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Wednesday, September 9 • 1:30pm - 2:30pm
Cultural Responsiveness, Humility, and Social Justice in the Training of School Practitioners

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Now more than ever, we must continue to increase school mental health therapists’ understanding of cultural humility and social justice in order to support their effectiveness as practitioners in a diverse, multi-cultural world. This remains so even in the context of current tumultuous times. By understanding the role of culture as it shapes the school mental health practitioner’s own perceptions, this presentation offers attendees an opportunity to increase their awareness of their own cultural views and social justice. Such clarity about one’s own culture-informed reality, combined with a genuine curiosity and openness to the experience of others, enables a practitioner to more accurately and empathically understand the emotional lives, values, rituals, family structure, traditions, spiritual precepts and aspirations of clients from different, as well as similar, cultural backgrounds. The presentation underlines commitments for practitioners in schools examining racial, class, cultural, ethnic, gender, sexual identity issues, etc. within the context of institutionalized racism, sexism, and economic inequality, exploring the psychological impact of privilege and oppression and reasserting social justice. As a result of this presentation, the attendee will be able to understand culturally responsive therapeutic approaches via a stance of cultural humility. The dynamic, engaging presentation will provide examples of readings and discussions, film presentations, experiential exercises, experiences in the field, and interpersonal dialogues among attendees.

As a result of this presentation, attendees will be able to:
1. Speak with greater awareness about their own culturally contextualized perceptions, assumptions and experiences, including the effects of privilege and oppression and the need for social justice to increase equity in schools;
2. Become more aware and familiar with other racial/cultural groups from which they were previously less aware, learning from the experience and articulating it;
3. Utilize empathic listening, open-ended questions, genuine interest and authentic curiosity in building a better understanding of the cultural realities and life experiences of those they work with in schools from different and similar cultures;
4. Honestly and open-heartedly discuss the historical and current realities of privilege and oppression, with members of the dominant culture and with members of oppressed groups, demonstrating an understanding of the psychological consequences of both privilege and oppression in the context of current times;
5. Appreciate knowledge of traditional healing modalities and spiritual practice of one non-dominant culture, and be able to discuss possible ways these practices can be integrated into the modern practice of psychotherapy in school contexts;
6. Apply the knowledge acquired from the presentation for more effectively working with students in schools with various cultural backgrounds.
7. Articulate an understanding cultural humility and social justice as they relate to cross-cultural issues for school children, adolescents and families in therapy.

As noted above, this dynamic, multi-modal presentation will include reading audience engagement, film clip presentations, experiential exercises, and interpersonal discussions of issues between and among attendees. The issues and subject matter of this presentation encompasses a range of topics with emotional responses. The intention is to create an environment conducive to sharing experiences and ideas. Respect and accountability are two essential qualities in creating such an environment. Collective learning agreements will be reviewed supporting the learning process.


Matthew R.

Professor of Counseling Psychology, John F. Kennedy University
Matthew R. Mock, Ph.D. has led dynamic courses, workshops and presentations on the relevance of social justice, community mental health, cultural competence, ethnicity and multiculturalism in psychotherapy locally, throughout California, nationally and internationally. He is currently... Read More →

Wednesday September 9, 2020 1:30pm - 2:30pm PDT
  Cultural Responsiveness
  • slug cultural-responsiveness-humility-and-social-justice-in-the-training-of-school-practitioners