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This workshop applies a critical race theory framework to psychotherapy that pertain to the experience of being black in the US, highlighting blind spots in clinical training that we as practitioners may have, regardless of our therapeutic orientation or personal demographics. Travis Albritton will provide theoretical and historical context to explain why this is the case. He will then apply this framework to help us rethink what we are asking of clients and how we understand their responses, including how to approach racialized issues, engage with our assumptions and discomfort, and extend these practices beyond the therapy session.


Travis J Albritton, MSW, MDiv, PhD is the Assistant Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Director of the Triangle Distance Education MSW Program; Faculty Liaison for the Dual Degree MSW/M.Div program and Clinical Associate Professor in the UNC School of Social Work. Dr. Albritton’s research focuses on critical race theory, diversity in higher education and improving educational outcomes for K-12 Black male students. Dr. Albritton teaches in the areas of human development, macro practice and diversity and social justice. Dr. Albritton has a passion for teaching and mentoring students and he has been recognized in the School of Social Work with the Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence, the UNC School of Social Work Excellence in Advising Award and the UNC School of Social Work Excellence in Teaching Award.



  • Abrams, L. S., & Moio, J. A. (2009). Critical race theory and the cultural competence dilemma in social work education. Journal of Social Work Education, 45(2), 245-261. doi:10.5175/JSWE.2009.200700109
  • Bartoli, E., Bentley-Edwards, K. L., García, A. M., Michael, A., & Ervin, A. (2015). What do white counselors and psychotherapists need to know about race? White racial socialization in counseling and psychotherapy training programs. Women and Therapy, 38(3-4), 246-262. doi:10.1080/02703149.2015.1059206
  • D’Arrigo‐Patrick, J., Hoff, C., Knudson‐Martin, C., & Tuttle, A. (2017). Navigating critical theory and postmodernism: Social justice and therapist power in family therapy. Family Process, 56(3), 574-588. doi:10.1111/famp.12236
  • Lee, E., & Bhuyan, R. (2013). Negotiating within whiteness in cross-cultural clinical encounters. Social Service Review, 87(1), 98-130. doi:10.1086/669919
  • Ramsay, N.J. (2014). Intersectionality: A model for addressing the complexity of oppression and privilege. Pastoral Psychology, 63 (4): 453–469.
  • Salmon, L. (2017). The Four Questions: A Framework for Integrating an Understanding of oppression dynamics in clinical work and supervision. In Allan, S.S.Poulsen (eds.), Creating Cultural Safety in Couple and Family Therapy (pp. 11-22). Springer, Cham. Doi:10.1007/978-3-319-64617-6_2
  • Walck, D. (2017). Enhancing clients’ perspectives and the therapeutic process by expanding our view of cultural wealth. International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling, 39(4), 395-404. doi:10.1007/s10447-017-9305-z

Handouts and Reference list


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