Intent, Impact, and Intercultural Competence: How to Successfully Navigate Difference

  • Dates: April 9, 2022 - 10am EST to 4pm EST; April 10, 2022 - 10am EST to 4:15 pm EST
  • Instructors: Jory Agate, LMHC, MDiv and Fatimah Finney, LMHC
  • Location: Live on Zoom (this event will not be recorded)
  • Credits: 10 CEs


Join us for two days of learning that will help you work successfully with people in whose shoes you have not walked. Research documents how systemic oppression creates significant physical and mental health care disparities in marginalized populations. With in-depth learning and ongoing commitment, mental health professionals can minimize these negative effects by providing effective treatment for people who are neglected and exploited in our culture. The challenges of being an effective helper in this context are significant due to the ways we are socialized. In addition, pressure to enact expertise in our roles gets in the way of needed cross cultural humility. This results in iatrogenic effects in which therapeutic relationships inadvertently cause harm. We will:

  • define and explore how racism and other forms of structural oppression impact inner psychic systems
  • enhance skills to approach clients in ways that improve overall mental health
  • learn ways to improve intercultural communication skills to increase clinical success

Participants will learn about the Intercultural Development Continuum, a model developed by Mitchell Hammer (2003; 2011) to help assess their abilities to navigate differences. Applying this model will provide tools to grow and develop better clinical skills to use in complex interpersonal terrain. By understanding the stages of intercultural development, participants will:

  • identify and reflect on their growing edges in intercultural communication so they can improve their therapeutic capacity and
  • identify best approaches to meet clients in ways that enhance clinicians’ abilities to be open and receptive rather than rigid and defensive as they encounter difference

Concepts that will be taught in nuanced ways include diversity, equity and inclusion, race, culture, bias, power, and oppression. We will explore how cultural perspectives impact communication and conflict styles we bring to our work as well as how to effectively connect when encountering differences in the clinical setting.

Another approach that will be used to help mental health professionals work more effectively in this realm is the Internal Family Systems model. IFS is a non-pathologizing therapeutic model that allows individuals to greet the parts of themselves that are reactive to issues involving racism and oppression with compassion and curiosity so they can move beyond stuck patterns of behavior that constrain their best intentions, limiting their world view and clinical stance. This model, developed by Richard Schwartz, PhD, (2016) (2020) will be discussed and demonstrated as a tool to release legacy burdens related to race and oppression. These burdens are created by our socio-political-cultural context and get in the way of a collaborative, connected therapeutic position that is non-pathologizing, non-hierarchical and non-judgmental. When participants better understand legacy burdens and move beyond them, they will increase abilities to solve problems and heal wounds related to social injustices with their clients.

The workshop will be a mixture of didactic teaching, interactive activities, small and large group discussion, and internal reflection. During the two days we will create a community in which we will have time to sufficiently learn theoretical material as well as to interactively engage to apply what was learned, to wrestle with the concepts in action, and to reflect on our growing edges.


Jory Agate is a certified Internal Family Systems therapist and trainer who has been actively engaged with the model for over a decade. In addition, she is a trained presenter for the Intercultural Development Continuum and a certified administrator in the Intercultural Development Inventory. Jory has led training sessions throughout the US and abroad on the topic of Internal Family Systems and Intercultural Communication. Jory comes to the field of psychotherapy after a 20-year career in Unitarian Universalist ministry that focused on providing training on youth, families, sexuality, leadership development, as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion. She has a private practice that specializes in trauma, sexuality, parenting and relationships, working with individuals and couples. Fluent in American Sign Language, much of Jory’s practice serves the Deaf community.

Fatimah Finney is a serial goal-setter, lover of new ideas, and imaginative thinker. She is a certified Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapist and maintains a private practice serving BIPOC and young adults. As a facilitator and consultant, Fatimah supports individuals and organizations in building their capacity and skills for centering diversity, equity, and inclusion. She is a certified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory. Prior to her counseling and consulting practice, Fatimah spent the majority of her career providing in-home therapy to children, adolescents and adults in direct care and clinical leadership roles. Through her work in community mental health settings, Fatimah cultivated a strong commitment to helping therapists increase their cultural competence and clinical fluency with diverse populations.

Outline of Topics

  • The Importance of Cultural Competency & Developing Common Understanding of Critical Concepts and Terms Including: culture, diversity, race, ethnicity, inclusion, stereotypes, bias, prejudice, oppression, power
  • Defining the Basic Principles of IFS and Applying Those Ideas to Cross Cultural Capacity
  • Learning A Model for Understanding Diversity: The Intercultural Development Continuum
  • Our Own Journey Through Issues of Race and Difference: How it Impacts our Clinical Lens
  • What To Do When You Get Activated?: Using IFS Tools of Unblending and U-Turn When Engaging Difference
  • Conflict and Intercultural Conflict Styles
  • Seeing Power, Privilege, Intent & Impact
  • Application of the Intercultural Development Continuum to Clinical Work
  • Reflections on What Has Been Learned and a Statement of Personal Commitment

Learning Objectives

  1. Explain critical concepts including culture, diversity, race, ethnicity, inclusion, stereotypes, bias, prejudice, oppression, and power.
  2. Identify a minimum of two challenges when encountering differences of identity with clients.
  3. Define a minimum of three ways to meet the needs of a variety of populations using practices from the Intercultural Development Continuum.
  4. Describe their culturally influenced conflict style and how it impacts their work with clients who are different from themselves.
  5. Explain how their own cultural history related to issues of race and oppression impacts their effectiveness as mental health clinicians.
  6. Identify how to apply the eight “C’s” of the Internal Family Systems model to decrease reactivity and overwhelm.
  7. List the five “P’s” of the therapeutic stance in the Internal Family Systems Model and describe how to use them to recalibrate their therapeutic position around difference when necessary.
  8. Identify parts of themselves that interfere when encountering differences and describe how to use two IFS techniques to be less reactive.


  • Individual Registration: $230, Early bird rate: $215.
  • Early registration deadline is March 9, 2022.
  • NEAFAST members may access a discounted rate of $200. Black Therapists Rock, National Association of Black Counselors and all BIPOC clinicians may access an equity rate of $150.
  • Please contact us for discount codes. No application is required.
  • 10 CEs will be available at an additional cost of $25 paid upon registration for social workers, mental health counselors, psychologists and marriage & family therapists. 10 CEs for IFS Certification will be available at no fee for those who are IFS Certified professionals.


The event will be held live on Zoom. We will not be recording this event.

Registration Instructions

Payment options PayPal as a conduit to your credit card or a PayPal account. You may also register online and mail a check with a note indicating what program the payment is for. If you are mailing payment, please note that your space is not reserved until we receive it.

Email acknowledgments will be sent to confirm receipt of online registrations only. An email will be sent a few days before the start date of the event with details about your program.

Workshop CEs

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Participants MUST attend 100% of the program to earn the 10 CEs approved for eligible professions.

  • Therapy Training Boston is approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6707 for Mental Health Counselors. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Therapy Training Boston is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
  • This program is certified by the New England Association for Family and Systemic Therapy (NEAFAST) on behalf of the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Allied Mental Health & Human Services Professions for 10 LMFT professional continuing education credits. Authorization # PC- 041387
  • This activity is certified for 10 CEs by Amego, Inc. (DBA Amego Prepare) on behalf of the American Psychological Association for Licensed Psychologists.

Read detailed information about CEs, here .

Cancellations and Refunds

No refunds are available for cancellations by participants regardless of the reason or time frame.

If participants cancel 30 days or more prior to the event beginning, they may apply the fee to a future program. Workshops may be cancelled by Therapy Training Boston if minimum enrollment requirements are not met or in the case of other unexpected circumstances. If this occurs, a full refund will be provided.

Additional Information

Course content level: This workshop will provide important information for clinicians who are at an introductory or intermediate level of knowledge about working with difference. Advanced practitioners are welcome to attend the event to deepen their knowledge of the subject for practice, supervision, teaching, and administrative roles.

Target Audience: This offering is relevant to all helping professionals including but not limited to social workers, mental health counselors, psychologists, marriage & family therapists.

Commercial support and conflicts of interest: There is no commercial support for this program.


For all event policies read this, detailed CE information here.