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 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.

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