Decolonizing Therapy: Oppression, Historical Trauma, and Politicizing Your Practice
A call to action for therapists to politicize their practice through an emotional decolonial lens.
An essential work that centers colonial and historical trauma in a framework for healing, Decolonizing Therapy illuminates that all therapy is—and always has been— inherently political. To better understand the mental health oppression and institutional violence that exists today, we must become familiar with the root of disembodiment from our histories, homelands, and healing practices. Only then will readers see how colonial, historical, and intergenerational legacies have always played a role in the treatment of mental health.
This book is the emotional companion and guide to decolonization. It is an invitation for Eurocentrically trained clinicians to acknowledge privileged and oppressed parts while relearning what we thought we knew. Ignoring collective global trauma makes delivering effective therapy impossible; not knowing how to interrogate privilege (as a therapist, client, or both) makes healing elusive; and shying away from understanding how we as professionals may be participating in oppression is irresponsible.
Praise for Decolonizing Therapy: Oppression, Historical Trauma, and Politicizing Your Practice
Jennifer Mullan offers a fiery provocation to all of us–especially those called to serve as therapists, practitioners, and healers. The call is to grasp at the root that which really harms us, those oppressive practices of our training that do more to dehumanize and disconnect than we’ve known. This book is a remembering of the wisdom of our practices and survival. What Mullan leaves us with, somehow, is everything, each other, and the beautiful and challenging project of creating decolonized spaces of healing and repair.
— Prentis Hemphill, the Embodiment Institute
To receive the therapy you deserve, read Decolonizing Therapy and insist your therapist read it, too. Empowering, worldview-shattering, and necessary for immigrants and people of color.
— Stephanie Foo, author of What My Bones Know: A Memoir of Healing from Complex Trauma
All practitioners and therapists would greatly benefit from immersing themselves into the roots of Decolonizing Therapy. Dr. Jenn nurtures a space for us to dig deep into rooted, humanizing, reparenting, loving, new world work that bridges the ancient. She invites our humanity and our pain to the table.
— Shefali Tsabary, PhD, New York Times–bestselling author of The Conscious Parent