PAA Workshops

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Mar 4, 2016
Mental Health and ‘New Canadians’: Psychosocial and Cross-Cultural Considerations When Working With Refugees
Presented by Ms. Dalal Shaheen R.Psych & Jon Amundson Ph.D

Registration is now closed for this workshop


Intended Audience:
This workshop is intended for any professional expecting to work with ‘new Canadians’. This includes psychologists, health care agencies, school districts, social service groups, churches, or related institutions.


Learning Objective:
• Capacity building for mental health professionals working with refugees arriving in Alberta
• To gain awareness and understanding of the psychosocial needs and the various contextual issues including cultural and socio-political factors that can impact the refugee experience in pre and post migration and ways to intervene accordingly
• To facilitate recognition of the international guidelines and best practices relative to the multilevel of interventions for refugees
• To understand trauma mechanisms and the role of resilience and post-traumatic growth in light of the refugee experience.
• To appreciate social psychological considerations related to acculturation and competency
• To broaden perspectives related to culturally sensitive approaches to psychosocial care for refugees, including Syrian refugees

Program Format and Schedule:
• The UN definition of a refugee and issues related to refugee status determination
• Review of Inter Agency Standing Committee Guidelines (IASC) on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) for Emergency Settings
• Special topic issues related to survivors of torture, classifications of different types of torture, as well as considerations pertaining to sexual and gender based violence
• Clinical issues including culturally sensitive interventions, trauma focussed treatment, and community based approaches
• Specific cultural issues and psychosocial needs related to Syrian refugees
• Multicultural counselling and issues related to the culturally different clients, including: the cultural definitions/considerations of mental health and idioms of distress
• The role of mental health professionals working with refugees and the development of services that are culturally accessible
• Considerations relative to working with interpreters
• Self-care for professionals and organizations working with refugees and survivors of torture

Date:          Friday 04 March 2016

Time:          9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Location:    Hampton Inn by Calgary Airport North, 2000 2021 100th Avenue NE, Calgary AB T3J 0R3

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   Dalal Shaheen is a registered psychologist with the College of Alberta Psychologists. She holds a Masters of Science degree in counseling psychology from Northeastern University in Massachusetts, Boston. She has a multilingual background and varied clinical experience working in various multidisciplinary settings focussing on treatment and interventions in different regions in the world (USA, Egypt, and Canada). She worked for international humanitarian NGO’s in Egypt where she served multiethnic and multilingual urban refugees, including survivors of torture. These experiences have given her international and multicultural perspectives which she utilizes with clients. Her extensive work with refugees included providing direct services as well as community based interventions, where she provided capacity building, training, and supervision for community based psychosocial workers working with refugee communities in Egypt. These communities included refugees from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, and Iraq. She also liaised with the UNHCR and its implementing partners to provide advocacy for the psychosocial needs of refugees.  She will be sharing stories of her experiences in these varied communities, in the hope that participants will gain insight into clinical issues, appreciate institutional barriers to services and the multilayered contextual factors that impact the refugee experience. 
  Jon Amundson Ph.D. has 35 years of independent practice in psychology in Alberta. During this time, he has worked in diverse areas of practice including treatment of adults, youth and children as well as forensic assessment and supervision/training. Associated with both the College of Alberta Psychologists and the Psychologists Association of Alberta, Jon has provided numerous workshops on practice standards, ethics, supervision, and practice management. He has been recognized for his work in providing guidance to the profession especially in his role as practice advisor and supervision consultant. He was the intervener on behalf of professional psychology in the same sex adoption case in Alberta and most recently spearheaded the “Give em a home, eh!” challenge regarding support for Syrian and Iraqi refugees in Alberta. He has provided services for over 30 years to diverse cultural groups and continues to address the struggles associated with making psychology relevant in ever more diverse ways to ever increasingly diverse populations. He is honored to work with Ms. Shaheen, a true resource to the profession and the province in this critical area





















































The Psychologists’ Association of Alberta (PAA) is approved by the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) to offer Continuing Education (CE) for psychologists.  This workshop is offered for six (6.0) hours of CE Credit.  Full attendance at the workshop is required to receive Continuing Education Credits.  Partial credit will not be awarded, and late arrivals or early departure will preclude awarding of Continuing Education Credits.  PAA maintains responsibility for the program.



Cancellation and refunds may be applied for by writing to the PAA office.  Cancellations received fourteen (14) days prior to the Continuing Education activity will receive a full refund of the registration fee, less a $25.00 + gst processing fee.  PAA reserves the right to cancel any activity, in which case a full refund of the registration fee will be provided. 


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