Engaging Difference: Meeting Race, Culture and Identity Effectively Using IFS and the Intercultural Development Curriculum


Deran Young, LCSW and Jory Agate, MDiv, LMHC


CHA Cambridge Hospital, Macht Auditorium
Cambridge, MA


Friday, June 14, 2019 - 9:00 am to 4:30 pm; Saturday, June 15, 2019 - 9:00 am to 4:45 pm


Research documents how systemic oppression creates significant physical and mental health care disparities in marginalized populations. The good news is that mental health professionals can minimize these negative effects by providing effective treatment for people who are neglected and exploited in our culture. The challenges of being an effective helper in this context are significant due to the ways we are socialized. In addition, the expectation to enact expertise in our roles gets in the way of needed cross cultural humility. This results in iatrogenic effects in which therapeutic relationships can inadvertently cause harm. Join us for two days that will help you work successfully with people whose shoes you have not walked in. We will:
define and explore how racism and other forms of structural oppression impact inner psychic systems 
enhance skills to approach clients in ways that improve overall mental health
learn ways to improve intercultural communication skills to increase clinical success

Participants will learn the Intercultural Development Continuum, a model developed by Mitchell Hammer to help assess their abilities to navigate difference. Applying this model will provide tools to grow and develop better clinical skills to use in complex interpersonal terrain. By understanding the stages of intercultural development, participants will:
reflect on their growing edges in intercultural communication so they can improve their therapeutic capacity and
identify the best approach to meet clients in ways that enhance abilities to be open and receptive rather than rigid and defensive as they encounter difference

Concepts that will be taught in nuanced ways include diversity, equity and inclusion, race, culture, bias, power and oppression. We will explore how cultural perspectives impact the communication and conflict styles we bring to our work as well as how to effectively connect when encountering differences in the clinical setting.

Another approach that will be used to help mental health professionals work more effectively in this realm is the Internal Family Systems model. IFS is a non-pathologizing therapeutic model that allows individuals to greet the parts of themselves that are reactive to issues involving racism and oppression with compassion and curiosity, so they can be helped, healed and released from stuck patterns of behavior that constrain their best intentions and limit their world view and options for living well. This model with be discussed and demonstrated as a tool to release legacy burdens related to race and oppression. These burdens are created by our socio-political-cultural context and get in the way of a collaborative, connected therapeutic position that is non-pathologizing, non-hierarchical and non-judgmental. When participants better understand legacy burdens and move beyond them, they will increase abilities to solve problems and heal wounds related to social injustices with their clients.  

This workshop will be a mixture of didactic teaching, interactive activities, small and large group discussion, and internal reflection. During the two days we will create a learning community in which we will have time to sufficiently learn theoretical material as well as to interactively engage the material, to apply what was learned, to wrestle with the concepts in action and to reflect on our growing edges.

Credits: 12 CEs


Individual Registration:  $280, $260 early registration, received by 5/14/2019.

Group Registration:  $250 per person for groups of two or more, $220 per person early registration for groups of two or more, received by 5/14/2019. Groups must register and pay together to receive the discount.

Clinicians United members, Black Therapists Rock members and people working in Caring Together programs may access a discounted rate of $190 per person.

Cancellations and Refunds:  Events may be cancelled by Therapy Training Boston if minimum enrollment requirements are not met. In this case, full fees will be refunded or applied to future programs. Otherwise, no refunds are provided for registrants. See detailed TTB policies.

Special Accommodations:  Please submit a written statement at least 30 days prior to the program to see if we can meet your needs.


For more information and to register, please click here.