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Learning Together Series

Learning Together Series is a space for the MEd in School Counselling community to explore the work of decolonization and Indigenization as well as the work around diversity, equity, and inclusion. It is a space for different perspectives and approaches and a space for community members to offer learning and dialogue opportunities for others. 

It is guided by the teaching of gifts that comes from Indigenous knowledges. Everyone has a gift and can contribute to the community, for the benefit of all. All gifts are different, unique, and are all valuable for the community. They should be shared. Our community is fortunate to include people with different perspectives, backgrounds, knowledges, passions, and gifts. All are different, unique, and all are valuable for our community. 

The Learning Together series is a space for us to share our gifts with each other, to learn with and from one another. This work is an ongoing process for all of us, and this learning can flourish in a relational, kind, and reciprocal environment, so the series space is open to all students, faculty, and staff, open to our community. 

Upcoming events

Learning with Lee Smith- March 14: Building a Strong Foundation: Safety as a Foundational Pillar in School Counseling Practice and Curriculum

4 pm- 5-15 pm

Join us for an immersive presentation, “Building a Strong Foundation: Safety as a Foundational Pillar in School Counseling Practice and Curriculum.” In this engaging session, we will delve into dismantling assumptions, review critical considerations, and discuss power dynamics to understand the pivotal role safety plays in cultivating a supportive environment for both students and counselors within the school setting. Uncover practical strategies aimed at enhancing safety in counseling sessions and gain insights into how a secure foundation significantly contributes to the overall well-being of students.

About the Presenter:

Lee Smith is dedicated to crafting welcoming havens of support for BIPOC communities within the realm of mental health. With a background as a counseling psychologist, her journey spans across various sectors, from hospitals and secondary institutions to child protection services and community programs. Boasting over a decade of expertise, Lee brings a wealth of knowledge in theoretical intervention models, research, evidence-based practices, and human rights advocacy, offering her clients a truly distinctive therapeutic approach.

In her therapy sessions, Lee places a special emphasis on culturally specific interventions, addressing oppression comprehensively, and delving into the social determinants of health and their impact on marginalized and racialized communities. Her approach is rooted in creating a safe and inclusive space where individuals can explore their mental health journey with trust and understanding.

Lee’s commitment to reshaping the narrative extends beyond her counseling sessions. She recently made a significant contribution to the Canadian Psychological Association’s journal, sparking a fresh conversation about curriculum construction and its limitations in preparing future psychologists to support BIPOC mental health needs. Her impactful work has influenced learning institutions to reassess their curriculum development processes, ensuring intentional inclusion of cultural considerations in the core curriculum.

Learning with Lindsay Mason – March 27th – The Mindful Scholar: Breaking the Chains of Academic Procrastination

12 pm – 1 pm

Procrastination can negatively impact academic performance by hindering the effectiveness of academic study and contributing to psychological distress and academic retention issues. Academic procrastination, which refers to intentionally delaying the completion of academic-related tasks, affects between 50 and 90 percent of students. Further increases have been noted in both high school and post-secondary students since the COVID-19 pandemic. To address the self-regulation component of procrastination, mindfulness offers an exciting and accessible solution.

This presentation will explore the internal and external factors facilitating task delays to understand your unique academic procrastination fingerprint. We will also delve into the science behind mindfulness and how it can serve as a powerful antidote to the persistent procrastination that often plagues academic pursuits. 

Join us in unlocking the potential of mindfulness as a preventative and holistic solution to academic procrastination. This presentation is suitable for scholars navigating deadlines or academic professionals seeking enhanced productivity. Together, we will explore the obstacles and skills needed to embrace the present and forge a path toward academic excellence.

About the Presenter:

Lindsay Mason is a highly experienced counsellor and registered psychotherapist who has been helping university students overcome academic and learning challenges for over 15 years. She holds a graduate degree in counselling psychology and is pursuing a doctorate in counselling and psychotherapy. Lindsay is currently a counsellor at the University of Toronto, where she teaches a course on resiliency. In her work, she has been exploring ways to incorporate mindfulness and resiliency-based strategies as an intervention for academic procrastination. Additionally, Lindsay has over ten years of experience in private practice at Pivot Psychotherapy. She lives in Toronto with her two young children, a dog, and a nightstand of endless books to read.

Learning with Renee Hock – April 9 – A Responsive Approach to Counselling Education

3:30 pm

There is much literature and attention being dedicated to diverse areas of counselling in practice and encouraging practitioners to embrace a culturally responsive approach to their work in this collaborative conversation we will consider how we might apply this concept to our teaching practices. A possible framework for this work will be presented. Participants will be invited to critique the framework and to share responsive approaches that they are currently implementing in their work with students.

Renee Hock

Learning with Rolando Islas-May 2nd – Beliefs, the main gear into action: An exploration of Ethics in a complex world

3:30 pm

The realm of rules is essentially static, “objective” under a dominant ideology, structured according to the interests of those who dominate and govern the situation; every ordinary situation is structured in dominance, as Althusser would say. 

One of the tools for domination is media, where the dominant ideology shows its own views in an attempt to construct a global belief that would influence the individual actions over any given situation, and so exercise the domination over the ethical global psyche. The realm of truth by contrast, succeeds by overcoming the domination, acting in accordance with the situation, under clear ethical frames. 

We invite you to spend time exploring the available mechanisms to free our actions from the push of domination under the most common ethical frameworks of our times.

 Rolando Islas 

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