Therapy as liberation

As a white therapist practising within the tradition of western psychotherapy, I am being called to wake up to the ways in which I have embodied and perpetuated the violent segregations that our social order is founded on even as I have worked to heal myself and others.

The evolution of western civilization is the story of the widening and increasingly violent fragmentation of the human ego from the rest of Being such that the more ego accumulates, the more empty and devouring it becomes; the more defined by lack and hunger and absence.

Much of the suffering for which people seek out psychotherapy can be traced to this fragmentation, and yet it remains outside the framework of our field to name or face it adequately.

As therapists, we have been trained within a system that still divides body from psyche, matter from spirit. Our primary god is science. Though it is slowly catching up to the ancient knowledges it had a hand in debasing, science still speaks predominantly in the language of the left brain and replicates the splits of our society that create suffering.

As therapists, we can treat symptoms and pursue harm reduction within an insane system driven by segregation that is killing us all, or we can work for collective liberation.

Working for liberation does not mean just talking about it; as with every aspect of healing, we can only accompany someone else as far along the path as we have ourselves travelled.

I cannot help to heal another’s trauma if my own remains unhealed;

I cannot be a mirror to another person’s being if my own being remains obscured from me;

I cannot walk the path of liberation with another if I have not committed to my own path and to facing what I fear most in myself.

This path is a commitment to my own undoing, to the unbecoming of “me” as I have known my self. Navigating this loss bravely is my road as a healer.