Examining our own relationships to racism as the foundation of decolonising systemic practices. ‘No time like the present’

Chin, Jasmine T, Hughes, Gillian and Miller, Ashley (2022) Examining our own relationships to racism as the foundation of decolonising systemic practices. ‘No time like the present’. Journal of Family Therapy . ISSN 0163-4445 (Print); 1467-6427 (Electronic)

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Abstract

Racist discourses embedded in our social structures can have a profoundly negative impact on people's emotional well-being. This paper calls for a re-focusing within systemic therapy on anti-colonial and social justice approaches specifically on addressing racism. We propose that if we are to make this shift in our practice, we need to first engage in processes of self-reflexivity about the impact of racism on ourselves and our personal relationships. We draw on Paolo Freire's idea of ‘conscientisation’, or consciousness raising – a form of self-reflexivity through the lens of power, and on the work of McKenzie-Mavinga, who highlights the importance of therapists developing their awareness and understanding of how racism operates in their lives. We illustrate these ideas through an exploration of how we have approached this work within a long-standing peer supervision group.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Received: 16 February 2021 | Accepted: 21 November 2021
Uncontrolled Keywords: Anti-colonising, Anti-racist, Critical consciousness raising, Family and systemic therapy, Reflexivity, Social justice
Subjects: Couple & Family Therapies > Systemic Family Therapy
Race and Culture > Race- Sociology
Race and Culture > Race and Culture- Social Welfare
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
URI: http://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/2583

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