Voicelessness in Black America
What do we contribute as a profession to the "conversation about race"? As lame and ungainly as this phrase often sounds, it continues to heat up around us, and therapists can no more ignore it in their lives than they can in their offices, says therapist Ken Hardy.
...Once Upon a Time in a Diversity Training Session
By Ken Hardy - When I got my doctorate in family therapy, I went to work in community-based organizations, believing that I'd change the world. Today, I realize that my work is about helping people see the insidious impact of the "otherness process." Our task poses formidable challenges, but failing to resist the seductions of "otherness" is failing at a fundamental principle of our work.
Bridging the Racial Gulf by Listening to Untold Stories
By Ken Hardy - I’ve spent the last four decades of my life working with young people who live their lives hidden in the shadows of invisibility as far as white society is concerned. Too many therapists charged with helping them fail to see the untold stories in their lives of family dysfunction, poverty, and racial oppression. And no real conversation about race can begin until, as a society, we’re willing to listen to those stories.
Creating and Holding Connection with Black Teenagers
By Ken Hardy - Therapy with teenagers has to be about creating and holding a connection. As a therapist, I'm like a spider trying to lure my clients into a web that will support them. While I try to use the context of racism to help African American teenagers understand their situations, verbalize, and vent their feelings, I also want them to develop inner resources and tools for handling the adversity they face in more useful and productive ways.
A Therapist's Creativity Unifies a Fractured Group of Inner City Boys
By Ken Hardy - While working as a family therapist at a boys' school in the Philadelphia suburbs, I learned to use basketball to capture their attention and imagination, and ultimately bring all of us closer together.
Helping Traumatized Kids Discover Their Inner Resources
In its coverage of race-related discord, the media has fixed on lurid images of violence and destruction without providing much context for understanding the conditions of daily life that could possibly spark such explosive rage. Psychologist Ken Hardy understands what fuels it. In the following video clip, he shares how to connect with these kids in a way that validates their experience.
How Far Have We Come? Ken Hardy Weighs In
By Kenneth Hardy - If ever there were a critical moment for constructive and courageous conversations about race, power, and privilege in our practices, communities, and the broader society, this is it.
Speaking Out against Learned Voicelessness
By Kenneth Hardy - My own clinical work has become centered on issues like the anatomy of racial rage, learned voicelessness, and an array of other invisible wounds of racial oppression. But after all these years, I still have my own untold stories.
Kenneth Hardy on How to Properly Address Racial, Ethnic, and Sexual Differences
Anyone who wishes to move outside the consulting room to address racial, ethnic, or sexual differences must rely on the bedrock belief that everyone has redeemable parts, and you can find them if you have the will and the patience to look. The creation of "the other" is the dynamic at the heart of divorce and personal antagonisms, and it has always been central to racism, sexism, homophobia, and ethnic persecution. Since realizing this, I've come to see that my work isn't about educating the unenlightened: it's about helping people see the insidious impact of turning a person or a group into "the other."
Listening to the Untold Stories
Many poor, young, black people see themselves as trapped behind a wall-less prison with no exits. They know all too well that their daily experience---whether it’s going to lousy schools, succumbing to drug use and abuse, or being the victims of crime and lack of employment prospects---doesn’t matter unless it disrupts the lives of the white mainstream.