Kapwa Circle: Towards Decolonial Emotional Health Practices and Community Counselling

Workshop description: This therapy based session will be co-facilitated by France Stohner and Daniel Bilog, and will center conversations around planting seeds towards lived decolonial practice and indigenous kinship. This participatory workshop will encourage discussion, and engage in practical tools and exercises based in Narrative Therapy and Emotional Embodiment. While centering Kapwa Spirit and social justice, the facilitators will demonstrate the importance and imperativeness of accessible, anti-oppressive, feminist, and culturally relevant counselling and coaching. 

France Stohner: France Stohner is a Philippine-born, Montreal-raised diasporic community worker and mental health counsellor. Committed to decolonization, she completed a Masters of Arts degree in Counselling and Spirituality, specializing in Women’s Studies, a collaborative program between Saint-Paul and the University of Ottawa. From 2011 to 2016, she was a host and content creator for the Sigaw Ng Bayan radio collective at CKUT 90.3FM. As co-lead organizer for the Pinay Power II (McGill University) and Filipino-Canadian Futures (Concordia University) conferences, she strives to highlight the importance of community dialogue while uplifting Kapwa voices. Since the pandemic she has been a Restorative Circle Keeper, creating brave spaces for women and youth to work towards more emotional and spiritual strength and growth. 

Daniel Bilog: Daniel Bilog is a men’s coach, hypnotherapist, and men’s circle facilitator. He specializes in creating safe spaces for men of color, utilizing one on one work or group work, where men go deep into their experience and reclaim their power of Self, cultural identity, and purpose. His focus is somatic-based, re-membering the intelligence of our feeling and emotional sense, as a way to reconnect to the indigeneity of our bodies. Born in San Jose, California, he is a first generation Filipino-American stemming from lineages of farmers, spiritualists, and revolutionaries. He’s studied and practiced hypnotherapy and NLP since 2012, a set of tools and modalities that impact and influence the powers of the subconscious mind, where deep lasting change occurs. Since 2019, Daniel has been a community leader of a men’s work organization and community called The Unshakable Man, where he facilitates spaces where men take safe risks of vulnerability by slowing down and connecting with other men.