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Decolonizing Mental Health: Building Your Cultural Genogram

Event Date:

August 21, 2020

Event Time:

4:00 pm

The field of psychology has traditionally been rooted in a White middle-class value system. As a result, there is a discouraging lack of resources for Black, Indigenous and other people of color seeking culturally sensitive approaches to mental health care. Therapy is a great tool to help individuals develop strategies for coping with various struggles, but it often ignores the extent of racism in shaping individual experiences. In order to develop approaches that can adequately represent the perspectives of the oppressed, we need to decolonize the current mental health training system.

In this workshop, led by Erin Matthews, LCSW and creator of the Living in Empathy Group, we will explore a method to help increase your cultural awareness and cultural sensitivity as a mental health professional. Erin will lead you in developing a cultural genogram to help you examine your family history through a racial lens. With this exercise, we hope to:

  • Provide insight into where resilience and racial trauma show up in your history,

  • Review how white supremacy devalued your family and history

  • Start the process to reframe your family’s legacy of resilience and survival

  • Discuss and develop strategies to centralize the effects of white supremacy in your personal sphere of being

By encouraging you to take apart the layers that make up your own identities and directly confront the effects of white supremacy on your family history, we hope to provide tools for a critical examination of cultural competency, and integrate these into your clinical work with cross-cultural clients. This is also a safe space for BIPOC clinicians to recognize and process how oppression and colonization affect your own mental health, so that we can move towards healing together as a supportive community.

Date: Friday, August 21
Time: 4pm CT
Cost: $15

No BIPOC person will be turned away due to cost. Please contact us at for information on sliding scale and discounts.

About Erin Matthews, LCSW

Erin is a contagiously optimistic therapist and seasoned coach with over 15 years of mental health experience. Throughout her career, she has focused on therapy, coaching and training with an emphasis in the public and private sector. Erin has extensive facilitation and training experience leading others to realize their own potential.

Erin’s mission is to become an indispensable partner with individuals and organizations by coaching, training and mentoring white people to become warriors for racial justice by dismantling white supremacy on a personal and professional level to become REAL game changers. Erin feels strongly about education around how racism impacts both community and individuals in and outside of the therapy room. Working with white people who are unfamiliar with interacting with oppressed or marginalized populations has become an integral part of her work. She wants to both educate and promote improving racial relations.

Photography by Brissa Del Mar at @breezeartcreatives

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Event Schedule Details

  • August 21, 2020 4:00 pm   -   5:00 pm
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