Social justice lies at the core of my approach as a therapist.
I am committed to advocating for the following causes and communities in my work as a psychologist and individual moving through the world: anti-racism; Black Lives Matter; dismantling white supremacy; disability justice; healing justice; transformative justice; LGBTQIA2S+ advocacy; anti-capitalism; anti-ageism; anti-xenophobia; prison abolition; anti-classism; fat-positivity & body neutrality; health at every size; sex-positivity; polyam & consensual non-monogamy advocacy; kink & BDSM advocacy; sex workers’ rights; immigrant rights; ecological sustainability; an ethic of care; intersectional feminism; trauma-informed care.
Here are my non-exhaustive musings on some of the ethics close to my heart:
- Intersectional feminism: the understanding that a person’s identities are multifold and are privileged/oppressed/marginalized by society in overlapping ways (e.g., transmisogynoir). In practice, this looks like an exploration of the impact of the cultural, societal, institutional, and contextual forces that create/maintain mental health problems for people (vs. understanding mental health issues as originating within a person).
- Anti-racism: In practice, this looks like a critical understanding of my identity as a white clinician and sensitivity to the impact this has on on my clients. Radical openness to discussing the impact of race in the therapeutic relationship. Understanding all oppressions as rooted in anti-blackness. Exploration of the impact of one’s race on how they are responded to by others/society. Exploration of racism and white supremacy on clients’ mental health and presenting concerns.
- Disability justice: In practice, this looks like appreciation of neurodivergence, appreciation of the unique and valuable knowledge that comes with lived experience of disability. Consideration of/willingness to meet clients’ access needs. Support for creating webs of collective and community care. Awareness of my own experiences with disability and neurodivergence.
- LGBTQIA2S+ pride & sex positivity: In practice, this looks like critical awareness of the impact of cisheterosexism, heteronormativity, transmisogyny, homophobia, kink-shaming, whorephobia, and the sexual double standard’s impact on one’s connection to self and others (sexual and otherwise). Acceptance and celebration of all forms of consensual sexual behavior, as well as lack of interest in sex. Honoring of sexuality/sensuality as a valuable tool for self knowledge. Valuing sex work as real work. Honoring of boundaries and and consent.
- Fat-positivity, body neutrality, & HAES: In practice, this looks like a critical awareness of the impact of sizism and fatphobia on the relationship all people have with their bodies and society; valuing all bodies as inherently good and worthy; thinking critically with clients about health goals that involve weight loss to address and dismantle internalized fatphobia; understanding that fatness is not a reliable indicator of health and that people can be healthy at any weight; not assuming one must always feel positive about their bodies as an antidote to culturally-created body shame.
- Transformative justice: envisioning an equitable and just future that does not necessarily depend on the institutions that currently exist. Living and behaving “as if.” This looks like supporting clients in dreaming and building a future that allows for all possibilities.
- Healing justice: honoring all forms of healing as useful, meaningful, and important. Understanding psychotherapy with a critical lens, and understanding that therapy is rooted in white supremacist heteropatriarchy. Knowing that the institution of psychology does not have all of the answers about healing. In practice, his looks like incorporating your traditional, generational, cultural, or chosen healing practices into our work together.
- Trauma-informed care: a broad understanding of trauma, including marginalization/oppression, gender-based violence, racial trauma, familial trauma, collective trauma, and historical trauma. In practice, this looks like prioritizing client agency and decision-making power. Respecting boundaries. Requiring consent. Honoring the value of coping mechanisms that have kept us safe while remaining critical of their usefulness in the present.
- An ethic of care: in our work together, you should feel seen, understood, appreciated, and cared about.