''Critical Social Justice' has infiltrated the mental health industry and spreads rather than contains wokeness's harmful ideas
Well this explains everything, I thought to myself. The fox is coaching the henhouse!
I had no idea social justice had infiltrated the mental health industry, which makes me rethink whether greater resources for affordable mental health help will alleviate or multiply pervasive societal mental illness. Because wokeness is a primary driver.
Selin-Davis traces the short history of how therapists got ‘woke’ and trained to view the patient as a collective part of a greater group, whether it was a ‘dominant’ group or a ‘marginalized’ one, rather than treating them, as therapists have historically have, as an individual.
God help you now if you’re unfortunate enough to be white, male, or ‘cis-heteronormative’. Because you and your privilege are ground zero for what ails others. And their antidote to your mental distress is woke mind poison.
The therapist training Selin-Davis describes sounds frighteningly like those hellish DEI corporate workshops we read and hear too much about.
First, start with a dictatorial commitment to ‘antiracism’, whatever that means this week. Then be sure to give all the ‘right’ answers in class, or risk being shamed and penalized.
What galvanized the social justice-izing of mental health counseling was the rise of Donald Trump, the death of George Floyd and street protests . One student described a ‘civility pledge’ she had to sign toward the end of her training, stating her commitment to acknowledge all the social justice warrior evils: Racism, ableism, sexism, classism, nativism, heterosexism, politically incorrect country music, etc.
Vulnerable, unhappy people, oppressed by mental health struggles, come to these freshly-minted head specialists and pay for more mental poison.
Mental dis-ease begins with social justice
One woman in the article illustrates how Critical Social Justice ideology creates and perpetuates pre-existing mental illness.
The social justice warrior cared deeply about diversity and equity, but found herself struggling with her ‘whiteness’ and her constant fear she was oppressing others without even trying.
Critical Race Theory teaches a hopeless narrative for everyone, but particularly for white people: They’re born into white supremacy and can never escape it, and oppress others simply by existing. The woman felt guilt as a lesbian, too, as Queer Theory teaches ‘cis’ is “associated with colonization and white supremacy and oppression.”
She’d internalized social justice’s self-hatred lessons that the only acceptable authenticity is that of the marginalized. If you’re not—and apparently someone granted privilege to lesbians when she wasn’t looking, your only permissible response is a never-ending demand for public confession for your sins of being born ‘privileged’.
Instead of working to achieve genuine social justice, and existing happily lesbian with her girlfriend, the woman became consumed with CSJ-manufactured guilt as she anguished over her alleged ‘internalized white supremacy’. Social Justice created her unhealthy pathologies that diverted her from a path of helping others, to counseling she might not have otherwise needed, and, as it turned out, might have been better off without.
She found a black therapist to help her with her race and gender issues and all went very well for several months. It went tits-up, ironically, when she began making real mental health progress. Getting better weakened her ‘wokeness’ which threatened her therapist’s social justice commitment to a victim-centered identitarian worldview. When the patient criticized cancel culture the therapist accused her of assimilating ‘white supremacy culture’ and making the black therapist feel ‘unsafe’.
If there’s one word that must never pass a mental health professional’s lips unless the patient has turned on them with a knife, it’s ‘unsafe’. That’s a social justice distortion most often applied to challenged ideas for which the recipient has no rational answer.
Eventually, the therapist ended the relationship with the patient for being insufficiently attentive to her presumed birth-granted skin power, which was even more harmful for the patient. She was in essence ‘cancelled’, the very worst punishment for the non-conforming social justice warrior, by someone she’d trusted with her psychological vulnerability.
Social justice activism drove the patient both into and then out of therapy, when the good it did her did so-called ‘harm’ to the therapist.
Interestingly, a therapy modality that perpetuates the problem it seeks to reduce results in a prolonged financially remunerative arrangement for the therapist which can last for years, even decades.
It’s an ironic position for a mental health professional: If you do your job well, success is rewarded with profit loss.
I can’t help but think the patient could have saved herself many months, and a lot of stress and money, by reading books outside her social justice bubble that might have challenged and illuminated her in more psychologically healthy ways, especially books challenging the myopic social justice self-flagellating prison.
The therapist, treating her patient as a presumed ‘oppressor’ rather than an individual with her own unique neuroses and traumas, worked to reinforce the pervasive ‘woke’ ideology of helplessness and hopeless oppression. She told the patient, ‘You’re not free because of homophobia and sexism. You’ll never be free.’
What a supremely bleak and depressing view of one’s future, not to mention humanity. How utterly demoralizing it must be to believe that ultimately, struggle is useless, including against genuine oppression - so why even bother trying? Why protest in the streets, why bother striving to become a better person, if you remain forever either an assigned victim or an oppressor, regardless of your most sincere efforts?
Ideology vs empowerment
Under the old therapy modality, the patient was guided toward healthier mental perceptions, coping, and resilience skills, along with a growing inner strength, the exact opposite of the victimist mindset, the very definition of powerlessness.
In fact, it’s victimhood that often drives people into therapy, the point being to not allow whatever makes her feel like a victim control her life.
In the proper setting, one is encouraged to grow mentally stronger and develop personal power, which is what the aforementioned therapy client did until her therapist pulled her back from the cliff edge of psychological health.
Selin-Davis’s article notes that some ideologized newbie therapists claim they could never take on a Trump-supporting client.
I can’t imagine another group of people as much in need of real mental health help as the MAGAs. They’re subject to their own toxic, victimizing, self-defeating and self-destructive ideologies, greatly resembling their social justice antagonists.
MAGAs, like SJWs, need to challenge their self-perception as victims, whether they were victimized against their will with a neglectful childhood or an abusive partner, or whether they agreed, consciously or not, to adopt identitarian victimhood.
But ultimately, if you can’t find a marginalized group to join, simply make up your own label! If you’re a group of one, congratulations! You’re marginalized! So none of it is your fault!
Empowerment, genuine empowerment, not woke-warrior lip service, is the sworn enemy of victimhood ideology. The less you see yourself as a victim, the less you act as a victim. The more you see your power to change your life, and you engage that power, your life will most likely improve.
It’s a direct threat to those who prefer to reject personal responsibility because they’re marginalized.
The message of covert disempowerment promoted by emotionally unintelligent social justice warriors self-oppresses and benefits those with real power unwilling to share any of it.
I wonder if the SJW’s therapist felt threatened by the very freedom from psychological pain to which she’d led her patient, perhaps longing to seize some of that freedom herself but risking her job and potential ostracism when her peers found out she questioned the core tenets of social justice ideology.
It would lay to waste everything she’d been taught and believed in.
Donald Trump and his lackeys play to this same mindset for Team MAGA, blaming everyone for the working class’s plight without ever challenging them to aspire higher, educate themselves, to take charge of their lives more, or to demand better politicians to address their real interests. It benefits Trump and the Republicans to keep their base feeling victimized - if the voters took charge of their lives rather than blaming immigrants and progressive elites, they might not need the GOP anymore.
Who needs a saviour when you can save yourself?
The futility of eternal victimhood
Mental un-health is socially contagious. It includes anorexia, suicide, and depression, but happiness is also contagious. One study found that having a happy neighbor increases one’s happiness probability by 34%.
Hanging out with a more positive crowd and taking breaks, whether it’s vacation or just some time off from thinking about systemic racism, rape culture or colonialism, might be more beneficial, not to mention time and money-saving, than a therapist with an unexamined sense of her own self-imposed victimhood.
It’s frightening to think that people in real mental distress visit professionals who feed their pathologies and turn them away from the timeless skills of empowerment, self-challenge, coping and resilience that results in stronger psychological health.
The Buddha, 3,500 years ago, taught human beings the secret to happiness and mental well-being not by wallowing in the injustices of the world, but in learning to co-exist with and alleviate it with good deeds, to strive not to contribute to others’ unhappiness, and to challenge one’s own self-harming mental perceptions. He deconstructed how our beliefs can cause us as much, and arguably more, pain than any actual victimization we’ve experienced.
The more new-ish mental health treatment Cognitive Behavior Therapy, or CBT, closely resembles Buddhist teachings. CBT seeks to challenge ‘cognitive distortions’, the ‘mental constructs’ Buddhists encourage followers to root out. It challenges thoughts, beliefs and attitudes that may or may not be real, that may hurt us.
One such cognitive distortion in the social justice movement (and Judaeo-Christianity) is the distasteful notion of original sin - that you can be born into a negative state through no fault of your own. It was the putative basis of the Genesis tale of Adam and Eve, purporting to explain why humanity is so ugly (it’s our fault for disobeying God!) and it’s extended into CRT-based antiracism, which teaches the cognitive distortion that you can be born into an inescapable white supremacy, just as Jews and Christians believe you can never escape the taint of Adam’s and Eve’s original sin, and all you can do is strive ever harder to be a better person.
Ideological victimhood dies without validation from others, and people who abandon victimist thinking and take charge of their lives, are deeply threatening to those who won’t. The ‘woke’ and the MAGAs each hew to a toxic, self-limiting, self-destructive self-image in which nothing is ever their fault.
Rejecting victimhood is the Kryptonite of ‘wokeness’ and MAGAtry.
Evidence, logic, rationalism, reason and hard data are their sworn enemies.
Mental health is the primary tool in the arsenal of The Silent Majority, those of us who want to take back our power from the perma-victims of modern discourse, who hold themselves, not to mention others and their social justice causes, back.
Therapy can still be beneficial, and Selin-Davis’s articles lists the rebel therapists banding together to offer un-woke therapy for those who don’t want their therapists to dictate some issues are ‘off the table’ because it makes them feel ‘unsafe’.
If you can’t afford therapy, no problem! Good books will challenge what you think you believe to be right in social justice.
You can read them for free from the library or order them on-line, used copies super-cheap.
I just saved you a whackload of money, and maybe hastened your journey to a healthier mental outlook.
You’re welcome ;)
Not all mental health struggles can be addressed with a few books, so if you need a therapist’s help Selin-Davis’s article offers non-woke therapy sources to start. Also research and interview potential therapists to make sure they won’t undermine your progress. It’s okay to be liberal or progressive or supportive of social justice, but the key thing to remember is they shouldn’t be pushing any particular political worldview on you.
If your mental health issues come from your social justice work, start with a few of these books:
The Righteous Mind - Why Good People Are Divided By Politics and Religion - Jonathan Haidt
Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity―and Why This Harms Everybody - Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay
Woke Racism: How A New Religion Has Betrayed Black America - John McWhorter
I Feel, Therefore I Am: The Triumph of Woke Subjectivism - Mark Goldblatt
The Content Of Our Character: A New Vision of Race in America (this book is over 30 years old but it’s as fresh and relevant today as it was in 1990) - Shelby Steele
Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality - Helen Joyce
My Problem With Everything: My Journey Through the New Culture Wars - Meghan Daum
The Morning After: Sex, Fear & Feminism - Katie Roiphe
War Before Civilization - Lawrence Keeley (On how violent pre-colonial Indigenous cultures were)
Emotional Intelligence 2.0: Harness the Power of the #1 Predictor of Success - Dr. Travis Bradberry & Dr. Jean Greaves
This last is one of the best damn books I’ve ever read that will put you on the road to more highly fortified mental health.
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