2014 – 2016 Activities of the CGCT:
- Professor of Counselling Psychology, Dr. Marla Buchanan, and Professor Emeritus Dr. Marvin Westwood and VTN members attended Ottawa to meet with Minister Sajjan and raise awareness about Veteran mental health through the theatre performance of Contact!Unload.
- Throughout the month of November in 2015, a Canadian initiative called “The Veterans Transition Program (VTP)” was showcased at the Canadian High Commission in the United Kingdom. It included a Veterans Tribute Pole, the lestweforgetCANADA mural, and a theatre piece entitled “CONTACT! Unload” created by Veterans, academics, and artists to bring attention to the challenges some Veterans and their families face when returning from conflict.
- Adapting the VTP to subgroups of vulnerable men (Project four). In the course of this three-year Movember Canada funded project, Drs. Marv Westwood and David Kuhl pilot six groups in BC, QC and NS for college/university aged men and men with prostate cancer who experience mild to moderate depression. Goals are qualitative and quantitative program assessment, a media-based knowledge translation of effectively engaging men in mental health enhancement, a new model for working with traditionally socialized men, and a contribution to the discourse surrounding men’s help seeking. This project is a growing network of professionals in institutions across Canada, including McGill, Acadia and BCIT.
- Professional development training for women in the corporate sector. CGCT trained clinicians (Carson Kivari, Candace Marshall & Christie Smalls) and graduate students (Matthew Daniels & Alistair Gordon) have provided communication and expression skills training for women of an international software company. Met with a highly positive response, this project furthered community engagement and helped women to advance in the professional world.
- Expression empathy training. A group of conditionally accepted counselling graduate students were trained by CGCT clinician Carson Kivari and graduate student Alistair Gordon in a core component of effective interpersonal process. Building from this, Carson provides remedial counselling skills training to individuals in the Faculty of Education’s Counselling Psychology program.
- Therapeutic enactment lab. The CGCT hosts an experiential learning lab for 10 MA students. On the UBC campus, students participate in therapeutic enactment (TE), learning the essential components of this integrative intervention from the perspective of both clients and supporting role. With assistance from Dr. Marla Buchanan, students gain additional training in conducting interpersonal process recall—the consolidative counterpart to TE.
- Therapeutic enactment training: Tier I & II. Dr. Westwood is conducting intermediate and advanced TE training modules for certified mental health professionals. This intensive immersion is run residentially in a retreat-style format, expanding the CGCTs mandate of professional development from students to the broader community of therapists.
- Pre-departure and re-entry cultural transition training. Dr. Westwood provided a cultural adaptation workshop to Faculty of Education members teaching in Dadaab and travelling to Somalia. December, 2014.
- Ongoing VTP research: With funding from the Royal Canadian Legion BC/Yukon Command (RCL) a professorship has supported research excellence in group counselling and trauma through projects led by Dr. Dan Cox, Dr. Marla Buchanan, and international scholars operating from Australia.