Annemarie Gockel, M.S.W., Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Office: Lilly Hall
Phone: 413-585-7957
Pronouns: she/her

Annemarie Gockel headshot

B.A., Concordia University  
M.S.W., University of Toronto  
Ph.D., University of British Columbia

Selected works in Smith ScholarWorks


Annemarie Gockel’s research centers on enhancing clinical intervention, clinical training, individual healing and growth.

In her work with clients, Gockel is always struck by their courage and capacity to move towards growth even in the most challenging circumstances. Although we gather client feedback in community services, we rarely ask clients directly about what is most helpful to them and integrate this feedback into the design of our core interventions. This is particularly true for the clients who are most frequently marginalized. In her work, Gockel is interested in ensuring that we count client voices in so that our interventions can better respond to their needs. In collaboration with colleagues, she explored what we can learn from client perspectives in women’s addiction treatment, with mothers in a child welfare parenting intervention and for spiritually-engaged clients seeking counseling services that respond to their needs.

As Gockel explored client perspectives, she learned that clients sometimes feel like they can’t bring all of themselves to counseling and that this gets in the way of healing. She developed an interest in mindfulness and somatic strategies because they provide an approach for integrating the whole person in the intervention process and building on their innate wisdom and capacity for healing. In collaboration with colleagues, she investigated the benefits of spiritual coping and/or mindfulness and somatic strategies with children, with adults and with groups. As an educator, Gockel started to help social work students and practitioners explore the potential of mindfulness in their own lives and draw on mindfulness strategies to enhance their ability to be responsive to client needs. Her most recent work has focused on bringing contemplative strategies to fostering dialogue and deepening understanding of the ways that oppression shapes our day-to-day experiences in service of moving towards greater freedom and justice.

Gockel teaches foundational courses in the practice sequence, as well as a mindfulness elective.

Selected Publications

Kimmell, A., & Gockel, A. (in press). Embodied connections: Engaging the body in group work. Qualitative Social Work.

Gockel, A., & Deng, X. (2016). Mindfulness training as social work pedagogy: Exploring benefits, challenges, and issues for consideration in integrating mindfulness into social work education. Journal of Religion & Spirituality in Social Work: Social Thought, 35, 222-244.

Gockel, A. (2015). Teaching Note-Practicing Presence: A curriculum for integrating mindfulness training into direct practice instruction. Journal of Social Work Education, 51, 682-690. doi: 10.1080/10437797.2015.1076275

Gockel, A., & Burton, D. (2014). An evaluation of pre-practicum helping skills training for graduate social work students. Journal of Social Work Education, 50, 101-119. doi: 10.1080/10437797.2014.856234

Gockel, A. & Burton, D. (2013). Can God help? Religion among adolescent male sex offenders. Journal of Child and Adolescent Trauma. 6, 274-286. doi: 10.1080/19361521.2013.836584

Gockel, A. (2013). Telling the ultimate tale: The merits of narrative research in the psychology of religion. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 10, 189-203. doi:10.1080/14780887.2011.616622

Gockel, A., Cain, T., Malove, S., & James, S. (2013). Mindfulness as clinical training: Student perspectives on the utility of mindfulness training in fostering clinical intervention skills. Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Social Work: Social Thought, 32, 36-59. doi: 10.1080/15426432.2013.749146

Gockel, A. (2011). Client perspectives on spirituality in the therapeutic relationship. Humanistic Psychologist, 39, 154-168. doi: 10.1080/08873267.2011.564959

Gockel, A. (2010). The promise of mindfulness for clinical practice education. Smith College Studies in Social Work, 80, 248-268. doi: 10.1080/00377311003784184

Gockel, A. (2009). Spirituality and the process of healing: A narrative study. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 19, 217-230. doi:10.1080/10508610903143248

Russell, M., Harris, B. & Gockel, A. (2008). Canadian lone mothers describe parenting needs: European solutions explored. Canadian Social Work Review, 25, 169-185

Gockel, A., Russell, M., & Harris, B. (2008). Recreating family: Parents identify worker-client relationships as paramount in family preservation programs. Child Welfare Journal, 87(6), 91-113

Russell, M., Harris, B., & Gockel, A. (2008). Parenting in poverty: Perceptions of high risk parents. Journal of Children and Poverty, 14, 82-98

Harris, B., Russell, M., & Gockel, A. (2007). The impact of poverty on First Nations mothers attending a parenting program. First Peoples Child and Family Review, 3 (3), 21-30

Russell, M., Gockel, A., & Harris, B. (2007). Parent perspectives on intensive intervention for child maltreatment. Child & Adolescent Social Work Journal, 24, 101-120. doi:10.1007/s10560-006-0068-3

Russell, M., & Gockel, A. (2005). Recovery processes in a treatment program for women. Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, 5(4), 27-46. doi:10.1300/J160v05n04