Crossing Cultures: In the World and In the Office

A Three Part Exploration of Cultural Diversity
9 CEs Cultural Competence
January 22, 29 & 31, 2016

 
Space Limited to 10 – Four Openings Remain – Register Soon
Contact Lynn Hamerling to reserve your spot lynnhamerling@gmail.com

Registration is now open to all mental health professionals for our 3-part seminar, Crossing Cultures: In the World and In the Office. This follows the highly successful seminar Marc Nemiroff gave last December on Leaving Myself To Find Myself In India. This was a very poignant, insightful and sensitive portrayal of his ProBono work in India. Attendees absolutely loved this seminar and expressed interest in taking more seminars by this presenter on Cultural Competence and Diversity. So WSPP has invited Marc Nemiroff to offer a 3-part seminar this winter. This is a more intimate and extended opportunity to study these concepts further in a space-limited (10 people) group.

The Seminar Description and registration information are below. There are no required readings for this seminar, but Marc has provided a wonderful list of recommended books and films for those of us who want to dive in more. It is absolutely worth everyone’s noting that Marc’s book about his work in India was published this Fall. A lot of you expressed interest in getting Marc’s book when it came out. Marc has not even included it in his recommendations, but WSPP wants to recommend his book most highly. It’s gotten all 5-star reviews. Stepping Into the River: An American Psychologist in Mother India can be found here on Amazon»

CROSSING CULTURES: IN THE WORLD AND IN THE OFFICE

A Three Part, Nine-Hour Exploration of Cultural Diversity
January 22, 29, & 31, 2016

JANUARY 22nd (Friday): 2:00 – 5:00
JANUARY 29th (Friday): 2:00 – 5:00
JANUARY 31st (Sunday): 12:00 – 3:00

Presenter: Marc A. Nemiroff, Ph.D.

Building on last year’s presentation of his work in India, a cultural immersion, Dr. Nemiroff will expand upon his mental health activities to include the slums and street children of Bombay. We will use this as a starting point in each of the three sessions to then explore the work we do, the adaptations we need to make, to work successfully with cultural diversity in our offices here. Participants will have the opportunity to present cases of their own, to engage in extended discussion of various aspects of cultural diversity, and to explore possible impediments to working cross-culturally.

Session One: From Cultural Submission to Cultural Self-Attribution
It is one thing to learn that the patient’s cultural is the dominant culture and therefore must be appreciated and learned. It is a larger leap to learn how to claim the patient’s culture as if it were one’s own. That is, how can we adapt so that we can readily think culturally the way our patients do. This is the key to creating the bridge from one culture to another.

Session Two: Knowing Who We Are, to Know the Culturally Different Patient
How do we define ourselves as culturally American, both consciously and preconsciously? We bring these assumptions, known and not so known to our therapeutic work with patients of different cultures. Further, we will also explore American racial, religious, gender, age, and political differences between our patients and ourselves as it affects our psychotherapeutic work. “The American People” is not a monolith, despite political rhetoric.

Session Three: Flexibility—What Adaptations are necessary to work across cultures and how do we “make them happen?”
Cultures differ in their approaches to confidentiality, self-disclosure, personal boundaries, gift giving, and expectations of reciprocity. We will discuss these issues, especially when we are thrown into cross-cultural conflict, as well as explore what we consider our own limits and their appropriateness in culturally different settings. Each of our offices, when we are working with someone who is different, becomes a culturally diverse setting.
Building on last year’s presentation of his work in India, a cultural immersion, Dr. Nemiroff will expand upon his mental health activities to include the slums and street children of Bombay. We will use this as a starting point in each of the three sessions to then explore the work we do, the adaptations we need to make, to work successfully with cultural diversity in our offices here. Participants will have the opportunity to present cases of their own, to engage in extended discussion of various aspects of cultural diversity, and to explore possible impediments to working cross-culturally.

Learning objectives, recommended books and films, and presenter Bio below registration info.

 

Registration:

If you are interested in this course and want to ensure a spot, please register soon. This course will be limited to 10 participants. Four openings remain. I expect these to fill up quickly. If you are interested, please call (202-722-1507) or send me an email (lynnhamerling@gmail.com) to secure your spot.

Fees: $185 for WSPP members; $295 for non-members. (Non-members are invited to join WSPP for $100.00 and save on registration.) Registration for WSPP student members is $125. This course earns 9 CE’s in Cultural Competence, which are included in the price. To register, send a check made out to WSPP. Please add a note in the memo section or include a copy of this email.

Lynn Hamerling, PhD
3000 Connecticut Ave., NW #436
Washington, DC 20008

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will distinguish “cultural submission” from “cultural self-attribution.”
  • Participants will be able to provide an example, from their clinical practice, of the use of “cultural self-attribution.”
  • Participants will be able to assess their own definition of their personal cultural identification.
  • Participants will identify way in which their own personal cultural assumptions enter their clinical work.
  • Participants will identify clinical occurrences when their own cultural identifications must be forsaken when working within a context of cultural diversity.
  • Participants will provide examples of the need for the implementation of psychotherapeutic flexibility when working cross-culturally.
  • Participants will be able to identify when they have experienced a break in the therapeutic alliance as a result of failure to understand cultural differences.
  • Participants will be able to identify what clinical “repair” they introduced into a treatment session that healed the cultural dyadic rupture.

PRESENTER:

Dr. Marc Nemiroff earned his Ph.D. from Catholic University in 1975. He is affiliated with the Baltimore-Washington Center for Psychoanalysis and is on the faculty at The Washington School for Psychiatry in its Developmental Psychotherapy Seminar Program. He is a Fellow of the American Orthopsychiatric Association and former clinical faculty at George Washington University’s Doctor of Psychology Program. Dr. Nemiroff has dedicated one month a year pro bono for the past nine years (2005-2013) working with slum families, street children, and others, in Bombay and a nearby tribal village. He has worked with children for over 38 years and served as spokesperson for the American Psychological Association to the media during the Gulf War on topics relating to the effects of televised real violence on children. He is also the recipient of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill’s Wayne Fenton Award for his mental health service. Dr. Nemiroff maintains a private practice in Potomac, Maryland.

RECOMMENDED BOOKS AND FILMS – from Marc

The following books, mostly novels, and films may be very helpful in understanding different cultures and different ways of thinking across cultures. These are NOT assignments, but for your reference and “pleasure,” if you choose. I can vouch for their quality. If you want to dive in, I promise you will not be bored. (Gandhi is actually the hardest to “get” because he can seem rather capricious when in fact he is, for the most part, rather consistent from his individual perspective.)

If you are interested in preparing for an immersion experience, I would suggest that you watch either Turtles Can Fly or Salaam, Bombay. (Warning: these are quite strong films, wrenching, and should be watched in a single sitting to have their full effect. They are difficult, but you will be changed by having seen them. Young children should not be present.)

During one session, I may show 10-15 minutes of the third film in The Apu Trilogy to serve as an example of the importance of getting a proper cultural “read” of an Indian man’s specific major life decision and what cultural factors it is based on. His decision is puzzling to many Westerners, whereas it makes complete Indian sense.

Books

(I’m not going to discuss these. The list is a gift.)
The Autobiography of Gandhi: My Experiments with Truth. Mohandas K. Gandhi
A Fine Balance (novel): Rohinton Mistry (Indian)
A Suitable Boy (novel): Vikram Seth (Indian)
Paradise of the Blind (novel): Duong Thu Huang (Vietnamese)
The Glass Palace (novel): Amitav Ghosh (Indian writing about Burma)

Films

(Also not an assignment, also a gift.)
The Apu Trilogy: Director, Satyajit Ray—India’s greatest filmmaker
Charulata: Director, Satyajit Ray (Indian)
Salaam, Bombay: Director, Mira Nair (Indian)
Turtles Can Fly: Director, Bahman Ghobadi (Kurdish)
Children of Heaven: Director, Majid Majidi (Iranian)
The King of Masks: Director, Wu Tianming (Chinese)
(All available on Netflix, I believe, if you are interested.)