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Transforming Othering through Empathy

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  • Date: Fri, Apr 19, 2019
  • Time: 8:30 am - 12:30 am
  • Venue: Multnomah County

Chronically stressed individuals or culturally different individuals may present with behavior challenges that make it difficult to engage with them as service providers. Implicit or explicit “othering” is often a de-facto response to these challenges due to our evolutionary need to separate safe in-groups from unsafe out-groups. Othering also provides a psychological rationalization for treating a person or group differently when that treatment otherwise might contradict values the person holds.

This class will increase participants’ awareness on the notion of othering and will provide knowledge, skills, and techniques to increase empathy as a comprehensive trauma-informed alternative.


By the end of this class, participants will be able to:

  1. Understand the notion of “othering:” its origins, purpose, and traumatic effects;

  2. Recognize and describe ways othering was at play in historical situations, both personally and systemically;

  3. Understand the neurobiology of empathy and its capacity to counter and transform the habit of othering;

  4. Describe each step of an empathy framework; and

  5. Integrate the empathy framework into trauma-informed systems and practices.


Multnomah County employees


April 3, 2017,  8:30 am – 12:30 pm