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ACA 2007 Convention - Detroit Responding to Hurricane Katrina: Using Critical Consciousness for Cultural Competence Dr. Cirecie West-Olatunji Rachael Goodman.

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Presentation on theme: "ACA 2007 Convention - Detroit Responding to Hurricane Katrina: Using Critical Consciousness for Cultural Competence Dr. Cirecie West-Olatunji Rachael Goodman."— Presentation transcript:

1 ACA 2007 Convention - Detroit Responding to Hurricane Katrina: Using Critical Consciousness for Cultural Competence Dr. Cirecie West-Olatunji Rachael Goodman University of Florida

2 ACA 2007 Convention - Detroit When and Where we Entered Red Cross Disaster Mental Health response SAMHSA deployment Florida Alternative Breaks (FAB) Organized service Teaching for critical consciousness Outreach, Advocacy, Cultural Competence

3 ACA 2007 Convention - Detroit Problem Statement Disasters are increasing worldwide (Walker, Wisner, Learning & Minear, 2005). Post-Katrina, it is projected that counseling services will be needed over the next 5-10 years (Waugh, 2006; Yule, Bolton, Udwin, Boyle, O'Ryan & Nurrish, 2000). There is a dearth of mental professionals in the Gulf Coast area (Berggren & Curiel, 2006). Disaster mental health providers are not adequately prepared (Kennedy, 2006). Adequate preparation must include cultural competence (Halpern & Tramontin, 2007).

4 ACA 2007 Convention - Detroit Critical Consciousness …is the ability to perceive oppression and to act against the oppressive elements in society (Freire, 2000) Seven steps for assessing and developing critical consciousness in disaster response

5 ACA 2007 Convention - Detroit Rubric for Assessing Critical Consciousness in Disaster Response Critical Consciousness Principle Disaster Response Outreach Protocol STEP 1 - Awareness: participants recognize that they bring their own biases into the environment The application process included: short answer items, essay, inventories, and orientation STEP 2 - Respect: participants recognize that community members have equally valid realities and funds of knowledge Participants were provided with a six-hour tour led by an informant from the community.

6 ACA 2007 Convention - Detroit Rubric for Assessing Critical Consciousness in Disaster Response Critical Consciousness Principle Disaster Response Outreach Protocol STEP 3 - Context: participants acknowledge the sociopolitical context Participants were provided with readings in the training packet discussing sociopolitical context. Participants engaged in process sessions in which the clinical supervisor facilitated discussions that incorporated sociopolitical context.

7 ACA 2007 Convention - Detroit Rubric for Assessing Critical Consciousness in Disaster Response Critical Consciousness Principle Disaster Response Outreach Protocol STEP 4 - Integration: participants integrate knowledge into clinical conceptualization. Participants were provided with live supervision and daily process sessions by the clinical supervisor. STEP 5 - Empowerment: participants are able to appropriately intervene with empowerment as the goal Participants were provided with live supervision, daily process sessions, and clinical modeling by the clinical supervisor.

8 ACA 2007 Convention - Detroit Rubric for Assessing Critical Consciousness in Disaster Response Critical Consciousness Principle Disaster Response Outreach Protocol STEP 6 - Praxis: participants formulate advocacy action The clinical supervisor reinforced prolonged engagement; commitment to community empowerment; and social justice STEP 7 - Transformation: participants integrate the experience into their own personal and professional identities Daily written reflection that culminated in summative whole group process

9 ACA 2007 Convention - Detroit Literature Review There is a dearth of counseling scholarship on disasters and disaster response. It is critical that mental health disaster response workers have cultural competence (Halpern & Tramontin, 2007).

10 ACA 2007 Convention - Detroit Culture-Centered Disaster Response Culture-centered disaster response is critical for: o Understanding unique experiences, including historical trauma, oppression, and race-related stressors (Cross, 1998; Harrell, 2000; Roysircar, 2004; Ruef, Litz & Schlenger, 2000) Developing effective interventions (Pedersen & Ivey, 1993)

11 ACA 2007 Convention - Detroit Research Design Culture-centered research methodology: transformation, liberation, and praxis (King & Mitchell, 1995; Tillman, 2002) Participants: seven female master’s-level students Data sources: (1) application information, (2) inventories, (3) daily journals Data analysis: thematic analysis, NVIV0 2.0

12 ACA 2007 Convention - Detroit Results Critical Consciousness Cultural Competence Meta- Knowledge Group Cohesion Mentoring Transformation & Self-Care

13 ACA 2007 Convention - Detroit Meta-Knowledge: Group Cohesion “[I]t is important for group cohesion, for at least one member to push the group by trusting. I found that it was because I was willing to trust my peers at dinner by opening up to what was currently taking place in my life that triggered the other members to engage in opening up.” “It really put the exclamation point on unity that transcended this group bonding at a profound level.” “There have been many times that we have leaned on each other, and other times where we wanted and needed to stand alone. We have been there for each, a week before, close to perfect strangers, now having shared intimate thoughts and feelings with each other.”

14 ACA 2007 Convention - Detroit Meta-Knowledge: Mentoring “It was really helpful to hear how Dr. XXXX had modeled for different group members and how she would handle different discussions. It felt like we were getting to learn from her example in real life in the setting not just in stories.” “If each is trained in different areas than individuals within the group can use each other as resources.” “What an amazing experience to be able to practice this work with others wanting to counsel in the same way AND to have a professor working with us as a mentor in learning how it is done IN the actual community setting. How powerful!”

15 ACA 2007 Convention - Detroit Meta-Knowledge: Transformation “I truly feel like a different person.” “This was an incredibly moving experience that I am sure will be in my mind for a long time coming. I personally have grown as a counselor, student, and person. I have been impacted in a way that is hard to talk about without tears coming to eyes. I feel like I have had a sip of water after a long day and only want more.” “It is funny to look back at the anxiety and uncertainty I had at the beginning of the trip and how much better I feel now.” “I see now that this is not merely imagination. It is my vision. It is my intuition. It is a deep one.” Another echoed the theme of self-confidence and fortitude for herself as a professional, stating, “it gave me hope for myself. I’ll take it on as a challenge to be the best practicing psychologist/counselor that I can be.”

16 ACA 2007 Convention - Detroit Meta-Knowledge: Self-Care “When throwing ourselves in such situations like today, it is absolutely necessary to have boundaries and keep your own self- cares methods in tact and on the forefront, as they are easily put behind us often. Sometimes when in a large group, people including myself feel guilty for wanting to take time alone and by themselves. I think this idea of separateness and togetherness is essential to understand before embarking on a trip like the one we are on. By having clear boundaries and permission to be alone we allow ourselves to fully process and come full circle with our thoughts and ideas.”

17 ACA 2007 Convention - Detroit Meta-Knowledge: Self-Care “I realized that it was a smart and awesome decision for her to do what she really needed. She was putting herself first at a time that it was very difficult to do so.” “How powerful that was for me to learn through trusting my feelings and taking care of myself (self care) that it ultimately translates and benefits any counseling experience.” “[W]e have to take care of ourselves first, and that's what I really needed; to shut down and get back down to rock bottom, so I can climb back up again.” “[W]e had discussed the importance of promoting self care for counseling professionals. The focus was on meeting the needs of the counselor first, in order for them to achieve the level of presence needed to engage in crisis/trauma counseling.”

18 ACA 2007 Convention - Detroit Critical Consciousness “As I looked at the fully-attentive, packed room I saw resiliency.” “The room was electrifying and you could feel that this community would be alright and was well on its way to its rebirth. Once again, we did not take over the spotlight, but just joined in by handing out flyers with useful resources for parents during the meeting.” “So if we were using a metaphor of a light bulb turning on above your head when something clicks, then today can only be described as the most beautiful explosion of fireworks on the fourth of July.”

19 ACA 2007 Convention - Detroit Critical Consciousness cont. “One side of the argument would point out that it is unfair to generalize all individuals and pair them together solely based on previous shared experiences. On the other hand, [this teacher] may have really been the best option for teaching these children who had been relocated. There are many more points that can be made, I am sure.” “It just made me realize that, when talking to people, in therapy or in general, there is so much more behind what people say on a surface level, and a great deal of introspection is required in order to even understand the basics.” “One week in New Orleans has changed my outlook as a person and as a professional. I came on this trip as a student, counselor, and woman, but those words have been redefined. I like the idea that we change out pieces of ourselves through our experiences in life, and I know I have taken something new with me and left a part of me behind.”

20 ACA 2007 Convention - Detroit Cultural Competence “It is important to recognize that there is an external locus of control in this disaster and that context of the culture. Their strong belief system was beneficial. Individuals might be reluctant to ask for help for fear of burdening others that are grieving.” “I also liked that it was something that was Afrocentrically driven and allowed all of us to share in a new cultural experience to end what has been truly a culturally driven week.” “When we arrived at the school, we were laid back and tried to fit in within their own system, instead of forcing them to adjust to our own.” “It gives new meaning to being appreciative and thankful to know one is mindful of the context of the culture one is entering. Culture centered-community based counseling is not only one of the most well received approaches, I was surprised how brief it can be, and how beneficial it can be to counselors.”

21 ACA 2007 Convention - Detroit Significance Meta-Knowledge: constructed through dialectical engagement Critical Consciousness Pre-critical Consciousness Reflection & Self-Awareness Group CohesionTransformation & Self-Care Mentoring Culturally Competent Disaster Response

22 ACA 2007 Convention - Detroit Further Investigation Is Needed To… 1.ascertain how outreach can be done across disciplines and with multidisciplinary teams, 2.determine how to account for differences in disasters (national/international, natural/human-made) 3.determine how outcomes can be duplicated or enhanced, 4.develop more ways to assess for and increase cultural competence, and 5.establish culturally competent disaster response protocols.

23 ACA 2007 Convention - Detroit Post-script Group continues to meet and support one another Individuals are engaging in leadership roles An outreach to South Africa and Botswana was developed Individuals are engaging in research

24 ACA 2007 Convention - Detroit Selected References Cross, W. E. (1998). Black psychological functioning and the legacy of slavery. In Y. Danieli (Ed.), International handbook of multigenerational legacies of trauma (pp ). New York: Plenum Press. Halpern, J., & Tramontin, M. (2007). Disaster mental health: Theory and practice. Belmont: CA. Thompson Brooks/Cole. Harrell, S. P. (2000). A multidimensional conceptualization of racism- related stress: Implications for the well-being of people of color. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 70, Kennedy, A. (2006, July). When disaster strikes. Counseling Today, *, *. King, J. E. & Mitchell, C. A. (1995). Black mothers to sons: Juxtaposing African American literature with social practice. New York: Peter Lang Publishing. Pedersen, P. B., & Ivey, A. (1993). Culture-centered counseling and interviewing skills: A practical guide. Westport, CT: Praeger.

25 ACA 2007 Convention - Detroit Selected References cont. Roysircar, G. (2004). Child survivor of war: A case study. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 32, Ruef, A. M., Litz, B. T., & Schlenger, W. E. (2000). Hispanic ethnicity and risk for combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 6, Tillman, L. C. (2002). Culturally sensitive research approaches: An African- American perspective. Educational Researcher, 31:9, 3-12 Walker, P., Wisner, B., Learning, J, & Minear, L. (2005). Smoke and mirrors: Deficiencies in disaster funding. British Medical Journal, 330, Waugh, W. L. (2006). The political costs of failure in the Katrina and Rita disasters. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 604, Yule, W., Bolton, D., Udwin, O., Boyle, S., O’Ryan, D., & Nurrish, J. (2000). The long-term psychological effects of a disaster experienced in adolescence: I : The incidence and course of PTSD. The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, 41,

26 ACA 2007 Convention - Detroit Q & A

27 ACA 2007 Convention - Detroit Contact Information Cirecie A. West-Olatunji, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Department of Counselor Education College of Education University of Florida 1204 Norman Hall POBox Gainesville, FL (352) x-235 (352) (fax) Rachael D. Goodman, Ed.S. Doctoral Student Department of Counselor Education College of Education University of Florida 1204 Norman Hall, POBox Gainesville, FL (214) (352) (fax)


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