Integrating cultural humility, cultural competency, and social justice advocacy into child-centered play therapy
Link for Access: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81274251453
Overall, the United States’ population is becoming more racially diverse. Between 2000 and 2017, the percentage of school-age children who were White decreased from 62% to 51% (National Center for Education Statistics, 2019). In contrast, the percentages of students from other racial/ethnic groups increased from 2000 to 2017: Hispanic children, from 16% to 25%; Asian children, from 3% to 5%; and multiracial children, from 2% to 4%. Though diversity is increasing, children in minority groups have many disadvantages due to circumstances beyond their control. They experience more poverty (US Census Bureau, 2017), unequal educational opportunities (US Census Bureau, 2019), discriminatory practices (Pascoe & Smart Richman, 2009), trauma (Sacks & Murphey, 2018), mental health diagnoses, and inadequate mental health services. These children are not receiving satisfactory services because of a shortage of mental health professionals, low funding, and inadequate training (Mellin, 2009). Mental health professionals who work with children, specifically play therapists, are called to be more responsive to the increase in diversity of the growing population of children. Unfortunately, while the population of children in the United States is racially diversifying, the professionals who practice play therapy are not racially diverse. Currently, only one study has addressed play therapists’ cultural humility (Chase, 2021), but two studies have addressed their multicultural competency attitudes (Penn & Post, 2012; Ritter & Chang, 2002). However, Ritter and Chang (2002) did not address participants’ race, and Penn and Post (2012) had an 87.5% Caucasian sample. This dramatic increase in the multicultural population and lack of racial diversity among play therapists confirms the need for professionals and students in helping professions to become stronger social justice advocates. To support diverse children and support therapists in offering responsive services and advocate on behalf of minority children, play therapists need to learn how to have cultural competency, practice cultural humility, and be strong social justice advocates. This webinar will discuss how play therapists and other mental health professionals can advocate and serve the racially diverse children who they serve.
Lauren Chase, LCMHCA, PhD, NCC
Dr. Chase is a clinical therapist who provides psychotherapy to children, teens, adults, and families. She holds a doctorate degree in Counselor Education and Supervision with a concentration in Play Therapy from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She has significant experience in treating clients with issues related to self-esteem, anxiety, depression, educational challenges, parental divorce, and parental separation. She is also a visiting faculty member teaching graduate courses in counseling, and her research interests center on social justice advocacy, trauma, cultural humility, and play therapy. In her free time, she likes to spend time with her dog, read historical fiction novels, and explore nature.