Addressing Race and Racial Microaggressions in Family Therapy


Kenneth Hardy, PhD

Addressing Race and Racial Microaggressions in Family Therapy

Friday December 6th 2019 12:00pm – 1:30pm EST

To Register: Click Here 

Description of Webinar:

Racial microaggressions and acts of subtle racism are common occurrences in family therapy. Whether it is the unexpected use of a racial epithet or a racially insensitive comment uttered by a therapist or client, these racially charged hot-button issues often create awkward and destructive moments of silence that can undermine even the best clinical relationship. Many therapists are not well trained to effectively address racial issues when they are introduced into the clinical process or the therapeutic relationship. Racial messages, although often subtle and seemingly benign, are often more toxic than they initially appear. The two most commonly used strategies—ignoring them as if they were never spoken or reactively confronting them to the point of rapid escalation—are equally inadequate interventions for effectively addressing racial issues in therapy.

This presentation will provide family therapists with strategies for effectively incorporating race into the clinical process as well as the therapeutic relationship. Techniques for dealing with hot-button, toxic, and potentially escalating racial issues in the clinical context will be provided. A major focus of the workshop will be devoted to the exploration of relevant race-related Self of the Therapist issues that may impede or facilitate the effective negotiation of race in clinical practice.

At the conclusion of this webinar, participants will demonstrate the ability to:

  • Identify the subtleties of race, racism, and racial oppression that are often embedded in the process of therapy;
  • Effectively disrupt and constructively address toxic race-related messages that threaten to sabotage therapy;
  • Identify race-related Self of the Therapist issues that can impede and/or facilitate one’s ability to effectively navigate issues of race in therapy.

Presenter biography:

Dr. Kenneth V. Hardy is Director of the Eikenberg Institute for Relationships in New York, NY where he maintains a private practice specializing in working with at-risk traumatized children and their families. He is a former tenured Professor of Family Therapy at both Drexel University in Philadelphia, and Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY, and has also served as the Director of Children, Families, and Trauma at the Ackerman Institute for the Family in New York, New York.

Dr. Hardy’s work with children and families has earned him considerable public acclaim, including appearances on the Oprah Winfrey Show, ABC’s 20/20, Dateline NBC, and PBS. He was also the featured Therapist in Living Room Wars, a Discovery Health Channel program devoted to providing family therapy to families experiencing trauma.

Dr. Hardy has provided training and consultation to numerous organizations, agencies, and institutions devoted to working with at-risk traumatized children and families using a trauma-informed, racially sensitive framework.

Dr. Hardy is a frequent presenter of conferences on the topics of at-risk youth, trauma and oppression. He has published prolifically and is the co-author of the following books: Minorities and Family Therapy; Teens Who Hurt: Clinical Interventions for Breaking the Cycle of Violence; Revisioning Family Therapy: Race, Class, and Culture; and Culturally Sensitive Supervision: Diverse Perspectives and Practical Applications. In addition to his publications, Dr. Hardy is also featured in several videotapes, including a documentary devoted to slavery. His videotape “The Psychological Residuals of Slavery” has been well received by both the professional and lay communities for serving as a catalyst to promote conversations about the intersections of race, oppression, and trauma.

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