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Ontario Society of Adlerian Psychology

Gemeinschaftsgefuhl ~ Advancing Adlerian Psychology in Ontario Through Social Interest, Sense of Belonging, Community Feeling and Equality


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Latest News Blog

Black History Month | February 2021

by Charmaine McIntosh | on January 31, 2021

Black History Month

About Black History Month

During Black History Month, Canadians celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Black Canadians who, throughout history, have done so much to make Canada the culturally diverse, compassionate and prosperous nation it is today.  Take some time to learn about and celebrate Black History in Canada. “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots” – Marcus Mosiah Garvey Jr.  LEARN MORE

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Mindful Communication in Relationships

by Charmaine McIntosh | on January 29, 2021

Couple Communication

Setting intentions can help to improve communication in your relationships.  Research indicates that the practice of indfulness can assist individuals in relationships and reduce stress.  Jon Kabat-Zinn (1994) describes mindfulness as “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally”.  Read More on how to mindfully communicate and learn to set intentiosn in relationships.

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Mindfulness for Children

by Charmaine McIntosh | on January 25, 2021

Kids Mindfulness

Are you interested in teaching your children or students mindfulness.  Here are two short mindfulness activities based on the book Sitting Still Like A Frog.

2-Minute Mindfulness Meditation

5-Minute Mindfulness Meditation

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Cultural Competence in Coaching

by Charmaine McIntosh | on January 19, 2021

Cultural Competent Coaching

Coaches work with clients from different cultural background.  Like mental health clinicians, coaches also need to be aware of how cultural differences can have an impact on the coach-client relationship.   According to the Canada Coach Academy, ”Coaches have a responsibility to understand how culture affects who we are, what we think, and what is behind the choices we make.”1 Therefore, it is important for coaches to develop cultural competence; this adds to being a better coach.

“The challenge for us as coaches is to unveil the impact of a client’s varied discourse, both cultural and individual. To be truly of service in our coaching, we need to recognize the histories that are alive in the person in front of us when we are coaching.” IJCO, p. 33

Christian Höferle, a cross-cultural trainer and coach, believes that there are five fundamental guidelines for an effective cross-cultural coaching relationship.  They are as follows:

  1. Study the foreign: To build rapport with a coaching client a coach needs to diligently explore their culture of origin. This may sound like stating the obvious, however, the more a coach familiarizes himself/herself with the nuances of a client’s background the better. Of course this includes studying about the various sub-cultures one may find in the country of origin.
  2. Know thyself: Only if a coach is fully aware of his/her own culture will he/she be able to resonate with people from another.
  3. Context trumps content. A coach needs to look at the context as the container of the client/coach relationship. Imagine a cup that represents the framework of the relationship. If this cup has a crack, any content poured into it will eventually seep out through the crack. Coaches shouldn’t use templates with their coachees. Every client is different. Defining what the relationship will be like is critical for success.
  4. Some see this as optional, personally I make it mandatory: Once good rapport is established, there should be a written agree-ment which states how the coach will work with the client. Call it framework, contract, or Code of Honor: It helps to keep each other accountable.
  5. Trust the process – That’s true for both, coachee and coach.”3

A cultural competent coach expands knowledge, broaden their cultural lens, and gain a deeper awareness of culture and historical patterns of the client; thus, a better understanding of how culturally diverse clients see themselves and the world.


  1. Canada Coach Academy.  Coaching across cultures.
  2. Curnow, K. (2006).  Differences and discourses: Coaching across cultures.  The International Journal of Coaching in Organizations, 4(4), 30-39. Professional Coaching Publications.
  3. Höferle, C.  Five basic principles for efficient cross-cultural coaching. The Culture Mastery.
  4. Molinsky, A. & Höferle, C. (2015, April 29). Will that cross-cultural coach really help your team?  Harvard Business Review.

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Happiness Cake

by Charmaine McIntosh | on January 15, 2021

Happiness Cake

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Equality and Social Justice

by Charmaine McIntosh | on January 09, 2021

In our society we see inequality and injustices every day.  It is the responsibility of each individual to promote equality and social justice.

What is Equality?

The Canadian Human Rights Act states, “all individuals should have an opportunity equal with other individuals to make for themselves the lives that they are able and wish to have and to have their needs accommodated, consistent with their duties and obligations as members of society, without being hindered in or prevented from doing so by discriminatory practices based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, family status, genetic characteristics, disability or conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been granted or in respect of which a record suspension has been ordered.”2

What is Social Justice?

There is no one definition.  Lewis et al. as cited in Kennedy and Arthur (2014) defined social justice as a “perspective grounded in the belief that every individual has the right to quality education, appropriate health care services, and equal employment opportunities, regardless of ethnicity, race, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, economic status, and other individual characteris-tics” (p. 188).  Goodman, et al. (2004) writes about training mental health clinicians to participate in social justice work which is seen as “professional action designed to change societal values, structures, policies and practices, such that disadvantaged or marginalized groups gain increased access to tools of self-determination” (p. 795).

The issues of inequality and social injustice permeates our society and connects to our mental health and wellbeing - they matter!  We need to be aware so that we can honour the diversity of people  and take action for equality, social justice and mental wellness.


  1. Goodman, L.A., Liang, B., Helms, J.E., Latta, R.E., Sparks, E., & Weintraub, S.R. (2004). Training counseling psychologists as social justice agents: Feminist and multicultural principles in action. The Counseling Psychologist, 32, 793-837. doi: 10.1177/0011000004268802
  2. Government of Canada.  Canadian Human Rights Act R.S.C., 1985,c.H-6.
  3. Kennedy, B.A. & Arthur, N. (2014).  Social justice and counselling psychology: Recommitment through action, Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 48(3), 186–205.

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