Social Justice Focused Therapy
Healing from Oppression
There are life events generally common to the human experience: going to school, family, friends, falling in love, work, navigating one's health, loss, death, etc.
For those who have experienced oppression in our society, life experience has an added layer that comes with that oppression. So a break-up will not only contain the struggles that come with any break-up, but may also contain the hurts that come with racism, homophobia, classism, sexism, etc. Sometimes these hurts are deep enough to be traumatic. I believe that we live in a patriarchal society and that everyone (any gender) experiences some type of oppression, cis-men included. Not that they don't have a lot of privilege, but they are trained to be in touch with and express very little of themselves, which leads to all sorts of problems.
Becoming Culturally Competent
Our society is becoming increasingly culturally complex and regardless of what field you work in, cultural competence is becoming a necessary skill in regards to race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, age, disability status, and other identities.
There are many approaches to strengthening cultural competency, but strengthening your awareness of how white supremacy works through you is key. White supremacy is extremely adaptable and hard for all of us to see, but especially white folks. It's the water we swim in. Understanding it's changing language and core values, along with self-reflection in a non-judgmental environment of understanding and acceptance can help you see it and work through it.
Working to make the world a better place, whether as an activist, social worker, therapist, teacher, healer, police officer, etc. can sometimes mean confronting trauma daily. Over time, this can lead to secondary traumatization and feeling worn down, depressed, anxious, and seeing the world as unsafe. This can make it hard to connect with people, sleep, be physically healthy, or even keep your job.
You don’t have to face these hard feelings alone. Sharing your experiences and working through them with either art therapy or EMDR can release their hold and re-invigorate your life. You can also learn ways to protect yourself through understanding how trauma works, self-care, and finding support in your daily life.