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Culture in Counselling and Psychotherapy - With Dr George MacDonald
Fri 21 April 2017, 09:30 – 16:00 BST
This is the repeat of a one day workshop on 'Culture in counselling and psychotherapy that was previously run in April 2016. It promotes the idea of culture as a rich, diverse and universal human phenomenon. And it looks at ways in which culture can be seen as a positive resource in therapy rather that an obstacle. The day is based on George's doctoral research on the subject.
Most approaches to culture in counselling and psychotherapy view it through the lenses of reductionist categories like race, class or sexuality. These have unquestionable validity, both politically and therapeutically. They promote sensitivity and increase understanding of difference. However, they can also lead culture to be seen as an obstacle; and to unhelpful avoidance, excessive political correctness and thought paralysis (Dalal, 2012). They can blind us to other, equally important, dimensions of differences; and encourage assumptions that are inaccurate, unhelpful and judgemental. Above all, in therapy, they can lead to a loss of the individuality of the client. There is a need for a theoretical approach that is more appropriate to an increasingly diverse multicultural society; with increasing access to technologies of travel, communication and infomation processing. And there is a need for an aproach to practice that is more person-centred, individualistic and democratic. And one that avoids stigmatising minorities, while granting the possibility of a cultural identity to members of the assumed majority.
Overview of the day
The perspectives used are phenomenology, psychoanalysis and social constructionism. However the findings are widely applicable across all approaches to therapy. The ideas will be illustrated with video, with research and clinical data, and experientially in the group.
The morning will be concerned with the basis ideas of cultural identity, culture as a resource and personal culture. It will then look at the importance of personal factors and the way in which culture comes to represent and symbolise belongingness and growth. In the afternoon attention will move to the implications for therapy and touch on wider application to the understanding of radicalisation and fundamentalism. The workshop will be of interest to all counsellors and psychotherapists, especially those with a particular interest in culture. It may also be of interest to researchers in the field of culture.
Dr George MacDonald is a BACP accredited counsellor and psychotherapist, who works in private practice and volunteers with a number of agencies. He has diplomas in Counselling and Groupwork practice, an MSc in psychology and counselling and a Professional Doctorate in counselling from the University of Manchester. His research topic was ‘Culture as a positive resource in therapy’. His experience was gained in a variety of settings, including primary and tertiary care in the NHS. Although his initial training, and most of his current practice is integrative, he has strong psychoanalytic roots. He has trained in group psychotherapy and is an associate member of the Institute of Group Analysis.
George was born and brought up in Scotland. Prior to training, he worked as a manager and management counsultant. For ten years his main home was in Belgium and he travelled internationally. He now lives in Stockort and together with Jonathan Lloyd he set up Mindsite.
The cost is £90 per delegate. For registrations made before 24th February 2017, there will be an 'early bird' rate of £80. After this date, we will maintain the 'early bird' rate for groups of three or more who book and pay together.