation to teachers, parents, and clinicians on the implementation of these strength-based methods, with an emphasis on providing a framework for utilizing strengths in addressing behavioural challenges in children and youth. As interest in the strengths-based perspective continues to build, so do Dr Rawana’s attempts to meet the needs of school boards and youth-oriented agencies. He continues to develop cooperative relationships to facilitate improvements in the emotional, social, behavioural, and academic functioning of students, children, and youth, including prized partnerships with several Northwestern Ontario school boards.
His work in the growing area of strengths involving children, adolescents, and their families has resulted in the authoring or co-authoring of over 30 academic and professional publications on the subject. This includes the foundational book Reshaping School Culture: Implementing a Strengths-Based Approach in Schools which lays out fundamental concepts of a strengths-based approach and its application within the educational system. His most recently co-authored book is a companion manual, Strengths and the Ontario Language Curriculum: Strengths-Based Lessons for Grades 4-6.
From the beginning of his career, Dr. Rawana’s research and publications have always been collaborative ventures involving other faculty members and graduate students. This deliberately inclusive approach has created numerous opportunities to engage in interdisciplinary undertakings with similarly oriented practitioners and academics, resulting in their collective efforts having impacted fields as diverse as Clinical Psychology, Social Work, Education, Nursing, and Medicine.
While foremost a child and adolescent psychologist, Dr. Rawana is also a professor with the Department of Psychology at Lakehead University as well as a professor at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. He also previously served as an associate professor at Lakehead. Prior to that role, as an adjunct professor, he was extensively involved in the supervision of Lakehead’s graduate psychology students, in enhancing their clinical and research skills, and in publishing articles. The university campus is also home to the Centre of Education and Research on Positive Youth Development (CERPYD) of which he has been the director since 2010.