Trauma & Social Change

This session is free to watch

Racial Transparency in the Embodied Therapeutic Encounter

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geek warning, requires advanced understanding
Movement not required
Potentially triggering
Exploring 'Reciprocal Historic Repair'

About this session

This presentation – existential and experiential – addresses the persistence of race in the therapeutic encounter. The intention is to examine tensions between the following somatic time-spaces: 1) the resonant, intimate, reciprocating field that is a focus in embodied therapeutic work; and 2) the broader, historic colonial field within which such resonant intimacy exists. Drawing from Frantz Fanon’s understanding of race as hierarchical recognition that roots the colonial dynamic, and Judith Butler’s treatment of gender as a norming process brought to life through repeated interactions, we consider the danger in neglecting sanctioned, racialized binds/dependencies that occur between/among same and different identities in therapy. To this end, addressed is the importance of continuous, relational tracking of the ‘decontextualized’ projections that make-up "the water", as Menakem highlights, the effects of which repeatedly center white supremacy - and the interrelated social norms, around sexuality, gender, ability, class, etc. that support it - in the therapeutic narrative. Explored is the building of a layered, somatic practice that can track, in real time, 1) racisms that are expressed and embodied in the therapeutic relational field, and 2) beatific, somatic states of connection that dialogue with what is unspoken in the therapeutic field. This practice presupposes mature, secure attachment in the therapeutic relationship and racial discomfort capacity experience by both practitioner/therapist and client, alike. The presentation shares tools with social justice-informed practitioners/therapists that can support transparent, responsible, spacious holding of our violent histories, as well as our somatic participation in their slow, messy unfolding. And, we not only consider the practice of what I call 'reciprocal historic repair', but the therapeutic field becomes a space for imagining, enacting and even challenging the potentiality in mutual unboundedness.
All Trauma & Social Change presentations proudly sponsored by Steve Hoskinson and Organic Intelligence.

Trauma & Social Change

This session is free to watch
Presented by

Kesha Fikes

Somatic bodyworker and trauma therapist (SEP) who holds a doctorate in anthropology