Responding to Diversity in Single Sessions

WORKSHOP: Responding to Diversity in Single Sessions - Attending to Social Justice

October 14, 2017

David Paré, Ph.D.

Exploring how to respond to diversity in ways that keep social justice at the centre of walk-in and single session therapy

Walk-in and single session therapy are becoming increasingly widespread because of their demonstrated usefulness for reducing waitlists, and for generating helpful conversations sooner, rather than later. The constrained time length often encourages focused exchanges that make a difference for people struggling with immediate concerns. At the same time, the pressure to “deliver” sometimes leads therapists to adopt an expert stance that inadvertently measures clients against normative standards. For people who have experienced marginalization as a consequence of their social location—around race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, and so on—this is more of the same, duplicating the social injustice they encounter on a daily basis.

This one-day workshop is devoted to exploring how to respond to diversity in ways that keep social justice at the centre of walk-in and single session therapy. This starts with attending to the social determinants of health that are shown to be strongly correlated with mental health outcomes-- social inequities that give rise to the problems clients bring to therapy. Keeping these in view leads to a practice that understands client initiatives—some of them seemingly small at first glance—in relation to the considerable challenges they are up against. This is a useful antidote to expert-oriented practice that frequently overlooks clients’ unique and diverse knowledge because of the focus on measuring people against arbitrary norms. This workshop is devoted to infusing walk-in and single session work with a social justice orientation that celebrates client ingenuity in the face of the many social inequities they face.

Participants will learn:
• The role of social determinants in population health and their relation to the issue of social justice in counselling and therapy
• The opportunities afforded by moving from an individualistic to a contextual view of persons and problems
• How normative ways of listening and responding discourage diversity
• Conversational practices for acknowledging diverse identities without “normative applause”
• How to craft questions that situate actions in context, highlighting initiatives in relation to challenges faced

Windz Institute
ROCK Reach Out Centre for Kids Centre of Learning 
504 Iroquois Shore Rd., Unit 12A, Oakville, ON

Regular Rate: $185 + HST

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