Today Marielle and Ed offer ways to use DBT skills to support emotional equilibrium during a time where systemic anti-black racism is being confronted and discussed in new and necessary ways.
This episode is not about how to be anti-racist. That’s beyond what we can provide. The resources below serve as a starting point to learn more. Rather, this episode focuses on skills to help you find your emotional footing during a time of national tumult around race. This work deeply aligns with our values as therapists. Racism is a mental health issue and its impact may be easy to dismiss if we aren’t a member of a targeted group.
We recognize that our lens as white therapists limits us and that there is a lot we may get wrong. In the spirit of DBT, we want to approach what’s hard, rather than avoid.
- Bringing mindful awareness to your experience of race and racism
- Noticing and naming where you are as a starting point
- Witnessing police brutality can be very evocative, particularly if you are a trauma survivor
- You might be scared, overwhelmed, or destabilized
- The importance of not judging your experience
- Not judging your experience doesn’t mean that we don’t acknowledge the helpful and the harmful, we just do it without judgment
- To have racist conditioning is not a personal failing – it’s the soup we are swimming in
- Am I in my Wise Mind? Or is it more Emotion Mind talking?
- Finding a balance between emotion and reason
- For those who are targeted by racism, strong emotion can be necessary and protective
- Dismantling racism is long term work
- Check the Facts: What are the facts vs. my own judgment or unexamined beliefs (that aren’t necessarily factual)?
- Getting more facts about how racism works in our world and the history of racism in the U.S.
- Looking at our unexamined assumptions
- Guilt fits the facts when our behavior violates our own values or moral code
- How can I use the emotion to spur effective action?
- Opposite action is useful when you feel like there is nothing you can do to change things.
- Radical Acceptance expands possibilities for change
- Radical Acceptance does not equal approval, compassion or passivity
- When Radical Acceptance feels out of reach, use the skill called Turning the Mind
Links & Resources
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Please note that questions, and this podcast in general, are not a substitute for individual mental health treatment.