The 11th Anniversary Keele Counselling (Research and Practice) Conference:

The 11th Anniversary Keele Counselling (Research and Practice) Conference:

When: Saturday, 6th May 2017, 9:00 am

Where: Chancellors Building, Keele University, Staffordshire ST5 5BG

Conference Theme:

Counselling and (non) normativity:
How we stay 'round and bouncy' in a 'straight and narrow'world.'

The Keele Counselling Psychology team warmly welcomes counselling practitioners, researchers, and students whether relatively new to the field or very experienced, who have an interest in issues of diversity, inclusivity and social justice.

Keynote Speakers

Eugene Ellis:
'The taboo of talking openly about race'
What racial differences impose on our minds and bodies as individuals and collectively as a society is challenging and complex. As we talk about race and need to talk, it gets harder to talk. We feel powerless and voiceless when we think about the impact of racial differences on individual's identity and mental well-being. This then leads us to feeling hopeless and to the question: "can we make a difference"?
I want to explore what happens in our minds and also importantly in our bodies in the midst of the race conversation and explore how a mindful approach to our physiological responses might help support us to stay at the contact boundary of our experience and find our voice.

Pete Sanders:
'The medicalisation of everyday life: ‘There is good money to be made in prolonging the problem’ (Larry Kersten, sociologist)'
Record numbers of citizens are being diagnosed with depression and a burgeoning list of mental ‘illnesses’ and treated with chemicals. Until counselling and psychotherapy deal with the elephant in the room (of medicalisation and associated nonsense like diagnosis), it will always be part of the problem - destined to forever be ambulance chasing instead of truly helping alleviate the distress of ordinary people. Can counselling save itself?

Luke Beardon photo 80 x 112
Dr. Luke Beardon:
'Autism is Not a Disorder – presenting a positive side of autism'

In this presentation a critical exploration of how valid theory actually is in relation to the autism experience will be expressed; current thinking is challenged and the notion of autism always being presented as a disorder is firmly debunked. The positive aspects of autism are identified and a model of autism within a positive paradigm will be the theme running throughout the presentation.

Dr. Lyndsey Moon "Towards a trans-therapeutics"

The aim of this presentation is to make the case for considering more fully an epistemology of therapy that works within a trans-positive epistemological framework. Most models of therapy are embedded in a cis-positive framework, assuming  modernity,  linearity, rationality, and the privilege of ‘ (hetero) masculinity’ while affect, irrationality and ‘femininity’ (all versions of ‘the feminine’) are downgraded and thought to be far too destabilising to warrant a serious threat to changing the heteronormative and cis-gender social order. Added to this, almost all therapies move towards identifying inner turmoil at the expense of social disarray. In this paper I am suggesting that unless we really place interarticulation (Butler 1997) at the heart of our thinking about  the numerous forms of power (class, heritage, gender, religion, sexuality, age, levels of physical and mental ability) , and begin to gather together the silent stories that inform therapists about both micro and macro social processes then we are likely to misrecognise what is taking place within the therapeutic encounter where radical change for social transformation can operate if therapists are willing to re-articulate meanings for and about  the social actions of their clients. In this outline, gender is taken as one example of the importance of contemplating interarticulation (for client and therapist) of gender as a form of social action within session  how it impact on work with clients and the way these actions are understood.  I want to begin with a story, a story that represents the biography of clients I work with quite often in my practice. It is the story of Jaden, a person who defines as ‘doing’ genderqueer and relationally polyamorous and uses the pronoun ‘they’ rather than ‘he’ or ‘she’.

Further information is here

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