Moving from Passive Allyship to Action

Three Things Therapists Can Do Right Now

Lambers Fisher, Deran Young, Amber Flynn

In the midst of nationwide protests against racial injustice, many white therapists are wondering what they can do to contribute to the healing process of racial trauma, both in and outside of the therapy room. How can they go beyond being a passive ally, to being an active force for change the world?

This clip from our series of discussion panels with clinicians of color from a range of therapeutic specialties explores the proactive steps that white therapists can take to move into action.

Lambers Fisher, LMFT, MDiv, is a therapist, supervisor, and adjunct instructor of multicultural awareness and diversity. Deran Young, LCSW, MPA, is the founder of Black Therapists Rock, an organization committed to improving the social and psychological well-being of vulnerable communities. Amber Flynn, NCC, LPCC, is a licensed clinical professional counselor specializing in race-based trauma. Zachary Taylor, MA, LPC, NCC, is the director of continuing education at Psychotherapy Networker.

As our panelists note, therapists are among those who can make a big impact in calling out racism, healing racial trauma, and dismantling systemic inequality. Have self-compassion for yourself, explains therapist Deran Young. This soul-searching will allow you to have compassion for others, including the Black clients who show up in your office.

Keep the current momentum toward change going, says therapist Lambers Fisher. Even if you're not standing at the front of a protest line, you can kindle the spark for a client who's interested in getting involved in community activism, and reinforce the importance of remaining vocal about racism and systemic inequality.

Last, says therapist Amber Flynn, white therapists should have conversations with other white therapists about their own biases and past interactions with clients of color. They need to think deeply, she says, about what they might have done differently and envision what it would look like for them to actively engage in anti-racist work in the consulting room.


Click here to watch a clip from more of this series.

Topic: Cultural, Social & Racial Issues | Professional Development

Tags: 2020 | activism | African American | Alliances | black issues | Cultural differences | Cultural identity | Cultural values | Cultural, Social & Racial Issues | culture | Personal & Professional Development | processing trauma | Professional Development | protest | race | race in therapy | race relations | Social activism | therapeutic alliance | therapy for trauma | Trauma | trauma and recovery | trauma recovery

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