Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Race and Parenting

- by Liz Goodwin

In this piece, Reflections on Race, ParentMap takes on the big, complex topic of cultural difference in parenting. Voices here in the Northwest, Theressa Lenear of Childcare Resources, journalist Naomi Ishisaka, Wendy Harris at Kindering Center, author Fran Davidson, and Heather D. Clark, PhD, take on issues of racism, class, religion, child development, health, and discipline. The notion that Eurocentric, Western notions of parenting are somehow inherently correct or evolved is questioned and wisdom, such as the role of grandparents or how White privilege impacts children, is imparted.

By addressing multicultural approaches to health and development, as well as historical racism, social justice and oppression as it relates to parenting, this piece seems to be a good fit for our blog. To read the article, click here.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

It's Not Just Food

- by Stacey Prince

Among the most common New Year's resolutions are those having to do with eating better, exercising and losing weight. This year I have heard from friends (or stated myself) various food-related goals including eating healthier, more vegetables, less fat, less sugar, less red meat, going vegan, more protein, and keeping it local. Have you ever thought about what a privilege it is to even be able to state these as deliberate (and attainable) goals? Two recent articles made me think just that, and caused me to reflect on the ways that social inequities play out in the foods we eat - with subsequent consequences for things as far reaching as health, obesity, mortality risk, and school performance.

The first article, entitled Divided We Eat, appeared in Newsweek in late November, right before Thanksgiving. This fascinating article describes the various ways that class impacts nutrition, and maintains that food has become one of the most salient representations of "the great divide" between rich and poor. Trends such as being "foodies," "health food nuts," "locavores," and eating "organic" are a privilege and a luxury, out of reach for many. According to data released by the US Department of Agriculture, 17 percent of Americans (more than 50 million people) live in households that are categorized as "food insecure," meaning they sometimes run out of money to purchase food, or run out of food before they can get more money. Food insecurity is most severe in the South and in large urban areas. Food insecurity co-varies with other indices of economic stability such as housing and employment, so it's no surprise that the biggest surge in food insecurity since the measure was established in 1995 occurred between 2007 and 2008, at the beginning of the economic downturn.

To read entire article click here.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Senseless shootings in Arizona

- by Stacey Prince

The shootings in Arizona are an appalling and tragic demonstration of the deep social justice tensions in this nation. Whether we think the shootings were motivated by US Representative Giffords' support of healthcare reform, opposition to the AZ immigration law, her Jewishness, or her simply being a Democrat in a state that Palin and the Republicans have their eye on in 2012, it really doesn't matter--this is not the way any of us want conflict and difference to be handled in our country, is it? I can't do justice to this topic but refer the reader to this excellent New York Times editorial which does.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Integrating Psychotherapy and Social Justice

- by Stacey Prince

This morning I remembered that I posted on the blog about my favorite article of 2010at the very beginning of that year, so I thought I would do it again - and this time it's only January 1st! So, my favorite article of the very young new year is actually not an article but an interview with Kenneth V. Hardy, Ph.D. , Professor of Family Therapy at Syracuse University and author of Teens who hurt: Interventions to break the cycle of adolescent violence. He has written extensively about integrating diversity, oppression awareness and social justice orientation into the practice of psychotherapy. The interview was facilitated by Dr. Randall Wyatt and appeared on www.psychotherapy.net/. We talk in TJP about integrating multiculturalism and an anti-oppression, social justice orientation into psychotherapy and other healing modalities. I found this interview to be an excellent exploration of the topic, full of thoughtful, implementable strategies for doing so.

Dr. Hardy begins by describing how, as an African-American graduate student, he felt his training prepared him to be a "pretty good, decent white therapist". In other words, he was exposed to models of psychopathology, interpersonal behavior and therapeutic change that were based on and developed for the dominant (white, middle class, male) culture. However, as he got out into the world he began seeing a diverse population including immigrants, people of color, and families of low income. He recognized quickly that his Euro-centric training had prepared him poorly for working with these individuals. He has devoted his career since then to broadening both who psychotherapists work with and what they study in order to prepare for that work.

To read entire article click here.