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Diana Coholic

Diana Coholic

Full Professor

Sudbury Campus


Diana obtained her Ph.D. at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and her M.S.W. degree at the University of Toronto. Diana is a practicing clinical social worker with 25+ years of experience, and she has been involved with the local chapter of the Ontario Association of Social Workers since 2005. At Laurentian University (LU), she is a core member of the research group ECHO - Evaluating Children's Health Outcomes. She is also the SSHRC Leader for LU. 

Diana's research investigates the effectiveness of arts-based mindfulness group work for the improvement of resilience and self-concept particularly in marginalized children and youth. The 12-week arts-based mindfulness group program she and her team have developed is called Holistic Arts-Based Program (HAP). HAP helps youth improve their mood and self-esteem, and develop better coping skills and relationships through the enjoyable experience of creative group work. A session by session ouline of HAP can be found in Diana's book: Facilitating Mindfulness: A Guide for Human Service Professionals. More information (including videos) can be found on her research website: 

This fall, 2021, Diana will begin a new 4-year research project that is supporting us to facilitate HAP in schools across Sudbury, the northeast region, and Grey Bruce County. This research is funded by SSHRC. 

For almost six years, Diana was the Academic Director for the Northern Ontario Region of the YouthREX project that has a mission to make "research evidence and evaluation accessible and relevant to Ontario’s youth sector through knowledge mobilization, capacity building and evaluation leadership." 


  • Ph.D., University of New South Wales
  • M.S.W., University of Toronto
  • B.A., University of Guelph

On The Web

Article in The Conversation, January 12, 2020: Visual Arts Helps Marginalized Youth Learn Mindfulness and Self-Compassion

Research Website


Diana's current research investigates the effectiveness of arts-based/mindfulness-based group work. Her research interests include group work, holistic practices, and strengths-based approaches.  Diana has supervised graduate students in the areas of mindfulness, arts-based group work, Aboriginal girls and resilience, various social work practices, vicarious trauma, gender, and mental health.


  • Faculty of Health Excellence in Research Award (2018-2019)


  • Coholic, D., Schwabe, N., & Lander, K. (2020). A scoping review of arts-based mindfulness interventions for children and youth. Child & Adolescent Social Work Journal,  (Open Access)

  • Coholic, D. (2019). Facilitating Mindfulness: A Guide for Human Service Professionals. Whitby, ON: Northrose Educational Resources.  See: 

  • Coholic, D., Dano, K., Sindori, S., & Eys, M. (Feb 4, 2019). Group work in mindfulness-based interventions with youth: A scoping review [Special issue]. Social Work with Groups.

  • Coholic, D., Schinke, R., Oghene, O., Dano, K., Jago, M., McAlister, H., & Grynspan, P. (Feb 12, 2019). Arts-based interventions for youth with mental health challenges. Journal of Social Work.

  • Coholic, D., Eys, M., McAlister, H., Sugeng, S., & Smith, D. (2018). A mixed method pilot study exploring the benefits of an arts-based mindfulness group intervention with adults experiencing anxiety and depression. Social Work in Mental Health, 16 (5), 556-572doi: 10.1080/15332985.2018.1449774