Dr. Jessica Dere

Dr. Jessica Dere

Event Speaker

Dr. Jessica Dere


Jessica Dere is an Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, at the University of Toronto Scarborough, in the Department of Psychology and the Graduate Department of Psychological Clinical Science. A culturally-informed approach to mental health is at the heart of her teaching, research, clinical supervision, and clinical practice. Her academic work is driven by a fascination with the interplay between cultural factors and all aspects of mental health and mental illness. She has published research on alexithymia, cultural variations in depressive and anxious symptom presentation, and acculturation. She is a licensed clinical psychologist and is a part-time associate at the Cognitive and Interpersonal Therapy Centre in Toronto.


Developing a Stance of Informed Curiosity: Integrating Evidence-Based Practice with a Culturally-Informed Approach to Mental Health

Speaker: Dr. Jessica Dere

In this session, attendees will engage with an approach to working with cultural factors in clinical practice that emphasizes the integration of evidence from both a cultural and clinical psychology lens. The session will be divided into four parts.

Firstly, empirical examples from the cultural psychology literature will be used to illustrate fundamental ways in which culture shapes human experience and behaviour, with direct implications for psychological distress and suffering.

Next, ways to incorporate knowledge of cultural variations into clinical assessment will be discussed. The third part will discuss the evidence for and against culturally-adapted treatments. This part will highlight the challenges and disadvantages that can stem from group-based approached to addressing culture in clinical care.

Finally, ways in which the literature on treatment non-specifics (e.g., therapeutic alliance) can be productively integrated with findings from cultural competency literature will be examined. Both culturally-informed and evidence-based clinical practices will be used.

Information in this workshop will emphasize clinical work with adults, from a psychological viewpoint, but the workshop content should be relevant to all client populations and be translatable to therapeutic practice.

Key Take-aways

  1. Describe examples of research findings that illustrate cultural variation in core psychological processes relevant to clinical practice
  2. Summarize different approaches that exist to try and incorporate cultural factors into assessment and intervention
  3. Begin to articulate specific ideas for how to develop a stance of informed curiosity in their own clinical practice