Susan Cape is a 2nd year PhD student at McMaster University in the School of Social Work. She received her SSW diploma from Mohawk college in 2004 and after working in the social service field for many years, completed a B.A in Human Services from Athabasca University in 2016, and an M.A in Gender Studies and Feminist research from McMaster University before pursuing doctoral studies. While Susan has worked in various non-profit environments, she spent most of her career working in women’s services in the area of addiction and mental health. Her therapeutic training in trauma informed care and feminist counselling has led her to question traditional forms of service delivery informed by the medical model which has been foundational to her research and practice. Susan now operates her own private practice (Mending Minds) in the Hamilton community and has developed/facilitates a local support group for migraine patients.
Susan’s research seeks to explore – from the standpoint of women diagnosed with migraine – how diagnoses and treatments are socially organized within clinical medical settings in Ontario. Her research sets out to explicate in detail how frontline care practices are connected to institutional systems and the influences those systems – in turn – have on care. Her hope is that uncovering these processes contributes to our understanding of how to improve care for patients with chronic, difficult to treat and often contested illnesses.