Clinician's Digest

Clinician's Digest

Healing after the Election: What Therapists and Their Minority Clients Are Saying

By Chris Lyford

January/February 2017

It was almost midnight when Anita Mandley’s phone lit up with yet another text message. It was the seventh of her therapy clients she’d heard from on election night. Exhausted, she switched off the small television in her bedroom, crawled under the covers, and turned out the lights. For many people in Mandley’s Chicago neighborhood, the unthinkable was about to happen: by morning, Donald Trump would be the president-elect.

Having spent more than 30 years working with trauma clients, Mandley knew she was experiencing some undeniable signs of trauma herself. “As a woman of color,” she recalls, “I was immobilized. My heart felt like it was in my throat.” She lives in one of Chicago’s bluest neighborhoods, along with many Somali, Pakistani, Jewish, and mixed-race families. That morning, as she drove to work, just minutes from Grant Park—where Barack Obama had delivered his victory speech nearly eight years ago—the mood on the streets was suffocatingly eerie. “It felt like there’d been a death,” Mandley says. “I kept thinking, what’s going to happen to my block? My neighbors? How am I supposed to help my clients find hope when I can’t even find it myself?”

Since the election, therapists and clients alike have been grappling with the aftermath of what was arguably one of the most contentious and divisive races in modern history. Clinicians say it’s permeated conversations in consulting rooms, dredging up old traumas for some and creating a slew of new problems for…

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Saturday, February 25, 2017 11:46:38 AM | posted by jenny015
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Saturday, February 25, 2017 11:45:41 AM | posted by
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