And Liberation. And Anti-oppression.
These are more ways in which decolonization, liberation, and anti-oppression can help the mental health field.
And let's make sure that we are on the same page about the use of these three concepts...
Decolonizing Mental Health...
Is the undoing of the process whereby settlers and colonizers occupy foreign territories.
It is how we dismantle centuries old ideas and expectations established by colonizers that made themselves the norm.
In the process of decolonization, we decenter the narrative imposed by colonizers and settlers and reclaim autonomy, identity, and belonging.
How do we decolonize mental health?
Center the narratives of historically marginalized and underrepresented communities.
Question and unlearn the white and western psychological theoretical orientations that stigmatize clients who do not conform to the white western norm.
The act of setting someone free from slavery, imprisonment, oppression, or political control of another group.
In the process of liberation, we seek to actively understand the experiences of oppressed and impoverished communities by addressing and dismantling the oppressive structures in which they exist.
How do we practice from a liberation psychology perspective?
Learn about Liberation Psychology and how you can incorporate it in your practice.
Learn about how you can incorporate Liberation Psychology in your day to day life.
Center the voices of the clinicians and people who have lived experience.
Is dismantling the control that the oppressor holds and that disempowers, marginalizes, and silences groups seen as subordinate or subjugated
How can mental health become anti-oppressive?
Learn about all the systems, structures, policies, laws, cultural expectations, etc. that have kept some groups and communities as underrepresented and marginalized.
Incorporate this knowledge in your sessions with your clients and next time you meet with them really wonder how these systems and structures are impacting their mental health.
Decolonize Your Practice!
Chances are that if you are reading this, you already knew all of the above. And chances are you are well aware that incorporating anti-oppression and social justice in therapy makes sense. You know that therapy is political!!
But maybe you are struggling to put these concepts into practice, both personally and professionally. Yes, I said personally. After all, we cannot separate who we are from the work that we do (and I know that some will disagree, that is ok, I know that is not you!) So, if you'd like support with learning how to incorporate these concepts in an embodied way, join me and the next cohort of Decolonize Your Practice!
Decolonize Your Practice! is an 8-week program where me and a small group of like-minded clinicians will get uncomfortable, get brave, and get ready to figure out what white western norms they need to unlearn. And supported by their peers, will learn the steps to take to start decolonizing their practices in a way that is meaningful to them.