“The spectrum of help, it’s not even a spectrum; it’s, like, two buttons. One is ignore and dismiss, and the other button is panic and report. And there’s so much to do in between that.” ~Rahim Thawer
What happens when two ENFJs come together for a light chat? An illuminating conversation about a life lived in the margins, creating spaces for genuine bodily autonomy, and engaging in revolutionary acts within the confines of the current therapeutic system.
Rahim Thawer, MSW RSW, is a queer Muslim social worker, psychotherapist, consultant, clinical supervisor, sessional lecturer and writer living, working, and organizing in Canada. He’s especially interested in supporting communities or agencies that serve LGBTQ folks and people affected by HIV, groups that often overlap with newcomers to Canada. And, btw, leave it to the Canadians to adopt widespread use of the term newcomer, a more holistic and inclusive descriptive than immigrant. Rahim is a natural at welcoming others and appreciating the right everyone has to express their individuality. “When I think about my own emotional experience,” he says, “a lot of that has to do with the ways in which I felt left out.”
Much of Rahim’s work, whether that’s in session with clients or alone at his laptop, working on multiple books simultaneously, is dedicated to exploring and centering experiences currently deemed outside the norm. “I think also being queer, part of how I describe growing up on the margins is I think about a lined piece of paper, and you’ve got the main story on the lines that are given to you, and then there’s notes literally in the margins.”
His desire to lend language to support those experiences extends beyond LGBTQIA+ issues to the complexities surrounding suicidality as it relates to chronic or terminal illness, to people’s needs, and how to center their decision-making power around their bodies and their fate. His insight reminds me that if we were all to tune into these frequencies for ourselves – specifically instances where we might have considered suicide – we would be able to hold so much more space for others.
Extraverted. Intuitive. Feeling. Judging. We ENFJs just get each other.
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Rahim Thawer MSW, RSW is a queer Muslim social worker, psychotherapist, consultant, clinical supervisor, sessional lecturer and writer. He is interested in the intersection of mental health and systemic oppression as well as innovation in queer men’s relationships.
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