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A Black Therapist in America

Speaking Out Against Learned Voicelessness

Ken Hardy

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.

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VIDEO: Talking Race in Psychotherapy

Deran Young’s Call for Action

Lauren Dockett

Deran Young of Black Therapists Rock talks to Psychotherapy Networker’s Lauren Dockett about what the field can do to fight professional isolation and systemic racism within its ranks.

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VIDEO: Ken Hardy on the Assaulted Sense of Self

Voicelessness in Black America

Ken Hardy

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.

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Resisting the Seduction of "Otherness"

...Once Upon a Time in a Diversity Training Session

Ken Hardy

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.

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Leaning into Discussions about Race

...And the Two-Minute "Courageous Act" That's So Important

Ryan Howes

By Ryan Howes - Psychologist Howard Stevenson, a researcher trained in family therapy, has devoted himself to studying the moments when racial tensions reach their peak. In the following interview, he shares the method he's developed to help individuals remain calm in the midst of a racial conflict or discussion.

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The Immigrant Experience, Revisited

Clinicians Feeling the Effects of New Immigration Policies Weigh In

Chris Lyford

By Chris Lyford - Immigrants in America have long faced an uphill battle. But the shifting political landscape of the past year and a half has proven psychologically destructive, not only to undocumented immigrants, but also to those with legal protections. It's also significantly burdened the clinicians who work with these populations.

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Mindfulness Practice, Revisited

Making Mindfulness Practices Relevant for People of Color

Chris Lyford

By Chris Lyford - Is mainstream mindfulness relevant to people of color and does it honor their unique cultural experiences? Some experts say more needs to be done on this front, and are taking steps to make mindfulness practices more racially sensitive.

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Erv Polster on How Aging Changes Therapy

Learning to Embrace the Flow of Relationship

Erv Polster

By Erv Polster - As each of us grows older, we can try to embrace the full possibilities of aging, even alongside its challenges. In the following interview, Erv Polster, a prime mover of Gestalt Therapy, delves into a little-acknowledged element of older people’s inner lives, shares what aspects of his own aging process have had the biggest impact on his approach to psychotherapy, and reflects on life after ending his practice.

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The Trigger Warning Controversy

Are We Promoting a Culture of Avoidance?

Chris Lyford

By Chris Lyford - According to some critics, an overly protective approach to presenting college course materials deemed too triggering—in books, lessons, and lectures—could soon be coming to a university near you. Are they a boon to student mental health, or just promoting a culture of avoidance?

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Making Space for Race

Creating and Holding Connection with Black Teenagers

Ken Hardy

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.

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