workshop announcement: ‘moral coherency’


is pleased to announce


This event is co-sponsored by the above Training Institute, the Southern Ontario Training Group, the Brockville and District Association for Community Involvement and the Durham Association for Family Respite Services. The speakers are a group of people who have been studying the topic and the presentation materials over a period of years, under the instruction and direction, and with the collaboration, of the late professor Wolf Wolfensberger, past director of the Training Institute.

Dates: Saturday, June 23 through Friday, June 29, 2012; each day begins promptly at 8:30 AM, and there are sessions on the first six evenings; the workshop ends at approximately 4:30 PM on the last day.

Place: Manresa Retreat Center, 2325 Liverpool Rd., Pickering (east of Toronto), Ontario, Canada L1X 1V4. Website: The Center is secluded, and on ample grounds for walking. Details and directions will be provided with confirmation of registration.

Description of Workshop Content & Format: Over the years, the Training Institute has evolved a number of training events aimed at current or potential human service leaders, with the hope of eliciting or reinforcing in them radical commitments to moral service system planning, implementation, and operation. However, after having given many hundreds of these trainings over many years, the Training Institute concluded that the adaptive principles and strategies of service planning, development, and operation that it teaches are rarely put into practice; in fact, increasingly, attempts to do so are not permitted and are even punished. In consequence, a large number of people who have attempted to put these adaptive principles into practice have come to grief: they are marginalized, rejected, demoted, and in many instances forced out of their jobs and service involvements. These experiences can be very traumatic to people, especially if they are not fully prepared for any of it, and/or if they do not understand (or believe) the extent and sometimes the subtlety of the disfunctionalities embedded in the world in general, and in human services more specifically.

The Training Institute therefore developed this workshop in order to equip people with the special combination of worldviews, preparation, and support that they will need in order to survive with high moral ideals, with integrity intact and hopefully also with some effectiveness in human services.

Some of the assumptions underlying the content of the workshop are:

This workshop consists of 4 parts. Part 1 is brief, and presents an overview of the workshop, including some of its basic premises. Part 2 attempts to reveal some of the important disfunctionalities that pervade and in a sense “rule” the world, and their expressions in social structures and in human services, especially in services to devalued people. Part 3 attempts to orient participants to decisions which they need to make in their own lives, to lay out strategies to assist them in making these decisions adaptively, and to clarify the likely consequences of their decisions and strategies. This part of the workshop takes up almost the second half of the event. Part 4 is the conclusion to the workshop, and like Part 1 is brief.

However, this workshop is NOT intended to provide participants with specific solutions to specific problems. Instead, participants will learn an array of universally-applicable strategies that they can then apply to whatever situations confront them. But even in a workshop of this length, many of the strategies can only be covered enough to delineate the essentials, to awaken consciousness, to enable participants to identify adaptive strategies themselves, and to point them toward further study and progress in these various strategies. A great many handouts will be distributed, including ones that point to further resources on various of the topics.

The FORMAT of the workshop is lecture-style, with a series of presentations in a logical sequence of topics, some of which are quite lengthy. Following each presentation there is ample opportunity for participant comment and general discussion. Also, in order to assist participants to deal with the challenging nature of much of the material, there will be several opportunities for private reflection on the material, and for more informal discussion at the end of each of the first six days. Further information on format will be sent with confirmation of registration.

On the first evening, there is a presentation on the most common “wounds” that characterize the lives of devalued people. All participants who have not heard a full-length version of this presentation at some other event, such as an introductory Social Role Valorization workshop, must attend this evening session. This presentation is optional for all other participants who have already heard it.

Fee:  $685.00 Canadian funds per person, or US equivalent.

This fee does not include rooms or meals. Fee reductions are available; for further information, please contact Susan Thomas at 315 473 2978.

Accommodation and Meals: Meals will be provided in the retreat center dining room.

Each room contains a single bed, desk and chair, and sink and toilet. There is a common shower area. Participants can arrive June 22, and must check out of their rooms the last day of the workshop, June 29.

Tentative Total Cost is $1210.00 Canadian for the entire workshop. This includes the workshop fee, staying overnight and all meals for 7 days.

Registrar: To register, or for local (Pickering) information, contact: Durham Association for Family Respite Services – Patty Weatherall at (905) 436-2500 ext. 2304 or email:

Posted on February 25, 2012 at 6:04 am by MTumeinski · Permalink
In: Uncategorized · Tagged with: ,

One Response

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  1. Written by Betsy Neuville
    on February 28, 2012 at 11:48 am
    · Permalink

    I first attended this workshop a number of years ago in Syracuse. I have found the ideas that were presented, and the ensuing discussions about them (late into the evenings, as I remember) to be incredibly challenging, provoking, and ultimately, have helped me immensely in coming to terms with some realities that are discomfiting, but important if I want to be of service in ways that work, or at least in ways that I can live with. I was warned by my colleague, Theresa White-Lightner, who attended before me, that I would be “on the edge of my seat for 7 days”. Indeed , she was correct. In a sense, some of this material has made me “edgy”, in a good way, for several years. I am looking forward to attending in June –

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