In-conference workshops

Avivit Cherrington
Nelson Mandela University, South Africa
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The Mmogo-method®: A visual data generation tool for exploring relational and group experiences
The Mmogo-method is a visual data collection tool developed by Prof Vera Roos, a clinical psychologist, for generating relational and contextual knowledge around subjective experiences, specifically within rural South African contexts. It is a method founded on the theory that people are relational beings, and therefore what is constructed visually can be a symbolic representation of how they experience themselves within a particular context. Using simple materials such as clay (or play-doh), coloured buttons and sticks, participants (of all ages) are facilitated through a process of expressing their subjective experiences of the topic or phenomenon under study. The resulting visual construction and discussion provides the researcher with rich narratives of the how the subjective experience exists in relational systems of the self, as well as the different social and cultural contexts of these interactions. This workshop is a practical one aimed at allowing participants to experience the Mmogo-method process first hand, and opening discussions on how this method could be incorporated into a research engagement to enhance the quality of the data generation process.


Tertia Havenga    
Volvo Group Southern & Eastern Africa
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Towards positive organisations: Essential behaviors for “Vital leadership” in diverse contexts
The world is experiencing change in all aspects of society. The development of strength based leadership is a crucial element in addressing a changing environment. The essential behaviours of vital leadership are based on a 10 year in-depth analysis known as the “CEO Genome Project” which aimed to identify the specific attributes differentiating high performing CEO’s from the rest. This cutting edge project of Harvard University, published in 2017, was performed in partnership with the University of Chicago and Copenhagen Business School. A database was created containing more than 17 000 assessments of C-Suite executives, including 2000 CEO’s. The database has in-depth information on each leader’s career history, business results and behavioural patterns. One of the most important findings was that successful leaders tend to demonstrate four specific behaviours that prove critical to their performance. These are deciding with speed and conviction, engaging for impact, adapting pro-actively, delivering reliably. There is no perfect mix of the four behaviours, the context determines which particular skills are important within any particular situation. While there is certainly no “one size fits all” approach, application of these behaviours can equip current and future leaders within changing times in diverse contexts. Source: Harvard Business Review: May- June 2017. Elena LytkinaBotelho- Founder of the CEO Genome Project. Stephen Kincaid – President of the Society of Consulting Psychology. Dina Wang- Fellow for the forum for Growth and Innovation at Harvard Business School.


Jolize Joubert
Affiliation needed                               
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Solution Building in South African Correctional Centres: Applying Solution Focused Brief Therapy with Offenders
Correctional centres have undergone vast transformations over the past few decades. The focus has shifted from detention, safe custody and removal from society towards rehabilitation, development and societal reintegration. Unfortunately, the majority of rehabilitative programmes continue to focus on pathology. These problem-orientated approaches unfortunately have the danger of perpetuating the cycle of negative behaviour and reinforcing negative labels. Many offenders have problem-saturated pasts characterised by rejection, childhood trauma, substance abuse and gang involvement. Negative labels are further amplified by family members, the community, the legal system, the correctional environment and the media. Offenders subsequently internalise these degrading labels and often behave accordingly resulting in a negative self-fulfilling prophecy and ongoing criminal behaviour. As clinical psychologists, who worked at Mangaung Correctional Centre (MCC) in Bloemfontein, we discovered the value of Solution Focused Therapy (SFT) with offenders. This therapeutic approach falls within the realms of positive psychology and is in stark contrast to the problem-orientated correctional environment. The principles of SFT which make it especially effective with this population, include: non-labelling, collaboration, strength-based and future-orientated. This approach aims to amplify the offender’s best possible self, identify future possibilities and encourage them to take responsibility for their lives. The practical application of Solution Focused Therapy with offenders will be illustrated during the workshop. This approach not only have a significant impact on offenders and the therapist, but also has the potential to be applied within the broader correctional context. We will therefore share our advice and best hopes for working within this unique environment.


Christelle Liversage
North West University Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa
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Working across Cultures: A positive intervention through inter-group dialogue
In a globalized world characterised by diversity there is a dire need for the ability to embrace interconnectedness across cultures. However, living harmoniously amidst a variety of cultures have been among the most elusive challenges in human history. Research has shown that well-being is enhanced where there is harmony between a person and their socio-environmental contexts and where cultural intelligence exists. A positive intervention utilising an intergroup dialogue method aims to equip participants towards harmony, inter-connectedness and well-being. A trustworthy space is created for collective engagement of cultures through an experiential simulation. The aim of this intervention is for participants to recognise the impact of own cultural behaviour on others and to develop strategies for adapting this behaviour in order to maximise harmony within various contexts and increase well-being. Participants are actively yet sensitively exposed to the real life challenges of cultural dimensions. This dialogue provides an opportunity for positive processes including increased thinking about diversity, building deeper relationships across differences, bridging differences, increased cultural understanding and greater commitment to action. The intersection of multiculturalism and positive psychology has the potential to influence many life domains and through the above intervention of enhancing cultural intelligence to enable cultural co-existence, the goal of enhancing well-being in diverse contexts can be better achieved.