Urgent and ongoing need- looking for therapist in touch with social justice issues; who sees connections among attachment issues, trauma, child abuse, domestic violence, self-esteem, personality disorders, relationship/intimacy problems, and other therapeutic issues AND the violence against black people, people of color, women, LGBTQ people, and institutionalized oppression.
Need for therapist who will confront the client’s prejudices, entitlement, and privilege that accepts and justifies denial of human rights of a child, a woman, a black jogger, birdwatcher, or individual, or any person somehow different from oneself. Requiring someone able to deal with client’s anxiety, fear, depression, loss, and pain so that a projective process entitling the violation of some other’s civil and human rights is not validated… and be stopped and diverted to positive personal, family, community, national, and global fulfillment.
Seeking therapist who is not silent when the client speaks self-righteous discriminatory prejudiced animosity and hatred towards other human beings- be it their spouse, child, work colleague, neighbor, or “them.” Looking for therapist willing to explore the deep psychological, emotional, cultural, family-or-origin and other models of self-esteem, individual and group identity, and empowerment (or lack of) that are the roots of intrapersonal and interpersonal intimacy and health AND of belonging and alienation in the family, the neighborhood, the community, country, and globally.
Location: in your office, in our communities.
Fee: our souls and our future.
I write this knowing that some of you will find it (me) annoying and intrusive… or self-righteous. That we as therapists do therapy, and that politics should be left out of it. However, I got into social or human services, originally as a teacher and then as a therapist because of deeply caring about social justice. I hope you will see the connections and see our roles in the greater process.
I write to those of you who are deeply saddened, hurt, and angry about the death of George Floyd. We also know that his death is known and protested because it was recorded due to modern technology (cellphones) and thus made public. We know that such violence against black men and others deemed different and dangerous by some has happened countless times in American history- often hidden and unrecorded. I am Chinese-American from immigrant parents and married to a Japanese-American woman whose parents, aunts and uncles, and grandparents were incarcerated in desert prisons behind barbed wire during WWII for not being somehow American enough- specifically, not white. Verbal and physical assaults against Asian-Americans and others have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic due to racist propaganda. At 66 years old, I now have to watch for potential assault and insult as I walk in my neighborhood. How many other people of whatever deemed as different live w/o the privilege of assuming American promised civil and human rights? Women, refugees, LGBTQ individuals… the list is extensive.
Lynching is a historical term that remains apt today. We’ve witnessed many accounts in the past decade of unjustified violence and killings. We’ve also witnessed in the microcosm of the therapy room (now online primarily) emotional and psychological violence among family members and between couples; heard people spout their prejudices, animosities, hatred, resentment, and grievances against others- against “them;” heard wishful vengeful thinking about “getting” them; support for and admiration of racist, sexist, homophobic, and xenophobic demagogues; and traumatized, narcissistic, paranoid, and other wounded persons prone to violence, from emotional/verbal to economic/academic to physical assault.
What’s our role? I believe we have a role- a vital role. Silence gives permission. Please do not give permission as a therapist and as a citizen. How you do so individually, morally, clinically, ethically, professionally, in the community, and nationally/globally is a complex discussion. But do something.