Understanding and Combatting Patriarchy and White Supremacy in Clinical Practice

Fridays, May 7 & 14, 2021 | 12 CEUs
May 7: 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m., May 14: 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
What is the place of politics in the therapy session? Is it possible to create a neutral, apolitical therapeutic space?
How can clinicians who are members of marginalized communities navigate their own experience with structures of privilege and oppression concurrently with that of their clients?
How can white clinicians introduce topics such as white supremacy and racial trauma in sessions with clients who are white, as well as with clients of color?
Many people seeking therapy find it difficult to distinguish between their individual suffering and the pain caused by larger structures such as patriarchy and white supremacy. This difficulty can be mirrored in therapy, for despite the ubiquity of systemic oppression, mental health clinicians are still largely trained to focus on the individual and the family.
In the wake of increased conversations in the dominant culture about systemic racism, police brutality, and sexual violence, clinicians are wrestling with the tension in their practice between acknowledging their own power, privilege, oppression, and multiple identities, or instead offering a “blank screen” onto which their clients’ identities, beliefs, politics, and cultures can be projected.
This training will help clinicians address the role of systemic oppression and structural violence in their clients’ distress. It will teach participants how to see and understand the ways patriarchy and white supremacy appear in the clinical space, not only in terms of their clients’ experiences, but also in terms of how therapy itself can reinforce whiteness as the standard upon which mental health and illness are based.
Participants will be provided with the opportunity to ask complex questions about the intersection of politics and practice, the ethical imperative to address violence within and outside the therapeutic space, and the ways to practice within and among fields of individual and communal difference. We will conclude by asking how we might create new modes of therapy that work toward the liberation not only of individuals, but also the larger communities in which they are embedded.
Through lecture, writing, group dialogue and exercises, participants will:
– Understand the difference between individual acts of sexism and racism and the larger structures of patriarchy and white supremacy
– Practice seeing and noting how both interpersonal and structural aspects of violence and oppression are represented and enacted in their daily lives and in their clinical practice or workplaces
– Understand the definition of the individual upon which the medical model is based, and contrast that definition with that of the idea of the individual as situated in terms of identity, culture, class, and place
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Cost: $150 by 4/8, $175 after. Includes 12 CEUs. Alumni and Adjunct Faculty save 20%. $50 student rate. Free for Lewis & Clark Clinical Supervisors (limited spots available)
About the Presenter:
Rebecca Hyman, LCSW, is a therapist in private practice, specializing in trauma. A former Associate Professor of English and Women’s Studies and current adjunct professor in the educational leadership program at Lewis & Clark, she is currently writing a book on the conflict between the anti-violence movement and professional psychology in the understanding and treatment of trauma. Rebecca’s work on whiteness can be found on Medium, where she frequently writes for Our Human Family. Her Substack newsletter Therapy for the Future addresses the ways patriarchy and white supremacy impact the research, practice, and training of therapists. She offers trainings and consultations on gender, power, whiteness, critical theory and trauma for individuals and organizations.

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