“I see it as a privilege that I have been able to receive healing and receive care.” ~Melody Li
Melody Li has built a practice around getting smashy–and I am here for it! This Hong Kong-born, diasporic settler is a queer therapist of Color, mental health liberation activist, and all around badass. Their work focuses on liberating communities long neglected or, worse, harmed outright by whiteness in therapeutic spaces. What I find so magical about Melody is that they knew what they wanted but couldn’t find it in the current therapeutic structure so they created it themself. For the community, by the community. Boom.
“My prejudices, my biases were internalized. And, at the same time, the harmful part is when I internalize this ideology, I’m actually learning to hate myself, right? To think less of myself and to reject. my own people, my own people’s way of being,” says Melody, laying the groundwork for our exploration of decolonization, internalized biases, and land-back movements, If you’re new to any of these topics (even if you’re not), Melody’s personal and professional insights will guide your continued un-doctrination. This conversation is wall-to-wall mic drop moments, y’all, as well as an unveiling of Melody’s latest initiative.
In order to decolonize therapy, the profession needs (demands!) more therapists of marginalized identities. Easier said than done given that the graduate degree system, the whole education system tbh, is structured to uphold whiteness, therefore barring entry to so many from the communities that require healing most. With Mental Health Liberation, Melody seeks to address barriers that prohibit a more diverse,vibrant spectrum of therapists from doing the healing work that their communities so desperately require.
So much good stuff! And, we even had time for Melody to provide us with a few of her favorite teachers. If you’re anything like me (which, duh, you’re listening so of course we’re like-minds), you’ll walk away from this convo inspired af, wondering why we’re still applying words like “history” across all narratives, and ready to get smashy within your own limiting environments.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
GUEST CONTACT INFO & BIO
Melody Li is a colony-born migrant and diasporic settler on Turtle Island. They are a queer therapist of Color, mental health liberation activist and keynote speaker. They founded Inclusive Therapists: a mental health directory and community that celebrates and centers people with marginalized identities (especially QTBIPOC). Melody offers collective care and education focusing on decolonizing mental health and healing racialized trauma.
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