Psychology Today Blog

What Do I Do with My White Guilt?

Q: I’m white and, like many other white people since the death of George Floyd, I have immersed myself in reading, listening, and learning about racism—the racism around me and within me—and committed myself to the ongoing work of anti-racism. I know I don’t understand what that commitment means and where it will take me, but the fire in me is strong about this, and I trust it.

What I’m struggling with is guilt. Why did it take me this long to wake up? Why did it take yet another killing of a Black man to get my attention? I’ve read that white people don’t need to ask Black people to assuage our guilt for us, that we need to talk with other white people about this. So that’s my question. What do I do with this sickening feeling of guilt? READ MORE ->

Stop Hesitating

One week after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and following a week of protests across the world, Elizabeth McCorvey, a social worker in Asheville, North Carolina, began sharing “Stop Hesitating,” a one-page guide for white therapists about how to engage black clients about George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, protests, and racial trauma in general.

McCorvey provides psychotherapy to college students at UNC-Asheville and also does office-based and equine-assisted psychotherapy. Her focus is working with people of color and LGBTQIA identified individuals. She graciously agreed to share some of her thoughts in this space. READ MORE ->

Spiritual Wisdom in the Time of COVID-19

Q: I wrote to you a few weeks ago and asked for spiritually informed mental health advice for coping with the many coronavirus stresses. I appreciate the recommendations you offered. Now I have a related but different question: What are you learning from your clients about coping with this pandemic? And can you share some of that? READ MORE ->

20 Beats 19

Q: I’m not a therapist, but I’ve been reading your blog anyway. It looks like all your questions so far have come from therapists, but I hope you’ll answer this one from someone who’s not. My question is: are there any spiritually-informed, mental-health-savvy words of wisdom you’d offer about living with the stress of the coronavirus?  READ MORE ->

How Do I Start Talking with my Clients about Spirituality?

Q: It got so drilled into me in grad school, “Do not impose your own spiritual ideas,” that I’m basically afraid to wade into these waters of spirituality with my clients. Your book was helpful to me, but I’m still working up my nerve to engage my clients in this area. If you were going to suggest one thing, one simple way to start, what would it be?  READ MORE ->

Why Not Leave Spirituality to the Spiritual Professionals?

Q:  I’m a therapist who values my clients’ (and my own) spirituality, but I’m uneasy getting too involved with it in therapy. Spirituality is so complex and consequential, and there are professionals who are better trained at working with it than I’ll ever be — ministers, chaplains, spiritual directors. Wouldn’t it be better to let them handle the spiritual issues and let me handle the mental health issues?   READ MORE ->

“The wound is the place where the light enters you”

- Rumi

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