Working with and within Structural Injustice - offered by CAT Scotland
23rd February 2023

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CAT Scotland CPD  Online Event: Working with and within Structural Injustice

Thursday 23rd February 2023

Outline programme


1.45pm Doors open

2.00-3.00pm Working as a therapist with victims of social injustice

“People are struggling to pay their energy bills. Food banks are running out of food. The UK is suffering from a cost-of-living crisis. Inequality is increasing and social mobility is slowing down. Refugees tell stories about war and fleeing. Reports of discrimination and racism are rising. Many of our clients bring such stories of social injustice into the therapy room. What is social injustice? Should we address this, and if so, how? Could therapists even prevent injustice, or stimulate justice? Could we help break the cycles of injustice? What specific steps could we do to support victims of structural injustice?“

3.15-4.15pm Working as a therapist in an unjust mental health care system

“Does our mental health care system do justice to our clients? Or does our system sometimes create more injustice? Do we perpetrate injustice ourselves? These may be difficult questions to ask, but of utmost importance for ethical therapists. In this session, we will take a critical look at our work settings. First, we will examine how the British national mental health care system may sometimes not do full justice to clients: reductionistic trends, mental health care paradigms, financial restrictions, blind spots, unintended side-effects. I will also highlight how the mental health care system has been challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic. Secondly, we will discuss possible ways to protect our human values within this system, without burning out in our fight for justice.”

“Both sessions will combine theory lectures, interactions and conversations. At the end, I will also share resources to develop your skills and knowledge about social justice. Anyone who wants to do some reading before this meeting (not required) may want to read: Vos, J., Roberts, R., & Davies, J. (2019). Mental health in crisis. Sage.; Vos, J. (2020). The economics of meaning in life: From capitalist life syndrome to meaning-oriented economy. University Professors Press.; for injustices during the COVID-19 pandemic read Vos, J. (2021). The psychology of COVID-19. Sage.”

The CAT Scotland AGM will follow at 4.30 and is open to members.

Biography: Dr Joel Vos, PhD, CPsychol is a psychologist, philosopher and psychological therapist. He works as a Senior Researcher and Senior Lecturer at the Metanoia Institute in London. He is Director of IMEC International Meaning Events and Community, a consultant and board member to several mental health services. He has been advisor to politicians, social movements and political activists. In the past he has worked at the University of Roehampton and the New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling in the United Kingdom, and at Leiden University in the Netherlands. Joel has published over 120 articles and chapters. His recent books include The Psychology of COVID-19 (Sage, 2021) and Mental Health in Crisis together with Ron Roberts and James Davies (Sage, 2019). Other books include Meaning in Life: An evidence-based handbook for practitioners (Bloomsbury, 2019) and The Economics of Meaning in Life (University Professors Press, 2020). His recent research focuses on psychological therapies, meaning in life, existential topics, social movements, critical psychology, and social justice. Read more on his personal website


The cost is £25 payable to CAT Scotland – bank details as follows

Account Name: CAT Scotland Ltd
Sort Code: 60-83-71
Account number: 08112807
Ref: Your name (surname will be fine if there are too many letters in both names)

Please let Catherine Shea know that you would like to book a place before making your payment:




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Details and Booking Information

23rd February 2023

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