Facing your inner oppressor

Facing your inner oppressor

Charlottesville. Ferguson. Orlando. Neo-Nazis. Police brutality. Racism. Classism. Fear. Fear, hate, and Othering have a figurehead now, and people who were once hidden in their hate are now empowered to come forward. As a white person who gives a shit, it is painful knowing the reality that this kind of hate is on the shoulders of marginalized people day in and day out, when it truly should be the burden of white folks such as myself who are complicit in systems of stolen* status and privilege.

So if you’re one of the many white folks asking, “What can I do?”, I suggest you consider the words of my friend and colleague Lily Sloane: “You have to fight your inner Nazis before fighting the outer Nazis.” 

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Power, Contact, and Transformation Through Radical Psychotherapy

Power, Contact, and Transformation Through Radical Psychotherapy

One of the most important and meaningful things in my work is making contact with each of my clients. Without relational contact, whatever work my clients and I do together becomes irrelevant, indigestible, insoluble, and fragmented, which can be traumatizing, re-activating, and particularly harmful on micro and macro levels. That’s not to say rifts and miscommunications don’t happen, even when we are aiming for contact. In fact, that’s often the life blood of our work together, as these inevitable rifts let us know that something is feeling missed inside of you, and therefore there is something that needs to be found and contacted.

So how can you and I make contact, even when you may be feeling an intuitive skepticism and mistrust of what I represent, or even what the vulnerability of emotional contact represents?

I think it has a lot to do with how both of us understand, and can speak to, power, privilege, and hegemony. If I don’t recognize and own my power in the therapeutic dyad, then it is more likely to be misused or enacted without resolution.

In service of a truly transformative experience for my clients and society at large, I aim to stay alive and awake in my radicalism even while maintaining a kind of therapeutic neutrality that is important to my work.

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Caring for yourself is necessary. Please keep showing up.

Caring for yourself is necessary. Please keep showing up.

"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare." –Audre Lorde

Showing up can mean a lot of things.

 It can mean marching in the streets.

It can mean donating to local groups dedicated to lifting up the lives of people in marginalized communities.

It can mean sleeping in when you are tired.

It can mean supporting good journalism by subscribing to newspapers and magazines who prioritize unbiased reporting.

It can mean reading books, poems, and speeches by revolutionaries who have come before us, and those on the ground working to make sure our hard-won rights are not stripped from us and the ones we love.

It can mean hosting friends at your home who are willing to talk about the hard stuff.

It can mean less visible ways of showing up when staying home is necessary.

It can mean honoring the process of grieving, taking the risk of loving, daring to make space for your voice and the voices of those at risk.

There is room for all of us in this.

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What Therapy Is, and Isn't

What Therapy Is, and Isn't

In the wake of the Oakland Ghostship Warehouse fire, many artists, community members, friends and families are in mourning. Even in my grief, I am inspired by the DIY creativity of the artists of Ghostship and many of the other warehouses across the globe who live under the radar, coming alive in art and community. I think, too, about the subversive and underground nature of therapy, and what a radical act it can be to know yourself on a deep level.

Therapy isn't about making people play by the rules. It’s about helping you learn about yourself, in all your weirdness, your queerness, your creativity, in all that you are just as you are. Your dreams, your shame, your fears, your anxieties, your nightmares, your traps, your stuckness. Therapy is here to help you make sense of past experiences, not to bury them. Therapy is here to help you make sense of confusing and difficult feelings so that you are not at the whim of their chaos and destruction. Therapy is a lot like art in this way.

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Building Resilience Through Our Grief

Building Resilience Through Our Grief

Grief is everywhere right now. Mass attacks across the globe. Black men being shot for complying with police, Black men being shot for not complying. White people waking up to unjust systems, having been asleep at the wheel for generations.

A lot of us don't make room for processing our grief. We want to - or are taught to - keep it away, sweep it under the rug, or stuff it down. We're taught, and believe, that being vulnerable is a sign of weakness, and weakness will make us susceptible to more pain and sorrow.

But putting our grief front-and-center, we can learn to heal, grow, and build resilience through our pain, collectively and individually.

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Love Through This: Love, Anger, Grief, and Heartbreak for Queer Lives of Color

Love Through This: Love, Anger, Grief, and Heartbreak for Queer Lives of Color

If you are in mourning, if your heart is broken, if you are sad and terrified and furious and wounded by the mass shooting of black and brown LGBQ and trans people at Pulse Nightclub in Florida this past weekend, this is for you.

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