Identity politics contaminate therapy, harming those suffering from depression and anxiety

Identity politics contaminate therapy, harming those suffering from depression and anxiety
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A few shrinks have scolded their clients for their “white privilege” or “male privilege.” The Spectator describes the rise of social-justice shrinks, how their identity politics infects therapy, and how some colleges are promoting this pernicious brand of counseling:

Elliott’s professors taught her, for example, that if clients were white, she was supposed to help them see how they unwittingly perpetuate white supremacy. “We were encouraged to regard white clients as ‘reservoirs of racism and oppression.’” White women, one professor told a class, were “basic bitches,” “Beckys” and “nothing special.”…

“Most damning,” Kindsvatter tells me, “is that the major governing entities in the field have turned a blind eye to blatant ethical breaches, because such breaches align with a preferred ideology.”

The governing council of the American Counseling Association, or ACA, has endorsed “multicultural and social-justice counseling competencies.” According to these competencies: “Multicultural and social-justice competent counselors assist privileged and marginalized clients in unlearning their privilege and oppression…

Instead of treating each client as a unique individual and working collaboratively, the social-justice therapist reduces them to avatars of gender, race and ethnicity….

I’ve heard many reports of social-justice therapists scolding or rejecting patients. And reams of long-term data show that attaining a good rapport with a therapist is the most important factor in determining the outcome of therapy….

Good therapy helps clear a path to autonomy. Social-justice therapy inculcates victimhood by convincing patients that they have little choice or agency….

The teaching institutions and regulatory institutions, such as the APA, and the mental health profession in general, are being swept up in groupthink; those who balk are often too intimidated to speak up.

Meanwhile, clients are eager to avoid this alarming trend. There are list-serves catering to those seeking “non-woke” therapists…

Of course, skilled therapists must respect cultural values and traditions and educate themselves as best as possible in local anthropology. But preparation and sensitivity of this sort is far different from bringing a largely preordained, victim-oriented cultural script to a session and imposing it on a client.

Social-justice therapy risks additional harms by overlooking the fact that race and ethnicity may not be the most important of the many dimensions, such as personality variables, geographic region, political orientation, family experiences, educational attainment, which affect patients’ life experiences.

In 2022, Professor Aaron Kindsvatter left his post at the University of Vermont to set up a private counseling practice in Burlington, where he has already treated several clients who were “victims of indoctrination attempts” by their “authoritarian” social-justice therapists.

LU Staff

LU Staff

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