​​Hosted by SISP student committee, McGill University

Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology


Talk 1: Dr. Susan Rodger

May 16 @ 9:00 am EST

Trauma and Violence Informed Care in Education

​Biography: Dr. Susan Rodger is a Psychologist and Professor in the Graduate Program in Counselling Psychology at the Faculty of Education at Western University, Founding Director of the Centre for School-Based Mental Health, and a Research Associate at the Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children. Her research and teaching interests focus on anti-oppressive practice, mental health literacy in education, and the influence of exposure to violence on learning. She is currently working on a number projects developing resources for Trauma-and-Violence-Informed-Care in the Education and Gender-based violence sectors, educator wellness, and supporting child and youth mental health in schools.

Workshop Description: Approaches to addressing mental health and social care are beginning to evolve from narrow, individually-focused interventions to incorporate a broader understanding of various forms of trauma as a pervasive social problem embedded in structural inequities. Trauma- and violence-informed care (TVIC) expands the concept of trauma-informed practice to account for these intersecting impacts of systemic and interpersonal violence and structural inequities on a person’s life and in this presentation, we will explore how these experiences can influence academic engagement, achievement, and the care work of educators and mental health professionals. The four principles of TVIC are to: 1) understand trauma and violence, especially structural violence, and their impacts on people’s lives; 2) prioritize people’s (including providers’) physical, emotional and cultural safety with a particular focus on stigma and discrimination; 3) promote person-centred connection, collaboration and choice; and 4) find and build on people’s existing strengths and support their skill development. During this interactive workshop we will explore TVIC and the opportunities it provides to care for students, educators, and mental health professionals.

Learning Objectives:
1. Learn the four principles of trauma and Violence Informed Care.
2. Understand how these universal principles can be used in education.
3. Understand the impact of lived experience of trauma on school engagement and achievement.
4. Become familiar with and practice key strategies to successfully enable a TVIC approach to your work.

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Talk 2: Dr. Esther Geva
May 16 @ 1:00 pm EST
Diagnosing LD in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Children and Youth who May have Learning Difficulties - Challenges, Research Evidence, and Implications for Culturally Sensitive Approaches to Assessment and Diagnosis

​Biography: Dr. Esther Geva is a licensed psychologist and professor in the Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto. Her extensive work focuses on the development of literary skills in children from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds, with an emphasis on learning to read in a second language. She has published numerous books, chapters and research articles in these areas and is recognized internationally as a leading expert in this field. In her applied practice, Dr. Geva is interested in community-based approaches to prevention and intervention with marginalized groups, and options in assessment and intervention for second language learners.

Workshop Description: Typically, the goals of the assessment and intervention are to establish the client's learning and social-emotional needs, the strategies that support their learning and adjustment, and consult with their schools in order to enhance the likelihood that these strategies will be implemented. This presentation addresses the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) children and youth who are second language learners (ELL, ESL, FSL, L2), struggle with reading and/or language development, and come from various multicultural contexts that demand culturally sensitive strategies for assessment and intervention. I will provide pertinent examples of research conducted in my ELL lab, and address the repertoire of strategies for dealing with the complex array of cognitive, linguistic, and cultural issues involved in the assessment and intervention of CLD children and adolescents. Time permitting, 1-2 case presentations will be shared that bring to life the strategies involved. The lecture will familiarize graduate students with pertinent research literature and integrate diverse areas as L2 acquisition, learning disabilities and cognitive processing, as well as social and emotional issues that may affect families from different backgrounds, alternative assessment and intervention practices, and consultation and advocacy for CLD clients.

​Learning objectives:
1. Learn the core components of language and reading development and how to identify greater difficulties in children
2. Learn to differentiate between language and reading struggles that are related to aspects of being a language learner or a culturally and linguistically diverse youth.
3. Gain skills required to adequately manage complex cognitive, linguistic, and cultural issues that arise during the assessment of culturally and linguistically diverse children
4. Learn sensitive strategies for assessment and intervention with second language learners

Talk 3: Dr. Melissa Tremblay

May 17 @ 1:00 pm EST

School and Clinical Supports with Indigenous Children, Youth, and Families

​Biography: Dr. Melissa Tremblay is a member of the Métis Nation of Alberta and was born and raised in rural Alberta. Melissa is a Registered Psychologist in the province of Alberta, and an Associate Professor in the School and Clinical Child Psychology Program at the University of Alberta. As the mother of three young children, Melissa is acutely aware of the need to strengthen opportunities for Indigenous children and youth to deepen understandings of their cultures and histories. With her earliest frontline work in the area of forensic counselling, Melissa has a long-standing interest in walking alongside structurally marginalized young people on their journeys toward health and wellness. Her research work takes a relational, community-based participatory approach and has allowed her the privilege of working in partnership with Indigenous peoples, communities, schools, and agencies across the country. Melissa’s work also maintains a strong focus on advocating for transformative, community-grounded approaches to supporting Indigenous children, youth, and families to access their strengths and wisdom.

Workshop Description: Against the backdrop of colonialism, Indigenous children and youth face inequities in access to and provision of mental health services in school and clinical settings. Cultural safety is a foremost concern in addressing the unique and diverse needs and strengths of Indigenous children, youth, and families. Through this workshop, participants will critically reflect on the concept of cultural safety as applied to supporting young Indigenous students. This webinar will also highlight historical contexts and contemporary issues of concern, along with ways in which trauma, healing, and wellness are experienced in the context of colonialism. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in discussion with each other, critically reflect on their roles and responsibilities as practitioners, and consider how to move their work forward in reflexive, culturally safe ways.

​Learning objectives:
1. Articulate what cultural safety means in the context of supporting Indigenous children, youth, and families.
2. Understand how school and clinical supports can be provided in ways that are responsive to the historical and ongoing impacts of colonialism.
3. Critically reflect on ways that they can challenge dominant deficit-based narratives about Indigenous peoples.
4. Action ways to enhance their work with Indigenous children, youth, and families.