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Continuing Education

Intercultural Communication: Critical Understandings for Effectiveness

Date: 9:00am - 5:00pm PDT October 15, 2016 Location: Lewis & Clark Graduate Campus, South Chapel

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Lewis & Clark Graduate Campus, South Chapel

We tend to have specific ways we define “good” communication and conflict resolution (e.g., “I feel” statements, direct processing, assertive communication). However, if we do not incorporate intercultural communication (IC) concepts, unintentional misunderstandings may occur with the people we work with and in our relationships.

We cannot always assume our standards are universal or right. Increasing our ability to navigate our differences allows us to truly connect with others. These types of skills are critical for real cultural competency and effectiveness in our work.

Much of what is taught in graduate diversity classes stems from social justice and multicultural traditions. The intercultural perspective is complimentary; where the other traditions tend to focus more on the individual or group characteristics in isolation, the intercultural perspective focuses on the interaction. 

As therapists, counselors, and educators, IC allows us to greatly expand our skills, and go beyond empathy, understanding, and “do’s & don’ts” type interventions. Intercultural communication concepts impact how and when we talk about diversity issues, how we build relationships, problem-solve, resolve conflicts, conduct a mental health intake assessment, sequence certain areas of learning, and exhibit culturally-appropriate empathy.

Learn More

Read a recent Q&A with Cheryl surrounding her spring 2016 training, “Talking About Race and Racism: A Developmental and Integrative Approach.”

This workshop will review key intercultural communication theories and concepts, and how to apply them in communication between adults. The concepts presented still apply in communication with children, however specific applications with children will not be discussed in the workshop. The importance of integrating intercultural communication work with social justice perspectives will also be emphasized.

Who should attend?
This workshop is designed for those working in “helping professions”, such as counselors, therapists, and educators, as well as for staff and leadership in schools, clinics, nonprofits and other organizational settings, and for community members seeking to improve their communication, work more effectively, and build better relationships with diverse populations.

Workshop Details & Registration

Date: Saturday, October 15, 2016

Time: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Instructor: Cheryl Forster, PsyD

Cost: $125 by 9/22, $150 after, includes 7 CEUs or PDUs, $50 students. Lewis & Clark alumni save 20%

Register now

About the Instructor

As a psychologist and an Asian-American woman, Cheryl Forster brings a strong and unique set of skills to her work as a professional trainer and intercultural coach.  Her subject matter expertise, love of learning, and warmth come across in her trainings. Cheryl graduated from Tufts University with her master’s in applied developmental psychology, and earned her doctorate in clinical psychology from Pacific University.  Since 2004, she has worked at Portland State University’s (PSU) Center for Student Health and Counseling, where she is a therapist, supervisor, and the Coordinator of Diversity and the Psychology Internship (PSU has a doctoral internship training program).  She was an Association of Counseling Center Training Agencies’ (ACCTA) Diversity Scholar, and obtained her Intercultural Practitioner Certificate from the highly respected Intercultural Communication Institute.  She has partnered with the Healing Feathers’ Program at PSU since 2008, and is a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) and former member of the Oregon Psychological Association’s Diversity Committee.  Moreover, Cheryl is a contributing author in The SAGE Encyclopedia of Intercultural Competence (2015), and also pursues ongoing advanced studies in organizational psychology, trauma-informed services, interpersonal neurobiology, conflict resolution, and training and development.  Her commitment to the learning process led her to establish her training and coaching business, called Bookmark Connections. Learn more about Dr. Forster’s work at

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