Shifting Directions & Paradigms: Psychology in Action as a Decolonizing and Empowering Force

A Pre-convention workshop/mini-conference at the 2019 Canadian Psychological Association’s Annual Convention in Halifax, Nova Scotia

May 30, 2019 - Full Day


Call for Presentations

Continuing Education Credits: 6

Target Audience: Graduate students, practitioners, researchers, clinicians, teachers/professors, and inter-sectional CPA members.

We are preparing an innovative way to learn, think, and feel about our work by curating a unique format that awakens our potential to transform ourselves, our work, and our world. This day-long pre-conference workshop invites artistic and scholarly work to inspire us to know and think differently about psychology. Together we will explore how we can transform psychology into a deeply responsive anti-colonizing force. We will problematize psychology's colonial white supremacist processes for normalizing western versions of humanity; entrenching racist, sexist, elitist practices as core epistemology which are then reified in research, therapy and the classroom. Research, classrooms, and therapy can become powerful media to challenge a psychological status quo of colonized knowledge - resisting rather than upholding the erasure of experiences of Black and Indigenous peoples, and People of Colour (BIPOC) and LGBTQ2S+ people. Creating transformative and empowering conditions in every realm of practice and being is essential for de-colonizing psychology. Rather than looking at the 'margins' in an attempt to shift the focus we examine how the center cannot hold and perhaps was never there except in the stories we used to create a discipline in the first place. In this workshop we will collaboratively and creatively explore how to humbly commit to listening for directions from our communities, to honour their perspectives of truth, and to be able to hear what matters to them. Through relationships with our communities, we can de-colonize our research, training, and therapeutic processes.  Four CPA sections are curating the workshop and mini-conference: Indigenous Peoples’ Psychology, Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity Issues Section, Counselling Psychology, Section for Women and Psychology

Call for Presentations/Papers:
A portion of the day-long conference will allow participants to present their work in order to facilitate networking and to inspire new connections. The plan is for presenters to give 5-minute talks, succinctly stating the key highlights from their research. Presenters are encouraged to make research papers or reports available electronically or on paper so that attendees can follow up with them for further information.

Example/Suggested Topics: 

  • How have you expanded the diversity of your research samples? 

  • How do we work as psychologists and activists deeply committed to social justice goals? 

  • How can LGBTQ2S+ inclusive research methods improve psychological research on all identities? 

  • How do we animate and navigate issues of power within our research, teaching, clinical practice, and community work? 

  • How do we layer intersectionality throughout our praxis: i.e., intersections of indigeneity, class, gender, race, sexuality, ability, age, ethnicity, etc.?

  • How can the impact/legacy of colonization be seen in your particular area of research? How can it be dismantled? 

  • What were the first steps that you took in decolonizing your reaching/research/practice? [i.e. presentations on where to start / how to get started].

  • What is your vision for the future of psychology as a field? 

  • Demonstrations / Descriptions of useful in-class activities. 

  • How do we blend and magnify understandings of culture and history in our research, teaching and practice? 

  • Presentations of research/practice with understudied populations. 

  • New methods / re-invented methods that help to diversify psychology's focus/practice. 


Deadline: March 15, 2019 midnight PST.


Abstract Submission

If you would like to give a 5-minute presentation at the conference, please submit a 250 word abstract.


Featured Speakers & Workshops

To Be Announced

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TBA Description


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TBA Description


Organizing Committee
Karen L. Blair - Chair, Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity Issues Section
Colleen MacQuarrie - Past Chair, Section on Women and Psychology
Jessica McCutcheon - Section on Women and Psychology
Anusha Kassan - Chair, Counselling Psychology Section
Jeffrey Ansloos - Chair, Indigenous Peoples’ Psychology Section
Sobia Ali-Faisal - Section on Women and Psychology
Janelle Kwee - Chair, Section on Women and Psychology
Rhea Ashley Hoskin - Secretary, Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity Section