*Note* This scheduling program was not designed by folks who do a lot with APA Style and unfortunately it defaults to listing authors in alphabetical order. We cannot fix this for this online schedule, but the author orders are posted in the order submitted in the printed program available via pdf here.
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Friday, March 6 • 3:45pm - 4:45pm
Restoring agency and maintaining the family: Moving from Mandated Reporting to Therapeutic Reporting

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Mandated reporting in psychotherapy is a frequently used intervention. Though the intent of the practice is to be therapeutic in its aim to protect children from inadequate or harmful care, the consequences of its execution can contradict its intent. This presentation will examine these contradictions and the ways in which dynamics of oppression, re-traumatization, and colonization are being expressed through mandated reporting laws. Using post colonial race theory, along with relational and social justice perspectives I will discuss the perpetuation and maintenance of a pervasive culture of oppression, where families of color are intruded upon, separated, and demeaned, in a disabling dynamic of powerlessness. The relationships between corporal punishment and discipline, and between families of color and institutional intervention will be observed through a historical lens. The instillation of fear and exhibition of power for purposes of control and capital are tactics that are still preserved in more subtle and nuanced way. This has been observed in my work in school-based and outpatient community mental health settings with primarily African American children and their mothers. Fear and distrust of the “system” (i.e. Therapists power/privilege to report abuse, threat of removal of children form home, the) in the context of therapy displayed by child clients and their mothers often complicates and slows an already vulnerable process of entering and remaining open through treatment. Consideration of the entire family system receives little attention or clinical thought, when reporting situations arise. Emphasis will be given to finding space to think about the impacts of this practice, while considering alternatives and/or modifications to approaching and implementing this intervention, with an interest in portraying and offering a less threatening, more therapeutic stance for families.


Friday March 6, 2015 3:45pm - 4:45pm PST
Gold Rush A