Popular Topic - Cultural, Social & Racial Issues

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Editor's Note

November/December 2015
This issue of the Networker is an attempt to explore what we can contribute as a profession to the “conversation about race,” which, as lame and ungainly as the phrase often sounds, keeps heating up around us, even as most of us have done our best to ignore it. The intent is not somehow to analyze racism as yet another clinical problem that we can solve through our good intentions, insight, and therapeutic ingenuity, but to recognize the hard and uncomfortable truth of how racist oppression, explicit or implicit, doesn’t just harm “them.” Ultimately, it harms us all.
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The View From Black America

Listening to the Untold Stories

November/December 2015
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 underfunded schools, succumbing to drug use and abuse, or being the victims of police brutality and economic disparities—doesn’t matter unless it disrupts the lives of the white mainstream.
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Black Unlike Me

Some Uncomfortable Reflections on Growing Up White

November/December 2015
At a time when many are calling for a renewed national conversation about race, an aging, liberal, white New Yorker—who admits he’s never been a party to any such conversation, not with a black person anyway—shares some highly uncomfortable, extremely personal reflections.

Community Mental Health Today

Encompassing the Big & the Small

November/December 2015
The promise of the community mental health movement of the 1960s, providing high-quality psychological and social services to poor families, remains unfullled. But today, two professionals bring together both a grasp of broader social issues and a store of practical clinical wisdom to offer complementary perspectives on how to best help poor communities.

Point of View

Destigmatizing Autism: The Future of Neurodiversity

November/December 2015
Author Steve Silberman discusses what it means to view autistic people as individuals seeing the world in a different way, rather than just a checklist of deficits.

Bookmarks

Who Do You Trust?: Revisiting the McMartin Preschool Case

November/December 2015
Review of We Believe the Children: A Moral Panic in the 1980s and The Witch-Hunt Narrative: Politics, Psychology, and the Sexual Abuse of Children

Sometimes it can be easier to argue about witch-hunts than risk confronting the dark, unsavory reality of child abuse.

The Great Escape

Welcome to the World of Gender Fluidity

March/April 2016
As cultural attitudes about gender variance have undergone a profound shift, much of what therapists believed about what it means to be transgender is now hopelessly outdated. But how do people know that they’re the wrong gender? And what does that kind of knowing mean for our assumptions about males and females as “opposite sexes”?
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Editor's Note

March/April 2016
I found talking to the transgender kids and their parents that I interviewed for this issue not only enlightening and educational, which I expected, but also viscerally moving. I was bowled over by the stubborn integrity of young kids who would insist upon being who they feel themselves to be, regardless of what anybody thought. Where, I wondered, did they find that spirit, that audacity, that sheer heroism, and at that age? But, then, talking to the parents of these kids, I began to understand a bit better.
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The Transgender Journey

What Role Should Therapists Play?

March/April 2016
Parents typically view their children in the largely gendered terms society lays out for them. Rearranging that internal mind map requires tremendous effort and adjustment. Given the alarming suicide rates for transgender children, it can also be a matter of life and death.

It Takes A Tribe

What It's Like to Raise (or Be) a Transgender Child

March/April 2016
Until very recently, most families with transgender children had never met another family like theirs. Now parents and children from the trailblazing Ackerman Institute’s Family & Gender Project talk about their experience of joining a healing community that offers acceptance and a validating mirror of their own experience.
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