Workshop aims to reduce, prevent and repair the misuse of power

WHITEHORSE—“If this is power, I don’t want anything to do with it.”

Growing up in a home where she experienced physical and emotional abuse, Magi Cooper sought to distance herself from what she saw as a destructive energy.

“I saw power as a dangerous thing,” said Cooper. “My father held all the power, and I felt like I had none.”

Early in her career as a counsellor and therapist, Cooper worked with women and children who had similarly experienced the misuse of power. She expanded her practice to include men after an important realization.

“I wanted to stop the intergenerational cycle of family abuse, and I realized that unless we begin to work with the people—mostly men—who are perpetuating this violence, we will not be able to facilitate change.”

Over the course of a 25-year career, this has ultimately led her to help people heal the wounds they carry from the misuse of power, and learn to use power as a force to prevent, reduce, and repair harm.
Based in Nanaimo, B.C., Cooper will be in Whitehorse on October 25th and 26th to lead a workshop in the Right Use of Power.

Grounded in methodology developed by psychotherapist Cedar Barstow, founder of the Right Use of Power Institute in Colorado, the workshop uses discussion and experiential practice to guide participants through essential skills for using power with ethical wisdom.

“The under-use of power is a much an issue as over-use in our society. This could mean not having a voice, not having boundaries, not speaking your truth, and not owning the influence you have in your role or position,” said Cooper.

“Power is such an interesting and complex dynamic. There are many examples of power being used in the world today in self-serving, other-harming ways. Instead of disowning our power, the solution is to recognize that in all situations we have power and choice.”

This workshop is especially suited to those who work in helping professions, run organizations, or feel that they struggle to understand power. Participants will grow to recognize the power they possess and learn how to use it caringly, carefully, and skillfully.

“Personal power is our birthright. It is our ability to have an effect or influence the world around us,” said Cooper. “It is important for us to learn how to use it wisely and well to promote sustainable wellbeing for all.”

The two-day Right Use of Power workshop is presented by the Northern Institute of Social Justice at Yukon College. The cost is $250, plus GST. For more information, including how to register, please