Complicating the White Therapist

an introductory study day

A collaboration with Stillpoint London   Saturday 29th of February 2020 10-5pm

“White Fragility is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviours such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviours, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium”   Robin DiAngelo

“We must prepare ourselves for—and even seek—difficult, threatening, unsettling, awkward and shame-inducing conversations”.   Anton Hart. 

The focus in many psychotherapy and counselling trainings has traditionally been on diversity and multicultural approaches to the therapeutic project.  The criticism of these approaches is that they make racism a little more palatable, something for people of colour to overcome rather than something for white people to deconstruct as part of a psychological and broader socio-political project. In this workshop the problem of racism and whiteness is returned to white therapeutic practitioners to deal with.

In keeping the company of Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, Frantz Fanon, Reni Eddo-Lodge,  Edward Said, Christina Sharpe, George Yancy, Sara Ahmed, Lynne Jacobs, Robin DiAngelo and many others we begin to disrupt and re-inform clinical thinking and practice in relation to the matrix of race in the therapeutic relationship with consideration to relational themes and theory.

Students, clients and therapists of colour frequently encounter white fragility and its formidable defensiveness.  Whiteness has not been placed on  the ‘couch’ for a thorough enough analysis, thus limiting the therapeutic potential for personal and collective transformation whilst potentially harming the people who seek our support . Our trainings rarely equip us with rigorous thinking and practices around race and whiteness, hence the need to develop the capacity to ‘mentalise whilst white’.

Robin DiAngelo speaks to developing stamina and resilience for these awkward conversations and explorations.  George Yancy speaks to white people needing to ‘un-suture whiteness’ and become undone.   In this workshop we will look at a series of practices and understandings that will serve to complicate whiteness in the service of being more consciously anti-racist in our practice, thinking and being in the world.

Who is this workshop for?

This workshop will provide an experiential opportunity for white practitioners  to examine whiteness as an embodied phenomena that requires a rigorous exploration if we are to do less harm and practice more ethically.  There will be some preparatory reading and reflective practices to engage with prior to the day.

Following the day, there will be a series of seminars to deepen the work.

To book a place go HERE