Addressing Racial Prejudice in Counseling Sessions : VFHY
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Empower Series

Addressing Racial Prejudice in Counseling Sessions

Provided in Partnership with the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS)

July 29, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm ET

Workshop Description

How should behavioral healthcare professionals handle prejudices that clients express in counseling? Do these prejudices need to be addressed if they are not related to the client’s presenting issue? These questions and more will guide our journey together as we explore strategies and interventions for addressing the biases of clients who may hold power and privilege in society, especially White clients who express racial prejudices.

In this one and a half hours workshop, you will learn to:

  1. Recognize the importance of addressing prejudices that clients express in counseling
  2. Utilize three ways of framing the problem of prejudice as important to the health and livelihood of clients
  3. Apply techniques and interventions using case illustrations
  4. Describe possible applications in their work setting


Joseph Williams is an Associate Professor of Counselor Education at the University of Virginia. He is a faculty affiliate with Youth-Nex: The U.Va. Center to Promote Effective Youth Development and with the Center for Race and Public Education in the South. His primary research line focuses on resilience-based interventions and policies at the micro and macro levels that neutralized or offset the detrimental effect of racism and poverty on the academic, personal/social, and career development of K-12 students. His second inquiry line focuses on social justice and anti-racist training practices for (K-12) counselors, educators, and other helping professionals.

Besides publishing scholarly articles and book chapters in these areas, he also consults with school districts, communities, associations, and corporations. In 2019, he started Affirm Consulting, LLC to improve equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts and engage people in productive dialogue and action. His most sought-after workshops address topics such as racism, anti-racism, microaggression, implicit bias, privilege, intersectionality, and prejudice. Dr. Williams earned his Ph.D. in counselor education and supervision from the University of Iowa and his M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Minnesota State University.


This Empower Series event is presented in partnership with the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Services (DBHDS).


Register below for the third of four webinars in the Promoting Racial Literacy Among Behavioral Healthcare Professionals: knowledge, skills and dispositions to address issues of race and racism series. A certificate of contact hours from DBHDS will be provided to webinar participants, if requested. Instructions for requesting a certificate will be provided following the webinar.

Addressing Racial Prejudice in Counseling Sessions - Registration Form
This Empower Series event is only available for Virginians.

Upcoming Empower Series Events

Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021
Applying Advocacy Strategies for Client and Community Empowerment


July 29, 2021
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
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