Enhancing Racial Awareness When Working with Black Families

Yolanda Hawkins-Rodgers, PhD

While race is a key organizing principle in therapy, most therapists do not acquire the skills and sensitivities necessary to deal with racial subtleties. It is important that therapists discover ways to improve and enhance their Racial IQ. Developing a better sense of racial issues requires that clinicians’ explore their racial identities and beliefs and challenge the ways in which their roles as clinicians are impacted. The course content will be presented with lecture, interactive participation, exercises, group work and viewing film clips in exploring the formulation of perceptions about African American clients. The workshop will meet the requirements for continuing education in diversity training for mental health professionals.


  • —Support clinicians’ and clients’ cognitive and emotional conceptualization of race that contribute to the overall therapeutic alliance.
  • Examine the values and strengths of the nuclear and extended African-American family, systems as well as the importance of community support systems.
  • Understand family and community role expectations.
  • Explore the special challenges faced by young African-American men and women.
  • Explore cultural/racial factors that influence initial assessments (therapists and clients), as well as those that shape on-going treatment.

Location: Fairleigh Dickinson University, 1000 River Road, Teaneck NJ, 07666

Date: Friday, April 19, 2013                        Time: 9:00a.m. – 3:30p.m.
Registration and coffee/tea service will begin at 9:00a.m. The training will begin promptly at 9:30a.m. Lunch will be provided.

Welcome and Introduction:  9:30 – 10:40a.m.
-Roles and Responsibilities of Clinicians
-Cultural Encapsulation, Cultural Awareness & Cultural Competencies
-Importance, Scope, and Definition of Race and Ethnicity in Practice
Break: 10:40 – 10:50a.m.
Factors Impacting African American Families  10:50 – 12:00p.m
Lunch break: 12:00 – 1:00p.m.
Theoretical Perspectives in Examining the African American Family System: 1:00-2:00pm -Impact of Micro Aggressions
Break: 2:00 – 2:15p.m.
Developing Collaborative Workshops with African American Families: 2:15 – 3:30p.m.
-Framework for Multicultural Clinical Assessments
-Treatment Planning
-Closing Activities

Target Audience: Mental Health Administrators, Clinicians, Self-Help Center Managers/Facilitators, Screeners, Case Managers. This is a moderate level training.

CEUs: Social workers will receive 5 CEUs in clinical or cultural competence. Family Connections, provider #1252, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), www.aswb.org, through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Program. Family Connections maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: August 2012-August 2014. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval.

All participants must sign-in and sign-out and complete a course evaluation in order to receive CEUs. Partial credit will not be given to those arriving late or leaving early. Certificates will be awarded at the end of the day.

Directions and Parking Information: Please visit: http://view.fdu.edu/default.aspx?id=227. Detailed directions and information will be sent to registrants in a confirmation email.

Facilities: If you need accommodations for a disability, please contact Niki DeVonish, Training Coordinator, at 973-323-3454.

Registration: Priority & free registration will be open to staff of DMHAS-contracted mental health agencies and self-help centers until April 5, 2013. After April 5th, public registrations will be accepted based on space availability for a $25 fee.  Course fees includematerials and lunch. Cancellations must be made by Monday, April 15th. Refunds will be not be issued for registrations cancelled after April 15th.

To register for this training please click here.
Please note that in order to maximize the number of agencies benefitting from CultureConnections trainings, we will not accept more than 3 registrants per agency. We ask each agency to coordinate registrations so that no more than 3 individuals register for any given training. If space permits, additional registrations from the same agency will be accepted after the Priority Registration deadline on April 5th.

Grievances: Please contact Niki DeVonish, Training Coodinator, at 973-323-3454 with any grievances.

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