Sunday, August 28, 2016

Global Politics: Increasing Racism and Marginalization of Refugees

Shifting Social Constructs: The Rising Villianization of Refugees

Headlines detailing the fallout of refugee migration throughout Europe appear in major news sources almost daily. While discussion around countries and organizations being overwhelmed by sheer numbers remains the same, the sentiment toward refugees appears to be shifting from benevolence to something entirely different.

As a nation, Germany serves as a case study for this hypothesis. In 2015, Germany accepted over a million refugees, larger than the amount the United States has in a decade, as well as the highest number accepted by any European country for the calendar year. The open-door policy authored by German Chancellor Angela Merkel toward refugees fleeing Syria and Iraq last fall sanctioned the influx.

During the initial months of the policy being in effect German citizens actually came to train stations where refugees were arriving and applauded them as they arrived. However, this widespread welcoming attitude has since been abandoned. Events like mass sexual assaults in Cologne on New Year’s Eve, alleged high crime rates within refugee camps, and infiltration of terrorists amongst refugees contributes to the recasting of refugees within Germany as deviants.

CNN reporters recounted how in the city of Cologne on New Year’s Eve 2015 there were ninety criminal incidents recorded reported with a smaller number of such instances in Hamburg. Of those incidents, twenty-five percent were reported as being sexual assaults including one instance of rape. All victims described the individuals as “gangs of Arab or North African men”. At that point in time, German Justice Minister Heiko Maas “warned against linking the assaults to the immigration issue” but with the description of the perpetrators broadcast, connections were drawn and the public outraged.

Additionally, German authorities announced on May 11 that there were 40 open investigations regarding believed Islamic militants who immigrated to Germany with the refugees. The announcement confirmed and built upon already present fears regarding terrorist attacks. Instances like the July 19 axe attack, one of three violent acts by refugees this month, aboard a German passenger train by an individual identified as “teenage Afghan refugee”  continue to fuel fear and provide further evidence to solidify the relegation of refugees’ social construct, within Germany’s perceived popular opinion, to the deviant category.

Aljazeera went as far as to label this the emerging image of “the rapist refugee as Germany’s boogeyman”. It is an image which will inform future immigration policy and popular opinion. It is already noted in the decreasing support for two term German Chancellor Angela Merkel as she continues to support immigration and is experiencing a drop in polls with almost two-thirds surveyed saying she should not run again in 2017.

The focus on the miscreant minority casts a shadow over the refugee majority’s potential. It is a potential that economists assert could be the answer to Germany and Europe’s aging workforce. The labor market needs an influx of young workers to make up for the millions reaching retirement age. It is a need which roughly one third of the refugees within Germany’s borders can fill. Yet, the success of refugee integration into the German labor market hinges on more than just age. It encompasses language, education and skill levels, qualification recognition, legal right to work, and employer openness.

Successful integration into the labor market does not operate in a vacuum where only the listed criteria apply. Instead it will be steered by society which begs the question: will a criminal minority shift the perception of the refugee population at large? The fallout politically, socially, and economically for refugees in Germany and in other receiving countries is yet to be determined. However, the swinging social construct will impact millions of lives globally.

Global Education: Master of Narrative Therapy and Community Work

This is David Denborough writing from Dulwich Centre in Adelaide, Australia.

We’re writing now to Canadian Social workers about our Master of Narrative Therapy and Community Work (in collaboration with the University of Melbourne). We don't know if you're already aware of this Master's degree, but in our first three years there have been 10 participants from Canada, and it's been a pleasure having them in the course!

This Master's program is designed so that International participants can attend - it only involves two trips of two weeks each to Australia. The rest happens online. And the cost of the program is the same for Australian and international participants (which is very unusual and makes it much more affordable for international students). The diversity of participants is a particular highlight with graduates from South Africa, Chile, Tanzania, Singapore, Spain, USA, Ireland, Denmark, Mexico, New Zealand, Israel, Hong Kong, UK, Australia and Canada! There is also a strong Aboriginal representation (on both the faculty and among students).

This program is practice-based and involves participants honing their narrative skills and innovating forms of narrative practice in their own contexts. We are excited about what this will mean for the continuing development of diverse narrative practices.

This Master's program is co-ordinated by Dulwich Centre, taught by our international faculty and in conjunction with Australia's leading university, the University of Melbourne. We are thoroughly enjoying the Masters and we are wondering whether any of you would be interested in joining us next year or in the future. If so, please write to me at

Or look up this website:

Greetings to all in Canada!

Warm regards,
David Denborough
Dulwich Centre

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Clinical/Professional Development: Dialectical Behavioural Theory (DBT) - Vancouver

DBT Vancouver

1. 12-week Introduction to DBT course - starting September 16th
2. Part 2 of the New DBT Skills workshop - Friday, December 2nd 

Intro to DBT Course

We will also be running our popular 12-week Intro to DBT training on Friday mornings, starting September 16th. This course cover many aspects of DBT including individual therapy, skills training, telephone consultation, and consultation teams. Among the topics to be covered are:
  • Research on BPD & DBT
  • Dialectical Theory and Strategies
  • Commitment Strategies
  • Suicidal Risk Assessment and Intervention
  • Chain Analysis and Problem-Solving
  • Reciprocity and Irreverence
  • Telephone Consultation
  • Change Strategies in DBT: Solution Analysis, Cognitive Modification, Contingency Management, Exposure, & Skills Generalization
  • Skills Training in DBT: Mindfulness, Emotional Regulation, Distress Tolerance, & Interpersonal Effectiveness
  • Case Management & Consultation Teams
To register:
Part 2 of The New DBT Skills: Interpersonal Effectiveness & Emotion Regulation workshop will be held on Friday, December 2nd at the Italian Cultural Centre in Vancouver from 9am - 4pm.

The publication of the 2nd edition of Dr. Marsha Linehan’s DBT Skills Training Manual in 2015 greatly expanded the skills available for clients struggling with a range of psychological problems. The second edition is more than 4 times the length of the first and includes a booklet of new handouts.This special 2-part training explores many of the new DBT skills. Part 1, presented in May 2016, focused on updates to the Mindfulness and Distress Tolerance skills. Part 2, the focus of this current workshop, will address important updates to the DBT Interpersonal Effectiveness and Emotion Regulation Skills.

By the end of this training, participants should be able to:
  • Identify and describe at least three new DBT Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills.
  • Identify and describe at least three new DBT Emotion Regulation Skills.
  • Determine when and how to teach these skills effectively in clinical practice.
For more information and to register, please visit:

To register: Early bird prices are in effect until November 4th, 2016.

Professional Development: Substance Use Certificate - Justice Institute of BC

The Substance Use Certificate is a 20-day (10 credit) program. Courses in this area are grounded in a harm-reduction approach.

These courses or program is for management and staff of health, criminal justice, and social service agencies whose clients include people who are using substances.

Sessions are led by experienced professionals with a focus on understanding substance use within a bio-psycho-social-spiritual framework; the application of current research and knowledge about interventions; and the exploration of social justice issues such as race, class, gender, poverty, and violence.

These courses are designed for counsellors, management, and staff of health, criminal justice, and social service agencies whose clients include people who are using substances.

Upcoming Courses:
Understanding Substance Use (COUN-1100)
Sept 23-24
Continuum of Care: Prevention to Harm Reduction (COUN-1105)
Oct 21-22
Assessment Practices (COUN-1115)
Nov 18-19
Motivational Interviewing 1 (COUN-1125)
Dec 9-10

For more information:


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Professional Development: Satir training programs in Fall 2016/Winter 2017

Satir Institute of the Pacific's Fall/Winter Programs
CALLING ALL HELPING PROFESSIONALS(no pre-requisite course required)
5-Evening Workshop

Use of Self in Addictions Counselling with Kathlyne Maki-Banmen, MA, RCC and Teresa McLellan, MA
  • September 22, 29, October 6, 13, 20, 2016
This program will lead participants through experiential process to develop their own sense of internal awareness and congruence so that they are better able to connect with themselves and their clients

2 Day Worshops (Friday and Saturday) Helping People Change
  • Experience the Depth: Experiential Process in Therapy - September 16/17, 2016 with Kathlyne Maki-Banmen, MA, RCC
  • Parenting Teenagers: From Crazy to Connected - October 28/29, 2016 with Jennifer Nagel, MA, RCC
  • Body Wisdom: Using Mindfulness to Access Inner Resources for Healing - January 20/21, 2017 with Anastacia Metcalf
  • Soulful Money Matters: Transforming Your Relationship with Money - March 3/4, 2017 with Linda Lucas, MA, LCPC
  • The Sacred Journey: From Addiction to Connection - April 21/22, 2017 with Teresa McLellan, MA
  • Caring for the Caregiver: Maintaining a Sense of SELF While Caring for Others June 9/10, 2017 with Robin Beardsley, MD
Explore how systemic, experiential, positively directional therapeutic process can improve your positive results with clients. These professional 2 day workshops focus on specific aspects of therapeutic process, symptoms and dynamics, relationships and other therapeutic issues.

10 Day Transformational Systemic Therapy Training Programs - $1250
  • Surrey - September 24, 25, October 22, 23, November 26, 27, 2016
    and January 14, 15, February 18, 19, 2017 with Kathlyne Maki-Banmen, MA, RCC
  • Kamloops - October 14, 15, 16, November 18, 19, 20, 2016 and January 12, 13, 14, 15, 2017 with Jennifer Nagel, MA, RCC
For more information see attached forms or go to our website at

or call 604-634-0572

Professional Development: Satir program for Addiction Counsellors

Satir Institute of the Pacific is offering a new program this fall for Addiction Counsellors

Thursday evenings starting September 22 to October 20, 2016
Only $200 for 5 sessions!

This workshop is designed specifically for counsellors working with addiction issues and interested in their own growth towards becoming free of past hurts, fears and anger.

Personal Growth for Recovery

Use of Self in Addictions Counselling

Current research indicates that successful recovery from addictions requires that the client has a community of love, support, and acceptance. It becomes the responsibility of the addictions counsellors to ensure that their clients receive non-judgemental love and support as the client learns to navigate his or her world in a more positive way.

Sobriety is not enough; people need to experience their lovability, their empowerment and their dignity after experiencing helplessness, guilt, shame and powerlessness.
The counsellor's use of Self is the most powerful tool to facilitate deep and lasting change. When we reach out to our clients and connect with their spiritual esence from our own, meaningful and deep transformations are possible.

In order to use ourselves in this way, we need to have clear access to experience our own positive Life Energy. As we heal, we become more powerful healers. As we love and accept ourselves, we help others become more accepting and loving of themselves. As we are inspired by the miracle of life, we stimulate other people's life energy to change, heal and grow.

Come Be Inspired!

Where: Phoenix Center, Upstairs Lounge 13686-94A Avenue, Surrey, BC

When: Thursday Evenings September 22, 29, October 6, 13, 20, 2016 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Cost: $200.00 per person for 5 sessions

For more information or to Register see our attached brochure or register online at:

Friday, August 19, 2016

Professional Development: Graduate Certificate in Complex Trauma & Child Sexual Abuse Intervention - Justice Institute of BC

Graduate Certificate in Complex Trauma & Child Sexual Abuse Intervention  

Justice Institute of BC

Apply today for your spot in this fall's Graduate Certificate Program

See page for more information and to register:

Employment: Protection Workers/Social Workers - Prince Rupert and Terrace

Prince Rupert and Terrace

Reporting to the Supervisory Team Leader, you will perform delegated services: primary role will be assessing and providing support services for the Bands served, and assisting in any additional prevention and intervention services that may be added to the mandate of the Agency.

To be successful in this role you will possess a Bachelor of Social Work and have the ability to develop strong relationships with children, parents, foster parents and caregivers. You will also need a minimum of 2 years’ child protection experience with the ability to mentor other workers. Excellent communication and computer skills are essential, as is the ability to maintain professionalism under pressure. You will need to have a valid BC Driver’s license and the capacity to travel to satellite offices.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Self-care: Coping with Stress and Burnout

Tips for coping with stress and burnout in social work

A recent study has put forward tips for social workers, team managers and local authority leaders for coping with stress and burnout in social work

Stevenson, L. (2016). Community Care. Retrieved from:

A recent study from the Centre for Research on Children and Families identified key messages on coping with stress and burnout for senior managers, team leaders and frontline social workers working with vulnerable children and families.

Here are the most valuable tips for professionals in child protection for avoiding burnout:

For social workers

  • Use supervision opportunities to reflect on the emotional impact the role has on both yourself and your practice.
  • Aim to raise concerns with supervisors, team leaders about workload or complex cases you may need help with, rather than trying to persevere alone.
  • Use your team as a resource for sympathy, advice and guidance. Be available to do the same for colleagues.
  • Remember that no social worker is invincible or all-knowing. Think about using engaged coping strategies when you feel overwhelmed. Engaged coping strategies include: Planning ahead, reframing the situation, exercise, tackling the problem, seeking social support and modifying mood.
  • Identify what you find emotionally rewarding at work and at home to help you recognise and celebrate when things go well.
  • Identify what your stressors are and develop relevant coping strategies.

For local authority senior managers

  • Receive training on managing stress at work both for themselves and their teams.
  • Ensure there are clear systems to hear the views of social workers about workload issues and provide feedback on the action taken to address them.
  • Aim to create a positive emotional climate where social workers have opportunities to undertake direct work, receive positive feedback, have influence over their work environment and have opportunities for collaboration and learning.
  • Identify what causes stress in the workplace. There should be commonly known factors, but each workplace is likely to have unique things that can contribute to stress.
  • Establish systems to monitor stress in the workplace and involve their team managers and social workers in finding solutions to workload issues and improving the workplace.
  • Ensure effective links with some form of Employee Assistance Programme.

For team leaders

  • Receive training on managing stress at work for themselves and their teams.
  • Ensure opportunities for social workers to have reflective supervision.
  • Enable social workers to discuss workload issues using a solution-focused approach by having workload as a standing item on team meeting agendas.
  • Consider how they can be available to other leaders and team members for support and advice.
  • Consider induction activities for new team members to help them feel like they belong.
  • Encourage joint problem solving on complex issues and cases.