Full title: Counseling and Psychotherapy for Government Assisted Refugees: A University – Service Provider Collaboration in Windsor, Ontario
Presenters: Dr. Ben C. H. Kuo, Professor of Adult Clinical Psychology, University of Windsor and Registered Psychologist and Marcela Diaz, Manager of Settlement and Integration Programs, Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County.
Date: September 15th, 2021
This webinar will present a model of university-service provider partnership, between the University of Windsor (Department of Psychology) and the Multicultural Council of Windsor-Essex, established since 2006 in support of the mental health needs of resettled government assisted refugees (GARs). This collaboration represents a creative strategy not only to address the psychological and emotional needs of GARs, but also to provide a unique training opportunity for clinical psychology students in developing the much-needed cultural competence and skills. Specifically in this webinar we will describe: 1) how this unique collaboration began and evolved over the years; 2) the barriers of GARs in accessing mental health services; 3) the model of training adopted in preparing and supporting Ph.D. clinical/therapist trainees in working with refugees; and 4) the model of delivery of offering culturally-informed counselling and psychological interventions to GARs; and 5) evidence of the program’s effectiveness and its implications for future practices.
Dr. Ben C. H. Kuo is a Professor of Adult Clinical Psychology at the University of Windsor, Canada and a registered psychologist in Ontario. He is a Taiwanese Canadian who was educated in Taiwan, Canada, and the U.S. His research focuses on the intersection between culture and psychology, particularly in the areas of multicultural counseling and training and cross-cultural psychology.
Dr. Kuo regularly teaches and supervises clinical psychology graduate students in multicultural psychotherapy course and practicum with diverse clients, including refugees and immigrants. In 2018 Dr. Kuo served as the guest editor for the special issue of Psynopsis – the official communiqué of the Canadian Psychological Association – on “Refugee Mental Health.” Dr. Kuo has taught and lectured internationally as a distinguished visiting professor in many countries, including in Taiwan, China, Thailand, New Zealand, Russia, Brazil, Poland, and the U.K.
Dr. Kuo received many awards, which include University of Windsor’s Outstanding Research Award: Establish Research/Scholar Category in 2017; the Faculty of Arts, Humanities, and Social Science’s Dr. Kathleen E. McCrone Teaching Award in 2017; the Mary Lou Dietz Equity Leadership Award in 2019; and most recently the John C. Service Member of the Year Award from the Canadian Psychological Association in 2021. Currently, Dr. Kuo serves as an executive member of the Training and Education Committee of the Canadian Psychological Association.
Marcela Diaz has over 20 years of experience working in settlement services, at the Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County, in Windsor, Ontario, where she is the Manager of Settlement and Integration programs. She is passionate about facilitating the access to services for refugees, through education, awareness, increased understanding of refugee issues and their strengths, and community capacity building efforts.
Marcela holds a MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University, an MSc from the University of Waterloo and a BEd from the Universidad Santiago de Cali, Colombia. She is often called to serve in an advisory role in regards to providing feedback to initiatives that aim to address the needs and challenges of refugees; has been advisory member of OCASI’s Immigrant and Refugee Mental Health Project; the Government Assisted Refugee (GAR) - Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) National Working Group; is a Steering Committee Member of the National GAR Case Management Client Support Services (CSS) Program. She is also involved in research, and collaborates on a Pan-Canadian, research project looking at barriers and solutions to accessing virtual mental health services for recent refugees.