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Special opportunity for mental health professionals

Mental health is often presented as an individual endeavor, one that can be achieved through self care, talk therapy, and medication. However, from observing my own father's work on mental health issues in South Dakota, and from my own life experience, I know that mental health is also influenced by economics, politics, and other social phenomenon (such as racism, war, or tax season) that make life stressful. My friend Karen Westbrooks, PhD and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Louisville, Kentucky, shares information on an upcoming webinar event for therapists who yearn for clarity and hope, justice and peace, especially in this uncertain and stressful time.

If this is you, check out the registration link, below, or share with someone you know who may benefit from this training. I know there are many things to participate in these days, but I can personally recommend Karen from my work with her on the Diversity Task Force of the Lutheran Diaconal Association. Karen and others like her have been doing counseling with individuals, couples and families in Louisville for years - long before Breonna Taylor's death and the ensuing protests - and the folks gathering to put on this webinar have a lot of experience and wisdom to share.


by Karen Westbrooks, PhD, LMFT

Bigger than my fear of all that is shifting in this difficult year is the fear that, when everything is said and done, all will be the same. - Dr. Jerusha Matsen Neal of Duke Divinity School

The world has been set ablaze, but at some point the fires will subside and the smoke will clear. Yes they will, eventually. What then, can we know and should we do as we are being shaped anew in this cultural crucible?

I am pleased to announce that this upcoming week, (Oct 12 – 16), the AAMFT Kentucky Interest Network will sponsor a Social Justice Webinar event featuring fourteen presenters who will offer a week of wellness for therapists who yearn for justice and peace and a week of discernment for therapists who yearn for clarity and hope.

We are offering one workshop per day throughout the week. You will have options for registering for the entire conference or for one or two workshops that meet your curiosity, your schedule and your budget.

We will kick off the week with MFTs and Social Justice in Schools with presenters from CA and CT: Michael Carter, Emily Hernandez and Dr. Kathleen Laundy. Have you ever wondered why there are so few black male K-12 teachers? Think about it. What demographic is largely perceived as “trouble” in the classroom and suspended or expelled? In a climate of social injustice should the developing black boy grow up to go back into the same school climate that told him he was “bad”?

On Day Two we will be treated by two Gottman Trainers, Jonathan Shippey and Dr. Vagdevi Meunier, who will take a special examination of the dynamics of diversity in couples counseling. They are calling it, “The Room Where it Happens: Addressing issues of gender, power, race, ethnicity, ableism and sexual orientation in couple’s therapy.”

Day Three aims at anti-black racism in clinical practice. What we need to know and do will be lead by our very own Dr. Ashley Hicks White, a member of the Kentucky Leadership Team.

Day Four encourages us to take a look in the mirror as we own the part of ourselves that is privileged (of which, race privilege is one type of privilege). Craig Herink has designed a workshop on creating inclusion, fairness and justice that he is calling The Right Use of Privilege.

On the final day of the week, Dr. Karen Westbrooks, Chair of the KY Network, will facilitate courageous conversation with a distinguished panel of scholars and clinicians (Dr. Steven Kniffley, Dr, Nate Wood, Dr. Denise Williams, Nikki Erwin, Shirley Miller-Wells and Nicole Ward) who have all agreed to take a hard look at the ethical implications of systemic racism in therapy training and practice.

When the smoke clears, we dare not do things the same way we have always done them. We can all work together to craft a vision for how to train therapists differently and how to treat clients more effectively. For this reason, we want to encourage you to attend one or more of the workshops next week.

Follow this link for more information:

Click here to register: REGISTER HERE

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