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We need more History-Informed Therapy


Most of us have heard of trauma-informed therapy, which takes into account the impact of a client's trauma, past and present, in the therapy space. Here is an example: a clients in one of my virtual groups can get overstimulated/overwhelmed with particular conversations that she connects to past traumatic experiences. When this happens, she will write what is happening in chat and take breaks all of which the fellow group members support. This is trauma - formed, versus say me saying it is against group policy to take time out or to write in chat as a blanket rule, not being open to accommodating particular needs of clients. Practicing in a trauma-informed manner is necessary, but not sufficient. We need to practice in a history-informed manner as well. What does that mean?


This same client is young, queer, is first generation of an immigrant family and is black. What about including in the therapy process the history of discrimination that people of color, immigrants, sexual minorities face. What about being open to looking at/challenging racism ageism that will happen in the therapy office and therapeutic relationships? What about not only having awareness, knowledge of how an individual trauma might impact of the therapeutic process but also our history: collective and individual.


I would love to hear your responses to actively having history - and the broader cultural social political context - in in the therapy room.

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