One challenge after another.
When will it get back to “normal”?
These are unprecedented times. The pandemic, protests, riots, Black Lives Matter movement, anti-racism/anti-oppression challenges, upcoming political stand-offs, and more-of-same predicted into the upcoming months. It’s as if there is one tidal wave after another, and we are all at sea. Just as we begin to think that perhaps our heads are above water, another wave washes us into a tumultuous chaos. Not only can we feel out of control, but there are so many conflictual and differing experiences inside and around us, most of us feel “sea-sick”, perhaps hopeless and eager to find a return to feeling grounded.
There is an individual and collective “wake-up call” for all who are listening. First, through the pandemic, we have “sheltered in” and have plenty of time to look in the mirror and consider the quality of our most intimate relationship with ourselves and with our most significant others. Have we found internal reserves, love, generosity and faith in ourselves and each other? Or, have we dissolved into fear, stress and/or found that our intimate relationships need attention? There is no fault in stressful responses, only invitations to grow...
As we together confront the unjust, painful death of George Floyd and many other black individuals, we are challenged to see things in ourselves and society that need to be confronted... For therapists, this is not about pointing fingers, but it is a time to bravely look inward and around and acknowledge trauma experienced and perpetuated in our own lives. We support “Black Lives Matter” as we witness the deeply traumatic effects of systemic racism on the individuals, families and the communities we live in. We are here to help identify, tenderly-and-respectfully hold and aid and empower the healing of multiple levels of trauma - whether personal, generational, and/or societal.
We also support the journey of those of us who are part of structures that are being implicated for complacency in hurtful policies and behaviors. We support first responders and their families who may also feel vulnerable as they are experiencing biases of judgement regardless of their professional records of serving and protecting. We recognize the tremendous strain of the physical and mental demands of their jobs. We acknowledge the complexity of societal dynamics that are rooted in hidden oppressive agendas and that these are beyond the individuals on the front lines that are supportive of systemic changes and social justice. At Beverly Therapists, we believe the therapist’s position is to hold space for individuals and families to explore experiences of pain and discomfort in order to learn, seek empowerment through responsibility and advocacy, and to evolve individually and collectively.
If we do not choose to grow, we stay a product of the environments in which we were raised and currently reside, inclusive of strengths and dysfunctions. Therapy is about bringing unconscious aspects of beliefs, experiences, relationships and behaviors into our consciousness. Therapy provides a safe place for us to look at “the good, the bad, the ugly” so we can grow and heal the wounds of the past, including those that we carry over generations and through societal conditioning. At Beverly Therapists, we know we need to look at the shadow aspects in our conditioning, and seek out the abusive, oppressive patterns which create suffering for ourselves and others so that we can replace them with healed patterns promoting love, equanimity, fairness, wellness, peace and happiness.
Beverly Therapists, as a group, has looked inward at race dynamics and white privilege, as we have begun deeper personal and relational/systemic discussions. We are individuals with multiple intersections of identities and acknowledge and validate that this may be the reality for many in our community. We understand the importance of building community and solidarity to examine and challenge systems that have historically and intentionally created separation and “otherness“ at the detriment of community. As therapists, we recognize the many layers that each and every one of us is navigating. We don’t implicitly assign blame and judgement. We are here to understand, support, and aid in growth, expanding consciousness, and evolution in our individual journeys.