“This psychological enslavement has been working on us for a really long time, and we have sort of been gatekeepers of this even unknowingly, even with the best of f*cking intentions.” – Dr. Jennifer Mullan
Fans of the pod already know that I fangirl hard for Dr. Jennifer Mullan and Decolonizing Therapy, the global movement she created to “radically reimagine the old mental health paradigm.” If you’re new here, allow me to introduce you to the future as envisioned by this badass author, speaker, organizational consultant, teacher, course creator, and community builder.
The multi-hyphenates don’t end there. Dr. Jennifer describes herself as a mixed-race Black woman with lighter skin privilege and a bigger-bodied, neurodivergent cat mom with East Coast roots and West Coast devotions who believes that accountability coupled with community is the answer. As to the question, oh my! Humans often shy away from asking hard questions, choosing false comfort over our collective liberation. And therein lies the crux of societal issues. Dr. Jennifer holds space for the really big, complex emotions that block our progress.
Thankfully, Dr. Jennifer also provides an access point: a reintegration and re-remembering that she calls knowledge-with-a-capital-K. “I’m not asking people to participate in practices that are not in alignment with them or their ancestry or anything of that nature,” she confides. “But I would like all of us, all kinds of practitioners––somatic, therapeutic, psychiatric, you name it––to A) honor that which we received so much of our teachings and learnings from, right? We’ve co-opted so much; and B) acknowledge that the way we’re currently working within these systems and structures and institutions, even if we’re in private practices, non-profit, whatever, even when we have really well-meaning intentions, that it perhaps is not fully working for us.”
While Dr. Jennifer’s work is deeply connected to ancestral knowledge, her POV is in the now. It’s charged with hope, forward motion, and, yes, challenging questions. “I’m asking people to start organizing meaning activism, like, start thinking about what can change in our state, our country? What can we do differently? Where do we need to ask for more? Where do we need to give less?”
C’mon in; this revolution’s fine! But it isn’t easy. Dr. Jennifer reminds us that it’s an undoing process. “From birth to death,” she adds. Who’s ready?!
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
CWH150: Mishara Winston – A Model For Communal Wellness
CWH053: Mishara Winston – Eat Snacks / Take Naps
GUEST CONTACT INFO & BIO
Dr. Jennifer Mullan is the author of the forthcoming book Decolonizing Therapy: Oppression, Historical Trauma & Politicizing Your Practice, and is a dynamic and highly sought after international speaker. She is also an organizational consultant, teacher, course creator, community builder, and decolonized mental health movement starter. In December 2017, Dr. Mullan created the Decolonizing Therapy Instagram, which has grown a large, enthusiastic following and profoundly shifted the world’s understanding of therapy and mental health. Dr. Mullan received her doctorate in clinical psychology from California Institute of Integral Studies, and Master’s in Counseling & Community Agencies from New York University.
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