This workshop aims to encourage a dialogue with psychosocial implications and is offered in the context of our encounters with ‘difference’, exploring its impact on us within the wider society.


Seemingly a grand title and appropriately so – as this endeavour aims to explore weighty concerns with far-reaching implications. The underlying themes in the course emerged from the back of my MSc which explored the gap in mainstream MH services, particularly for clients from black and minority ethnic backgrounds.


This workshop offers participants a safe space to explore their own cultural and ethnic backgrounds and identity within an experiential element. It will endeavour to increase participants awareness and understanding of ‘cultural competence’ and how this looks in practice, alongside gaining skills in managing dynamics in relation to difference. At the heart of it, this workshop will explore how we are all impacted by ‘difference’. More specifically we turn our attention to the topic of ‘understanding intercultural differences’ from a personal perspective, in the workplace and therapeutic settings. In addition, this workshop offers an opportunity to explore what the blocks/barriers may be to working ‘interculturally’?


Feedback from previous course/taster session(s):


“One of the best courses I have attended”.


“Highly fulfilling ‘growing’ experience and so well held”.


“A stimulating, challenging course. Be ready to feel uncomfortable! Covering vital topics around diversity which are particularly apposite in these changing times. I appreciate being better resourced in cultural diversity which will benefit all my clients and probably widen my future client base.”


“Ounkar was welcoming and created a safe learning environment for us to explore aspects of culture and identity and the session gave us a taste of the issues which the full course explores more deeply while being a useful standalone session”.


“I thought the session was very informative.  I also enjoyed the hot seat activity and the feedback!   The examples we shared and the responses to those events are the most rewarding for me and I think getting others to talk about what really affects them is very powerful”.


“The taster session gave me a sense of how much courage, commitment and tenacity is required to explore such important subject matter/s. There is enormous potential for very rich and meaningful conversations to take place with a warm, thoughtful and boundaried facilitator. So much can be learned and gained by accessing this training as a grounding in finding your own version of engaging effectively with difference”.


Ounkar Kaur is an experienced Psychodynamic Psychotherapist currently working in the private and voluntary sector with adults experiencing mental health issues. Ounkar has been involved in the field of mental health since 1995 and in addition to this, she has had clinical placements in the NHS over a period of several years.


With experience across mental health services, Ounkar has worked with adult patients experiencing issues such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, trauma, grief and loss, forced marriage, intergenerational concerns and OCD. Other therapeutic methods include Integrative, Humanistic/Person Centred, Psychodynamic and Intercultural Psychotherapy. Ounkar has previously set up a counselling service for women from the South Asian community which she developed over a period of seven years. She is an accredited Race Equality Trainer offering diversity training and workshops in the context of mental health.


Ounkar is a member of the Severnside Institute for Psychotherapy and is registered with The British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC).


Maria Lyons is a counsellor who has worked for the NHS, in private practice and for various counselling agencies across Bristol and North Somerset. She’s qualified to work with children and young people as well as adults and is currently training at Exeter University in working with the Autistic Spectrum and Learning Disabilities. She describes her way of working as relational and creative, her training being humanistic and integrative.

Maria has always been interested in culture and identity, and has journeyed into, experienced and worked within many different cultures, on a global and local level. It is an ongoing journey in both a personal and collective sense. Maria’s interest in culture incorporates family culture, the culture of disability, culture of the workplace – our experience of the commonplace as well as our experience of difference.

Maria is a registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Registration and refreshments are available from 9.30am for a prompt start at 10.00am 

Lunch and refreshments are included in the price