Lately, my therapist has been stuck.

I can tell, because recently they asked me what I thought we could ACTUALLY work on.  I had been talking about the state of the world, and how it impacts me, and they finally said, “well we can’t fix that.”

It wasn’t a good therapy session.  I finally said, “maybe we should be developing a new kind of therapy…”

Because…the old kind sucks.

What is the role and goal of therapy in our current world?

I think we need to be reconceiving therapy in a context of interdependence and decolonialization and power redistribution through the lens of agency as a critical human experience.

My therapeutic goal isn’t to be well adjusted to this mess.

My therapeutic goal is to improve and stabilize my mental health in a context of ongoing (and to some extent inescapable) trauma, to not have that trauma make my cptsd worse, to extract myself from the traumatic experiences and contexts to the extent that that is possible, and to use my stabilized brain to make effective change in and to that context for myself and others.

This means: don’t tell me we can’t fix it. Help me figure out what we are going to do to fix it. Don’t tell me to ignore it. Tell me where I can get the information I need to change it. Analyze this shit like it’s one giant abusive relationship and help me figure out where to put the levers I have and with whom I can work to do it so we can change things because it is not therapeutically effective to tell me that just accepting it is my job.

You know what gives me hope right now? Unions. Katie Porter. Costco. Madeline Pendleton.

You know why academia is getting marginalized? Because actual science and research isn’t telling the magnates of industry what they want to hear.

Is there a name for that thing where someone with unreasonable amounts of power shuts down anyone who doesn’t tell them what they want to hear? It must have a name. Like when Hitler didn’t want to be disturbed under any circumstances so he didn’t hear about the invasion that turned the war.

Industry is doing that to academia. And the power is consolidated in industry, along with the money which is why politics are less effective than ever at making change.

Which is why unions and Costco are on my list and experts are not. Experts are important but their existence gives me no succor because their effectiveness has been reduced to nearly zero, because see above.

I think mental health work needs to evolve because what I keep getting from my therapists is .not working. It’s too individualized and too isolated and too based on the assumption that the world as a whole is pretty much ok.

*do not tell me it’s hopeless or too big for us to change. We are the people. It’s our literal job in this system. I am spending every moment of every day fighting that narrative because if I believe it I will give up.*

New level.

New plan.

I bet this works for organizations too.

* stabilize in ongoing trauma

  • * reduce traumatic impact
  • * extract from trauma where possible
  • * turn toward pleasure
  • * analyze for best leverage points
  • * establish and reinforce bidirectional alliances
  • * build those alliances into a multidirectional net
  • * turn toward pleasure
  • * tell stories of hope and success
  • * use music and movement to turn those stories into a background chorus
  • * analyze for strengths, assets, tools (levers)
  • * turn toward pleasure
  • * place levers and pull
  • * celebrate those victories
  • * repeat
  • –Leela Sinha September 2023

If we are going to fight burnout, this is also what that looks like.

PS: crowdfunded community therapist?