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2019 - Pre Convention Workshop #14 - Shifting Directions/Paradigms: Psychology in Action as a De-colonizing and Empowering Force

May 30, 2019 09:00AM to May 30, 2019 04:30PM
Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel (1919 Upper Water St., Halifax, NS, B3J 3J5)

Presented by:

Colleen MacQuarrie, Jessica McCutcheon, Karen L. Blair, Rhea A. Hoskin, Sobia F. Ali Faisal, Jeffrey Ansloos, Anusha Kassan

Sponsored by:

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues (SOGII)

Continuing Education Credits:





CPA Member: Early Registration ($250+tax) - Regular Registartion ($300+tax)

CPA Student Affiliate: Early Registration ($190+tax) - Regular Registartion ($225+tax)

Non-Member: Early Registration ($325+tax) - Regular Registartion ($400+tax)

Student Non Affiliate: Early Registration ($230+tax) - Regular Registartion ($250+tax) 

Please note: early registration (until end-of-day April 30th, 2019) and regular registration (after April 30th, 2019)



Full Day (9:00 – 16:30)

Target Audience:

Graduate students, practitioners, researchers, clinicians, teachers/professors, and inter-sectional CPA members.

Skill/Difficulty Level:


Workshop Description:


We are preparing an innovative way to learn, think, and feel about our work by curating a unique format that awakens our potential to transform ourselves, our work, and our world. This day long pre-conference workshop will invite artistic and scholarly work to inspire us to know and think differently about psychology. Together we will explore how we transform psychology into a deeply responsive anti-colonizing force. We problematize psychology's colonial white supremacist process for normalizing western versions of humanity; entrenching racist, sexist, elitist practices as core epistemology which are then reified in research, therapy, and the classroom. Research, classrooms, and therapy can become powerful media to challenge a psychological status quo of colonized knowledge – resisting rather than upholding the erasure of experiences of Black and Indigenous peoples, and People of Colour (BIPOC) and LGBTQ2+ people. Creating transformative and empowering conditions in every realm of practice and being is essential for de-colonizing psychology. Rather than looking at the 'margins,' in an attempt to shift the focus we examine how the center cannot hold and perhaps was never there except in the stories we used to create a discipline in the first place. In this workshop we will collaboratively and creatively explore how to humbly commit to listening for directions from our communities, to honour their perspectives of truth, and to be able to hear what matters to them; in relationships with our communities is how we can de-colonize our research, training, and therapeutic processes. This workshop is curated by 4 CPA sections (Indigenous Peoples’ Psychology; SOGII; Counselling; and Section for Women and Psychology).

Learning Outcomes:


  1. Deepen their understanding of Canadian contexts for psychological praxis by exploring the significance of intersecting identity statuses, specifically: indigeneity, gender, and sexuality
  2. Collaboratively problematize existing psychological praxis using the tools of intersectional analysis of oppressions, specifically: indigeneity, gender, and sexuality.
  3. Gain competency in how to continue a process of ongoing de-colonization of their psychological praxis
  4. Gain skills in problematization of how power operates within our research, teaching, clinical practice, and community work
  5. Reflect and evaluate empowering praxis associated with research, classroom, community, and clinical contexts
  6. Articulate how their academic activism can be a tool for their work and community collaboration