Complicating the White Therapist – an introductory study day.
This is the second time we have offered this thought provoking and challenging day. Based on previous participants feedback, we already have 15 people booked onto this training. Places are limited to 20 participants.
Trainer: Robert Downes
Time:10:00 – 17:00
Date: Saturday 17th October 2020
Venue: on Zoom
£40 - Trainee OTS Members
£50 - Full OTS Members
£60 - Trainee Non-members
£75 - Qualified Non-members
OTS operates a full refund if you are dissatisfied with any of our training events.
About the training:
“White Fragility is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviours such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviours, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium” Robin DiAngelo
“We must prepare ourselves for—and even seek—difficult, threatening, unsettling, awkward and shame-inducing conversations” Anton Hart.
The focus in many psychotherapy and counselling trainings has traditionally been on diversity and multicultural approaches to the therapeutic project. The criticism of these approaches is that they make racism a little more palatable as something for people of colour to overcome rather than something for white people to deconstruct as part of a psychological and broader socio-political project. In this workshop the problem of racism and whiteness is returned to white therapeutic practitioners to deal with.
Students, clients, and therapists of colour frequently encounter white fragility and its formidable defensiveness. Whiteness has not been placed on the ’couch’ for a thorough enough analysis thus limiting the therapeutic potential for personal and collective transformation whilst potentially harming the people who seek our support. Our trainings rarely equip us with rigorous thinking and practices around race, whiteness, embodied racialised trauma and the necessary capacity of being able to ‘mentalise race whilst white’.
For further information including details of preparatory resources click here.
In keeping the company of Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, Frantz Fanon, Reni Eddo-Lodge, Edward Said, Christina Sharpe, George Yancy, Sara Ahmed, Lynne Jacobs, Robin DiAngelo and many others we will begin to disrupt and re-inform clinical thinking and practice in relation to the matrix of race in the therapeutic relationship and project. We will consider anti-blackness, proximities to whiteness amongst other ideas that will serve our explorations.
We will look at a series of practices and understandings that will serve to complicate whiteness in the service of being more consciously anti-racist in our practice, thinking and being in the world.
Who is this workshop for?
This workshop is for white practitioners. It will provide an experiential opportunity to examine whiteness and white fragility as an embodied phenomena that requires a rigorous exploration if we are to do less harm and practice more ethically. It won’t be comfortable; this is about sitting into the discomfort to unravel from intergenerational legacies that are born of a great white lie.
There will be some preparatory reading and reflective practices to engage with prior to the day (see below).
About the trainer:
Robert Downes is a psychotherapist, supervisor, student, and educator drawing from critical theory to inform the therapeutic project. He is currently chair of The Relational School. He practices as a body psychotherapist and supervisor in London and has done so for 20 years. He trained at the Chiron Centre for Body Psychotherapy in the 90s and has continued his education since through exploring a diversity of traditions and practices including transpersonal perspectives. His current areas of focus have been on working with chronic shame and exploring racism and whiteness in the therapeutic encounter.
Preparatory reading and resources:
Robert has compiled a list of resources that you might want to get started with. There is a mixture of audio, video, and written material. Click here to link to these resources.