2020 colloquiums & seminars 

The Past, Present, and Future of Sexual Harassment in Psychology

Dr. Jacy Young, Quest University

December 4th, 2020 from 2:30 - 4:00PM via Zoom

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Area: Social

Sexual harassment has had a long presence within psychology right through to the present day. In this talk, I describe three realms in which sexual harassment has been a part of psychology. These include the use of sexual harassment as a research technique, an object of study, and a behaviour on the part of psychologists. In reviewing sexual harassment in these spheres, I highlight the practices and norms that sanctioned, and continue to sanction, sexual harassment as normative within the discipline, as well as the consequences of harassment on psychology’s members, culture, and knowledge production. Finally, I review some of the consequences of taking sexual harassment seriously as an issue within the discipline and offer suggests for how individuals and collectives may transform disciplinary cultures that have sustained sexual harassment as normative.

Ending stigma for whom? A critical community-based analysis of substance use related anti-stigma campaigns across Canada

Scott Neufeld, PhD student

Friday Nov 20, 2020 from 2:30 - 4:00PM via Zoom

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Area: Social

In the midst of Canada’s overdose crisis, interventions intended to reduce stigma towards people who use drugs (PWUD) are increasing. However, given that stigma towards PWUD is shaped by the intersection of structural forces (e.g. racism, classism, etc.), how inclusive are anti-stigma campaigns of marginalized PWUD? Through collaboration with long term drug user activists with lived experience of substance use related stigma, this two-part research project explores the intergroup relations implicit in mainstream representations of people who use drugs in the context of Canadian anti-stigma campaigns.

In study one, 110 substance use-related anti-stigma campaigns from across Canada (the majority launched since 2017) were identified and analyzed to reveal wider trends in approaches to stigma reduction for people who use drugs. People with lived experience of substance use (i.e. active drug users, people in recovery, or people who have died of an overdose) comprise approximately half of all focal individuals represented and the majority of these individuals are represented as white and middle class. The intersection of substance use related stigma with other forms of oppression is almost never mentioned and most campaigns ignore the historical and structural dimensions of substance use related stigma, defining stigma in primarily psychological terms (e.g. individual bias, stereotypes). Furthermore, one of the most common anti-stigma strategies identified depends on “challenging the stereotypes” of a typical drug user, an approach that may function to only deepen the exclusion of marginalized PWUD by contending that privileged drug users are “not like those people”.  

In study two, eight focus groups with current and former illicit opioid users (N=41) from marginalized subgroups (e.g. low-income, Indigenous, racialized, transgender) critically analyzed two recent examples of Canadian anti-stigma campaigns. Participants did not see their marginalized identities or experiences of stigma represented in the imagery or messaging of the selected campaigns, which participants believed depicted primarily white-appearing, ‘mainstream’, middle-class PWUD. Participants feared the exclusion of their identities from anti-stigma campaigns perpetuated their wider societal exclusion and compounded the inequities of the overdose crisis (e.g. the over-representation of low-income and Indigenous people in overdose deaths).

These findings illustrate the complexity of substance use related stigma and suggest more inclusive, intersectional and structural approaches may be required to sufficiently denormalize stigma for all people who use drugs.

Learning by Doing: An Experiential Way of Learning Forensic Interviewing

Dr. Hugues Hervé: Registered Clinical Psychologist in B.C., Lead Author of the StepWise 360, Director of The Forensic Practice

Friday, November 20th, 2020 from 2:30PM via Zoom

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Area: Forensic

The reliability, accuracy, and completeness of information gathered from interviews is of paramount importance in forensic contexts, as this information is used to make decisions that can impact justice, liberty, and safety. Although gaps in research remain, there is now a solid body of research that points to the best practices in forensic interviewing and the problematic ones. As a result, many evidence-based forensic interviewing guidelines now share more similarities than differences. However, an area that the field continues to struggle with is how best to train forensic interviewers to ensure that the skills taught are transferred to, and maintained in, the field. This presentation will focus on experiential learning as a necessary ingredient for effective training, both during in-class and online instruction. This session will conclude with a demonstration of an experiential way to highlight the uniqueness and complexity of memory-based interviewing, a fundamental interviewing skill taught in the StepWise 360.

Social Area Symposium

Dr. Rebecca Cobb, Richard Rigby, Chelsey Lee, Becky Cobb, Abigail Falk, Jessica Ferreira

Friday, October 30, 2020 from 2:30 - 4:00PM via Zoom

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Area: Social

Dr. Cobb and her students will be presenting their most recent research ideas and findings covering a range of topics on close romantic relationships. 

Firearms and suicide:  What do we know and what can we do?

Dr. Michael D. Anestis: GVRC Executive Director; Associate Professor in the Dept. of Urban Global Public Health at the Rutgers School of Public Health

Friday, October 23, 2020 from 1:00 - 2:30PM via Zoom

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Area: Clinical

Firearms account for over half of all American suicide deaths and suicide accounts for nearly two-thirds of all American firearm deaths. In any given year, approximately 25,000 Americans will die by suicide using this method alone. Despite these startling numbers, firearm owners remain largely unaware of the association between firearm access and suicide risk and the nation as a whole has struggled to broadly implement strategies that may prevent many of these deaths. In this talk, Dr. Anestis will explain how and why firearms are related to suicide, data driven steps that could prevent thousands of death each year, and obstacles that have prevented successful implementation.

Learning through play in hunter-gatherer societies

Sheina Lew-Levy, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Psychology, Simon Fraser University

Research Associate, Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies, Aarhus University

Wednesday, February 26th, 2020 from 2:00 - 3:30PM in AQ 4130

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Play is a universal feature of human childhood, but what children play at, and whom they play with, depends on the cultural setting they inhabit. While many authors note that much of hunter-gatherer children’s time is spent in play, few have explored the structure and function of their play. Using ethnographic and quantitative data, postdoctoral researcher Sheina Lew-Levy outlines how culture, subsistence, and demography contribute to how hunter-gatherer children play, and what they learn during this activity. By placing hunter-gatherer children’s play in a comparative perspective, she argues that children’s play is at the center of cultural transformation in the past and present.

More Sense and Science, Less Sex and Sentiment

Dr. Sue Johnson

Friday, February 7th, 2020 from 1:00 - 2:30PM in Saywell 10051

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Dr. Johnson is an author, clinical psychologist, researcher, professor, popular presenter and speaker, and a leading innovator in the field of couple therapy and adult attachment. Sue is the primary developer of Emotionally Focused Couples and Family Therapy (EFT), which has demonstrated its effectiveness in over 30 years of peer-reviewed clinical research; the founding Director of the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT), and Distinguished Research Professor at Alliant University in San Diego, California, as well as Professor Emeritus, Clinical Psychology, at the University of Ottawa, Canada.

Dr. Johnson has received a variety of awards acknowledging her development of EFT and her significant contribution to the field of couple and family therapy and adult attachment, including Member of the Order of Canada, Psychologist of the Year in 2016, and has been honoured by AAMFT for her Outstanding Contribution to the Field of Couples and Family Therapy. As author of the best-selling book: Hold Me Tight, Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love, Dr. Johnson created for the general public a self-help version of her groundbreaking research about relationships – how to enhance them, how to repair them and how to keep them.

Sue trains counselors in EFT worldwide and consults to the 65 international institutes and affiliated centers who practice EFT. She also consults to Veterans Affairs, the U.S. and Canadian military, and New York City Fire Department.

She lives in Victoria, BC, with her husband. She adores Argentine tango and kayaking on Canada’s northern lakes.

*Presentation held by web.