When I first arrived in this country I realized I had become complicit, just by virtue of my being here, in the ongoing genocide of the First Nations people that belong to this land. One of the reasons for my becoming a therapist was to make some kind of sense of my being here, on this land: the intention was, from the beginning, to ensure a significant percentage of my work is with the people who belong to this land – here in Vancouver, this primarily means the people of the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.
Both sets of my grandparents were born colonized subjects, and I know all too well the internalizations that result; how heavy sits the Crown. I have to work in opposition to that; it’s the only thing that makes sense to me, to work with these and other marginalized populations and facilitate the undoing of the internalization of external forms of oppression, the undoing of all the frozen moments of trauma that creep into the body and contort it.
Sadly, many of the systems in place that provide support to Indigenous folks also function under the oversight of the same enterprise that has its boot on their necks. Coping with the consequent feeling of incongruence this creates in me means keeping my eyes, ears and heart open in order to learn how this enterprise operates - so that I can make better decisions about how to be of service to this demographic and thus be a useful part of the healing journey being undertaken by the communities here.
Thoughts on Therapy and Mental Health