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Interculturality within the Supervisory Relationship

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A workshop for supervisors and supervisees, to explore interculturality within the supervisory relationship.

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Delivered by Baffour Ababio and Sega Habtom.

There have been many books, workshops and training program on psychotherapy and counselling across cultural and ‘racial’ borders since the publication of ‘intercultural therapy’ in the early 1990’s. However, its integration and application to the supervisory relationship is still at an early stage. Has supervision been slow in recognising, understanding, valuing diversity in race, culture and ethnicity? The integration of racial, cultural and diversity related issues in clinical supervision, is an essential component of clinical and teaching competence which has important implications for the provision of services to “minorities” and more broadly to better addressing the full realm of clients’ intrapsychic and interpersonal worlds. This is a one day workshop for supervisors and supervisees, to explore interculturality within the supervisory relationship.

The workshop will draw on Jafar Kareem’s widely cited definition of intercultural therapy with a very minor but significant revision in its relevance to the supervision relationship. Jafar’s definition as applied to supervision referenced below:

“A Form of dynamic psychotherapy (supervison) that takes into account the whole being of the patient (supervisor and supervisee) – not only the individual concepts and constructs as presented to the therapist (and supervisor), but also the patient’s (and supervisee’s and supervisor’s) communal life experience in the world – both past and present. The very fact of being from another culture involves both conscious and unconscious assumptions, both in the patient and the therapist (supervisor). I believe that for the successful outcome of therapy (and supervison) it is essential to address these conscious and unconscious assumptions from the beginning”.

The workshop will look at the experience of supervision from both angles; as a supervisee and as a supervisor. The group work will discuss and reflect on what a culturally competent supervision might look like. We know that any therapeutic work to be of benefit to both practitioner and client requires a good enough reflective space, provided through supervision to facilitate the process. It will do this through:

• An exploration of some comments made by supervisees on the difficulty of raising issues of difference in their supervision with their supervisors.

• A Look at embedded community stories, and how these tales might in the clinical setting enable dynamics of avoidance and collusion. Could supervision facilitate a working through?

• An examination of concepts of oppression, domination and privilege at play in the supervision space.

• Might external issues be very present in both spaces (therapy and supervision) and avoided or not recognised?

• Shame, anger, silence and its manifestations (physiologically or otherwise).

There will be an opportunity for participants to work on some of their own material from their practice and experience as supervisors and supervisees.

Baffour Ababio is a psychoanalytic intercultural psychotherapist and clinical supervisor in private practice and at Nafsiyat Intercultural Therapy Centre. Baffour completed his training at University College London and the Guild of psychotherapist and is a member of UKCP and BAPPS (British Association for Psychoanalytic and Psychodynamic Supervision). Alongside his clinical role Baffour developed a career in managing mental health services integrating a community based response to support recovery from a broad range of mental health problems.

Sega Habtom has over a decade’s worth of experience at Nafsiyat, working with clients with diverse and complex cases, including; sexual abuse, torture, domestic violence and asylum and refugee related issues. Sega qualified with an Advanced Diploma in Integrative Counselling, as well as a Post Graduate Certificate in Therapeutic Communication with Children at the University of East London. Sega speaks Arabic, English, Amharic, Tigre and Tigrinya.

* Please note, this training will now be delivered via Zoom

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