I am a straight, white, neurotypical, mostly-able-bodied, atheist, cisgender man of upper-middle class socioeconomic status. I’m also a father, partner, brother, son, and community member. As a person and counseling psychologist, I believe that our cultural identities have a powerful influence on how we see ourselves, relate to each other, and experience the world. Systems of oppression (e.g., White Supremacy/racism, nativism, sexism, cissesism, heterosexism, classism, ableism, sizeism, ageism) permeate all spaces, including academia, operating at the individual and systemic level. It is my ethical obligation to continue to learn about myself as a cultural being, work toward relational repair when I unintentionally microaggress, engage in difficult but necessary conversations about power/privilege/oppression with those in my personal and professional life, and work alongside others to promote a more socially just world through my teaching, scholarship, and service. Among other forms of public service, I engage in activism alongside other members of Showing Up for Racial Justice. particularly around local (e.g., Buffalo), state (e.g., GA), and federal elections.
I’ve been building a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Social Justice Resources List to keep track of the freely-accessible text, audio, and video resources that I have found useful as I’ve sought to increase my critical consciousness of the multiple interlocking systems of oppression mentioned above. I thought I would share this List, in case there is something you may find useful. You’ll notice that many of the resources are geared toward educating multiply-privileged people (like me), as we are often the ones who need to do the most self-education about these systems of oppression and our role in supporting/dismantling theses systems.
The below videos are from my Culture, Diversity, and Social Justice YouTube series. They reflect my understanding of myself and the world, as a person and professional, at different points in my journey. Videos recorded earlier in my life naturally reflect a less sophisticated understanding of how power operates in our world. For example, one of my growth edges has been learning to think and act from an intersectional frame. My hope is that these videos can be useful, particularly for mental health professionals in training who are trying to navigate their own journeys of growth during graduate school.
- No Progress without Discomfort and Loss – I reflect on how my speaking out has challenged me to develop a willingness to tolerate discomfort (e.g., difficult dialogues create difficult emotions) and loss (e.g., of certain relationships).
- Cultural Appropriation or Appreciation – I share a list of Filter Questions to facilitate critical thinking about what it means to appropriate vs. appreciate cultural artifacts (e.g., dress, mannerisms, behaviors) as people living in an inequitable society with a history of oppression against various marginalized groups of people.
- Masculine Gender Role Socialization, Stoicism, & Doing Therapy – I talk about how my socialization (as a white, cisgender man) related to the importance of being stoic has influenced my personal and professional development.
- How the Personal is Professional in Counseling Psychology – I talk about how my personal life have influenced my professional life, touching on emotion, privilege, and implicit bias in therapy.
- Interpersonal Patterns, Cultural Socialization, Personal/Professional Growth Edges – I reflect on how my cultural socialization, particularly related to traditional western masculine gender role norms, influenced the development of my emotional and interpersonal style over time, and in turn my professional development during graduate school. My struggles connected to growth edges fueled by my cultural socialization are the specific focus, including how I conceptualize them from an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) perspective, and how I have engaged in intentional personal/professional growth to address these growth edges over time. I openly discuss these things in the hope that counseling psychology graduate students who are working on their own personal/professional growth edges can learn more about how a person might approach this difficult work.