Encounters with Difference and its Impact

At the heart of this workshop, we will seek to understand how we are impacted by ‘difference’.

There will be an opportunity to begin a conversation about difference and our responses to this often, challenging topic. The aim of this workshop is to push back the barriers preventing all of us from openly exchanging dialogues regarding the more separative and frequently isolating aspects of living with difference – some of which, sadly, result in a sense of exclusion.   We will explore what these barriers might be? From my own lived experience, some are in plain view whilst others are not that easy to detect, and instead, tend to remain unvoiced and dormant beneath everyday awareness.

At the outset, it’s worth mentioning that a sense of ‘difference’ occurs when someone becomes acutely aware that they are not comfortably embedded with the group in which they find themselves.   On this basis, I want to say that there are many different types of groups, as ‘difference’ covers a vastly wide-range – such as cultural, racial, gender issues and disabilities: to name just a few.

Not having awareness of this can result in a lack of interpersonal understanding which can incapacitate ease of communication. Furthermore, this can hinder our potential for understanding and so often lead to silence – to become voiceless. Unfortunately, this often shuts down opportunities that can lead to fruitful dialogues and thus deepen the conversation which can lead to a better understanding of ‘difference’.

The workshop will offer a chance to explore our practice and think about the diversity within ourselves and our clients. For those of you working in services which aim to support individuals from diverse backgrounds, we will discuss the complexities that can arise and how we can manage these.

In the past when I have run this workshop, there have been a fascinating range of responses – quite diverse. Not surprising as each individual will come to this topic from different perspectives. I anticipate this, and welcome it.

By and large, the tilt of this workshop is ‘psycho – social’, by this I mean, we all have fears of how we may not be willing or unable to relate to another from a different social/cultural setting – this of course, is not always in our awareness.   However, my aim is that this workshop will encompass a multi-disciplinary approach and so offer many things, including an opportunity to develop intercultural awareness, coupled with a reflective space and personal development.

I hope too, that individuals will use this to opportunity to come together, so we can ‘hear’ the tones of our differences in their various contexts, understand ourselves better, and therefore, become better equipped to support those who are ethnically and culturally different from us.

Facilitator: Ounkar Kaur is a Psychodynamic Psychotherapist currently working in the private and voluntary sector with adults experiencing mental health issues. She has been involved in the field of mental health since 1995 and has worked with adult patients experiencing issues such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, trauma, grief and loss, forced marriage, intergenerational concerns and OCD. Other therapeutic methods include Integrative, Humanistic/Person Centred, and Intercultural Psychotherapy.

Ounkar has previously set up a counselling service for women from the South Asian community, in addition to this, she is an accredited Race Equality Trainer offering diversity training and workshops covering a range of topics. She is a member of the Severnside Institute for Psychotherapy and is registered with The British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC) and has a private practice in central Bristol.

Venue: Network Counselling & Training , Elm Park, Filton, Bristol BS34 7PS.  Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided during the day, but you will need to provide your own lunch. There are a number of convenience stores and food outlets in the neighbourhood, and we have kitchen facilities on site.

Cost: £85 per person – or £55 per person for students, volunteer counsellors and volunteer supervisors. “Early bird discount” of £10 for bookings made and paid for by Friday 1st May 2020.

If you would like to book a place, please go to The Little Box Office, or down load a booking form here:

CPD 20D Difference – Booking Form

Download a flyer here: CPD 20D Difference – A5 Flyer

Cancellation: you may cancel your booking up to seven days’ prior to the day of the workshop, otherwise the full fee will be payable. No part of the fee can be refunded for non-attendance on the day.

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