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Devereux’s Jean and Anson Beard Symposium features renowned clinical psychologist Dr. Howard Stevenson


Devereux hosted its 22nd annual Jean and Anson Beard Symposium featuring renowned clinical psychologist Dr. Howard Stevenson. (Pictured from left to right: Dr. Stevenson, Dr. Yolanda Graham and Dr. Barry McCurdy.)

Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health’s Institute of Clinical and Professional Training and Research hosted its 22nd annual Jean and Anson Beard Symposium featuring Dr. Howard Stevenson, a University of Pennsylvania professor, nationally-recognized clinical psychologist and researcher on negotiating racial conflicts using racial literacy. 

Dr. Stevenson presented the one-day workshop titled, “If Elephants Could Talk: Racial Literacy for Healing Racial Stress in Relationships” recently at the Inn at Villanova University in Wayne, Pa. 

“It was a thought-provoking and informative event.” Dr. Stevenson addressed a topic of critical importance to everyone in attendance – and in today’s society,” said Devereux Center for Effective Schools Director and Health Service Psychology Internship Director of Training Barry McCurdy, Ph.D., NCSP, BCBA-D. “Dr. Stevenson’s remarks provided participants with an opportunity to reflect upon their personal experiences in dealing with cultural differences and, perhaps, even conflicts. For me, the most significant takeaway was how much our attendees embraced this workshop, and how they were willing to share their own stories related to racial literacy.” 

The symposium, established in 1997 through the generosity of longtime Devereux supporters Jean and Anson Beard, offers a forum for sharing and discussing the most recent advances in the field of behavioral health.  

Addressing diversity-related topics; building trust

During his presentation, Dr. Stevenson demonstrated how to address diversity-related topics – in a way that builds trust and engagement – in racially stressful moments and encounters. 

The goal of the workshop was to educate attendees on how to better respond to racial conflicts – whether perceived or actual – without overreacting or underreacting. Through storytelling, journaling, stress management practice, debate, role-playing, open exchange and dialogue, participants learned how racial literacy can aid decision-making, while experiencing in-the-moment stress reactions.

Continuing education credits

For the first time, the Devereux Center for Effective Schools (CES) offered Act 48 continuing education credits to Pennsylvania educators who attended the program and completed both the program evaluation form and an assessment. Psychologists, licensed counselors and Pennsylvania social workers who attended the program and completed the evaluation form also received continuing education credits.

“Our goal is to provide high-quality, engaging and truly meaningful continuing education experiences for educators, clinicians and other interested parties,” said Dr. McCurdy. “Offering Act 48 credits for educators provides yet another opportunity to showcase Devereux’s innovative and timely professional development opportunities.” Learn more about Devereux’s upcoming continuing education programs.

“I was thrilled to receive Act 48 professional development hours for attending this event,” shared Devereux CES Training and Consulting Specialist Taylor Wyatt, M.Ed. “Dr. Stevenson was an outstanding presenter, and his questions were thought-provoking. His stories and presentation style captivated the audience and left many of us thinking about ways in which we can use racial literacy in our daily lives, as well as in interactions with those we serve.”

Learn more about Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health.


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