Cultural Competency

2018 Cultural Competency Summit

Greetings! It is my honor to invite you to participate in a dynamic and rich tradition of cultural competency training at Georgia State University. On Friday May 18, 2018, the Counseling and Testing Center will host the 2018 Cultural Competency Summit in Student Center East (55 Gilmer Street SE, Atlanta, GA 30303).

The Summit is the result of a desire to provide annual, rather than biennial training for mental health professionals in the area of cultural competency. The theme for this year’s conference reflects an effort to continue the rich legacy of providing high quality evidence based multicultural training and space for meaningful discussion for mental health professionals.

The conference committee is pleased to share a dynamic line-up of continuing education presenters and topics including:

  • Dr. Wendi Williams – What’s the Cost? What’s the Loss? A Critical Race Feminist Consideration of Oppression-related Stress and Coping(Morning Keynote)
  • Dr. Telsie DavisUnpacking Privilege Across Intersecting Identities
  • Dr. Telsie Davis – Critical Factors for Building a Strong Therapeutic Relationship Across Diverse Racial and Cultural Dyads 
  • Dr. Nadine KaslowCulturally Competent Supervision in a Diverse Practice Setting
  • Dr. Mikyta DaughertyBuilding Skills with Motivational Interviewing with Diverse Populations
Register now  Summit Agenda 


The Counseling & Testing Center has decided to sponsor the first 20 university students who register to attend the conference a scholarship for free registration. To receive the scholarship, visit the link below and use the PROMO CODE: First20

Register today to reserve your spot! 

Opportunities will be provided at lunch for visiting a poster session featuring current research in the field of multicultural counseling and addressing health disparities as well as for signing up to participate in a roundtable Courageous Conversation on one of the following topics:

#BlackLivesMatter #MeToo #MarchForOurLives. These movements have emerged and evolved in response to experiences of ongoing violence and trauma within marginalized and vulnerable communities (i.e., Black, women and sexual minorities, children/minors). Each of these movements illuminate insidious, chronic, unaddressed and often minimized political, systemic, and cultural problems that have caused direct damage and trauma to individuals. These problems involve abuse and exploitation of power, neglect, and lack of safety of the body and minds of the individuals and communities affected. These #trending traumas help give voice to communities that have often been pathologized and dismissed, perpetuating violence and creating a culture of acceptance/sanctioning, perpetrator empathy, and victim shaming/merit regarding violations. With trauma #trending, there has been greater exposure of and to trauma, both to members within and outside the affected communities. There has also been growing inquiry into whose issues, lives, voices, communities are truly valued. While these movements may have opened doors for some, they have alienated others, highlighting the intersectionality of privileged and/or oppressed identities. This begs to question, what do we learn, experience, and do when trauma is #trending?

The intention of this courageous conversation is to explore the consequences of exposure to (racial, sexual, gun) violence via the media, as well as the tension between being aware of current events while also recognizing that chronic exposure to violence and trauma has deleterious mental health effects. This conversation also aims to address the unique needs of therapists who may feel personally affected by such events when they share identities with the victims and/or feel connected or excluded from the discourse due to their identities. Participants will engage in a conversation about how trending trauma effects clinical work and wellbeing, while also exploring strategies for dealing with the effects of trending trauma individually and collectively.

In the current political climate, there are controversies, scandals and new developments almost daily. Many feel as if they are in a constant state of angst regarding what revelation, policy proposal or political shake-up may be forthcoming. Political matters affect everyone, and previously unknown strong-held political and social views are being exposed. Furthermore, policy decisions have direct consequences on individuals’ lives and may be related to clients’ mental health and presenting concerns.

In this courageous conversation, participants will explore the ways in which political concerns are navigated in therapy. Of concern is how therapists address clients’ political views and concerns, particularly if such views conflict with therapists’ social identities and/or core values. Furthermore, participants will discuss disclosure regarding opinions of political figures, legislation and current events broadly. The implications of disclosure as well as non-disclosure will also be discussed; does silence equal complicity? The goal is for mental health providers to discuss the process of navigating the current political climate, while also helping others to do the same. It should be noted that this open and nonjudgmental conversation welcomes all without regard for political affiliation, recognizing the ways in which the positive and negative consequences of politics affects everyone.

In defining ”psyche”, Merriam-Webster notes that this word is borrowed from Greek mythology in which Psyche was a princess. According to legend, Psyche fell in love with Eros, the God of love (i.e. Cupid). Psyche experienced great difficulty in her quest to marry Eros, and this story is understood as the soul/psyche redeeming itself through love. Although psychology is the study of the psyche, as a science it is largely devoid of discussions of soul and spirit instead focusing on what is quantifiable and measurable. However, the experience of the mind, body and soul as one is consistent with the experience of many people. Yet, discussions of religion/soul/psyche are largely deemed inappropriate in American culture. This has direct implications for what clients and therapists are comfortable exploring in session.

The intention of this courageous conversation is to have an open dialogue about discussing spirituality, religion and morality with clients. Questions to be answered include: What are some guidelines for discussing spirituality/religion with clients? How can providers intentionally create space for these topics? What is appropriate disclosure regarding providers’ own religious/spiritual practice, or lack thereof, and why? The goal is to discuss mistakes, successes and lessons learned in approaching a delicate, yet important, topic in clinical work.

As the Senior Director of Psychological and Health Services and a Georgia State University alumna, I look forward to welcoming you to our campus for this amazing professional growth and community building opportunity. I truly believe you will leave feeling renewed and better able to provide culturally competent care because you were with us. We hope to see you there!

Jill Lee-Barber, Ph.D.
Senior Director, Psychological and Health Services