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ICSWS 2009 - Penang, Malaysia Training Counselors for Social Justice and Multicultural Competence: Outcomes from National and International Outreach Projects.

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Presentation on theme: "ICSWS 2009 - Penang, Malaysia Training Counselors for Social Justice and Multicultural Competence: Outcomes from National and International Outreach Projects."— Presentation transcript:

1 ICSWS Penang, Malaysia Training Counselors for Social Justice and Multicultural Competence: Outcomes from National and International Outreach Projects Cirecie West-Olatunji Rachael D. Goodman University of Florida Gargi Roysircar-Sodowsky Antioch University New England

2 ICSWS Penang, Malaysia Presentation Agenda Culturally competent disaster response o Importance & Theoretical Basis o Seven-Step Training Model Case Illustrations Research Outcomes Future Projects Discussion

3 ICSWS Penang, Malaysia Culturally Competent Disaster Response (CCDR): Importance As disasters rise globally, there is an increasing need for counselors to respond to disasters worldwide (Walker, Wisner, Learning & Minear, 2005). Often, mental health providers are not adequately prepared to provide effective, culturally competent disaster response services Therefore, training programs are needed to prepare counselors for culturally competent disaster response (Arredondo et al., 1996; Goodman & West-Olatunji, in press; Kennedy, 2006; Pedersen & Ivey, 1993)

4 ICSWS Penang, Malaysia Culturally Competent Disaster Response: Theoretical Basis Critical Consciousness (Freire, 2000) is the ability to perceive oppression and to act against the oppressive elements in society. Action that is based on reflection, awareness, collaboration, and empowerment is liberating and humanizing for both service providers and communities.

5 ICSWS Penang, Malaysia CCDR Seven-Step Training Model (Goodman & West-Olatunji, in press) STEP 1 - Awareness: participants recognize that they bring their own biases into the environment STEP 2 - Respect: participants recognize that community members have equally valid realities and funds of knowledge STEP 3 - Context: participants acknowledge the sociopolitical context STEP 4 - Integration: participants integrate knowledge into clinical conceptualization STEP 5 - Empowerment: participants are able to appropriately intervene with empowerment as the goal STEP 6 - Praxis: participants formulate advocacy action STEP 7 - Transformation: participants integrate the experience into their own personal and professional identities

6 ICSWS Penang, Malaysia Disaster Response Case Illustrations 2006 Post-Katrina New Orleans During the 8-day deployment, participants provided disaster response counseling and consultation to teachers and school personnel Location: K-8 Charter school

7 ICSWS Penang, Malaysia Disaster Response Case Illustrations 2007 South Africa and Botswana During the 23-day deployment, participants provided direct clinical services, training, and consultation/supervision Locations: Schools and community agencies (HIV/AIDS, crisis response, domestic violence)

8 ICSWS Penang, Malaysia Applying the Seven-Step CCDR Model STEP 1 - Awareness: Application process (short answer and inventories) and pre- outreach training focused on awareness of culture and cultural biases STEP 2 - Respect: Tours of important sites by community informants illuminated community members’ funds of knowledge and were embedded in the deployment

9 ICSWS Penang, Malaysia Applying the Seven-Step CCDR Model STEP 3 - Context: Training, readings, and tours furthered the participants’ understanding of the socio-political context STEP 4 - Integration: Supervision and group process allowed participants to integrate new knowledge into clinical conceptualization

10 ICSWS Penang, Malaysia Applying the Seven-Step CCDR Model STEP 5 – Empowerment: With live supervision and group process, participants were able to intervene with community members not in a humanitarian way, but in a humanizing way STEP 6 – Praxis: From this humanizing perspective, participants encouraged the formulation of advocacy action – whereby community members make change within their own system

11 ICSWS Penang, Malaysia Applying the Seven-Step CCDR Model STEP 7 - Transformation: Daily written reflection and summative whole group process enabled participants to integrate authenticity, cultural awareness, respect, and love

12 ICSWS Penang, Malaysia Research Design Research Methodology: o Culture-centered: transformation, liberation, and praxis (King & Mitchell, 1995; Tillman, 2002) Participants: 14 counseling/psychology graduate students (7 from each trip) Data sources: (1) application information, (2) inventories, (3) daily journals Data analysis: thematic analysis, NVIV0 2.0

13 ICSWS Penang, Malaysia Research Outcomes Participants developed o The ability to work collaboratively with the community o Greater cultural competence, awareness, and self knowledge o Increased sense of agency and social justice Participants experienced o Psychological healing o The importance of mentoring, group cohesion, and self- care

14 Culture-centered Interventions ICSWS Penang, Malaysia Build on existing knowledge within the client’s worldviews Maintain client empowerment and agency Demonstrate reciprocity in the transformation process Honor the historical and contextual forms of healing within the client’s familial and community networks

15 ICSWS Penang, Malaysia Significance of Research: Pyramid of Critical Consciousness Development for CCDR (Goodman & West-Olatunji, in press) From “Applying critical consciousness: Culturally competent disaster response outcomes,” by R. D. Goodman & C. A. West-Olatunji, in press, Journal of Counseling & Development. Adapted with permission of the author.

16 ICSWS Penang, Malaysia Discussion There is a need to increase cultural competence among mental health service providers in order to provide more expedient and effective service delivery to disaster survivors Clinical training needs to include more emphasis on social justice and advocacy skills, especially in relation to disaster response Clinical researchers must provide more examples of culture- centered counseling techniques that can be employed with culturally diverse individuals Future research in this area should focus on the identification of assessment tools that aid in the selection of disaster mental health responders for best fit.

17 ICSWS Penang, Malaysia Future Research Forming interdisciplinary outreach teams Using outreach as a component of training in counselor education programs Identifying how engaging in outreach impacts traditional or non-outreach counseling practice Developing assessments and interventions for communities and individuals experiencing systemic oppression and transgenerational trauma, in the context of disaster (Goodman & West-Olatunji, 2008)

18 ICSWS Penang, Malaysia Future Projects: Southern Africa 2009 Conference to be held at the University of Botswana, Gaborone, July 8-11, 2009 o Ten-day package for conference and historical tour of South Africa & Botswana July 3-12, 2009 Call for conference proposals open until January 21, 2009 Outreach participants will return to agencies for continued partnership (now closed) Visit for more information

19 ICSWS Penang, Malaysia Selected References Freire, P. (2000). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Continuum International Publishing Group, Inc. Goodman, R. D., & West-Olatunji, C. A. (in press). Applying critical consciousness: Culturally competent disaster response outcomes. Journal of Counseling & Development. Goodman, R. D., & West-Olatunji, C. A. (2008). Transgenerational trauma and resilience: Improving mental health counseling for survivors on Hurricane Katrina. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 30, 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, 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,

20 ICSWS Penang, Malaysia Contact Information Rachael D. Goodman, M.Ed., Ed.S Doctoral Candidate Department of Counselor Education College of Education University of Florida Gargi Roysircar-Sodowsky, Ph. D. Professor Department of Clinical Psychology Antioch University New England 40 Avon Street Keene, NH Cirecie A. West-Olatunji, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Counselor Education College of Education University of Florida 1204 Norman Hall PO Box Gainesville, FL USA


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