Engaging Difference: Healing Trauma Related to Race, Culture and Identity Using the Intercultural Development Curriculum and the Internal Family Systems Model


Deran Young, LCSW and Jory Agate, MDiv, LMHC


Live on Zoom



Monday August 17, Tuesday August 18, Wednesday August 19, 2020  
9:45 am to 3:45 pm on Monday and Tuesday; 9:45 am to 4 pm on Wednesday

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. Being an effective helper in this context is significantly challenging 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  cause harm. Join us for three 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 of helpers and clients
• enhance skills that improve overall mental health by healing traumatic effects of oppression and avoiding re-victimization
• 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 assess their abilities to navigate difference. Language and tools will be provided to grow clinical skills for interpersonal terrain that is complicated by difference. 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

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

Another approach for helping professionals to work more effectively in this realm is the Internal Family Systems model developed by Dr. Richard C. Schwartz. 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 them, limiting their world view and options for living justly. This model with be discussed and demonstrated as a tool to release legacy burdens related to race and oppression. Legacy burdens are created by current and historical socio-political-cultural contexts and get in the way of collaborative, connected relationships that are 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.  

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 community in which we will have time to sufficiently learn theory as well as interactively engage the material, apply what was learned, wrestle with concepts in action and reflect on our growing edges. Participants with a wide range of knowledge, personal and professional experiences will benefit from the workshop. No advanced training needed in IFS or the Intercultural Development Model to attend the event.


Individual Registration: $350, $330 early registration, received by 7/16/2020.
​Group Registration: $315 per person for groups of two or more, $300 per person early registration for groups of two or more, received by 7/16/2020. Groups must register and pay together to receive the discount.

Clinicians United, Black Therapists Rock and NEAFAST members as well as people working in Caring Together programs may access a discounted rate of $250 per person.
Please contact us for discount codes. No application is required.


For more information and to register, please click here.