Annual Ethics Conference on January 12, 2019

The Ethics of Cultural Self-Awareness: Bias and the Therapeutic Process with Michael Kahn, LPC, JD

Saturday, January 12
9:00 am – 2:00 pm
UNC School of Social Work, Chapel Hill

Register here

This conference provides 4 contact hours of continuing education credit for Social Workers. Certificates will be provided on site.

Understanding cultural issues is critical to providing superior care and is an ethical mandate for therapists. The various ethics codes and standards discuss culture as it relates to the therapeutic process. As examples, the NASW Standards and Indicators of Cultural Competence state that social workers will  “demonstrate cultural humility and sensitivity to the dynamics of power and privilege”. The APA code states that psychologists “ensure that their potential biases…do not lead to or condone unjust practices,” and the ACA code requires that counselors “explore their own cultural identities and how these affect their values and beliefs about the counseling process”. In this workshop, participants will explore how the identities, background and past experiences of therapists can affect interactions with those who are different from them in a variety ways, including and especially, their clients.

Discovering our biases can be painfully challenging, particularly when they are contrary to our values and self-concept. The additional challenge is that therapists are in positions of power, so they may miss the bias that occurs, especially if it is unconscious. Moreover, clients are less likely to confront their therapist due to this power dynamic. We will discuss bias as it applies to multiple identities, including race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age and ability, as well as steps therapists can take to reduce the impact biases may have on client progress. Film clips will be used to encourage small and large group discussions.

Workshop participants will:

  • Review research studies that illustrate the negative impact of bias inside and outside the counseling room
  • Identify an ethical decision-making model that includes cultural factors
  • Learn how to conduct “cultural auditing” throughout the therapeutic relationship
  • Identify microinsults/invalidations and implicit bias and ways to reduce them
  • Review obstacles to honest self-examination

Presenter: Michael Kahn, LPC, JD

Michael Kahn, LPC, JD lectures and facilitates workshops on grief, wellness, cultural competence, and ethics. He has presented programs throughout the US, Canada and Australia, as well as for the U.S. military stateside and in Japan and Germany. He also presents programs on the above issues for lawyers. Michael is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEPTM). Michael has a B.A. in Psychology from Emory University, a law degree from the Dickinson School of Law, and a Master’s in Education from UNC Greensboro. He has been a Licensed Professional Counselor since 1996.

Michael wrote the chapter “Saying Goodbye: Loss and Bereavement” in Cinemeducation, Volume 2: Using Film and Other Visual Media in Graduate and Medical Education.

Register here