Amid the rapidly shifting cultural demographic in the United States, helping professionals need to be prepared to address the varying needs of a more diverse population. This raises the question of cultural “competence,” what it means, how achievable it is, and even if it is the goal. This workshop focuses on ways to help clinicians engage ethically in a process towards understanding the context of diverse clients and their needs, while also critically exploring one’s own biases. Using real-world examples and interactive discussion, participants will learn practical, relevant approaches to working with diverse populations through exploration of personal experiences, examination and evaluation of best practices for quality service provision, and discussion of intra-cultural diversity and its relevance to ethical practice. Participants should leave equipped to utilize a relevant decision-making model to ethically guide them in their work with diverse populations.
Karon F. Johnson, LCSW is a clinical faculty member at UNC Chapel Hill School of Social Work, where she oversees field practicum placements related to adult mental health and substance use, advises students, and teaches direct practice and field seminars. She is also in private practice in Durham, NC, in which she provides bilingual (Spanish) client-focused, strengths-based psychotherapy to diverse populations, with a focus on trauma, grief/loss, and transition. Her research interests include spirituality and social work, and the intersection of ethics and culturally relevant practice with clients. She provides trainings to mental health professionals as well as to law enforcement personnel and community partners. Prior to coming to UNC, she worked as an outpatient therapist, and with the Chapel Hill Police Department.
Learning objectives: At the conclusion of this workshop, participants will be able to:
- Identify and explore at least 1 core assumption that may influence ethical treatment;
- Discuss at least 2 strategies for ethical self-disclosure and use of self in work with diverse clients;
- Differentiate among at least 3 “best practices” for therapists from an intersectional perspective.
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