Learning to Love White Shame and Guilt: Skills for Working as a White Therapist in a Racially Divided Country

Lynne M. Jacobs
2014 International Journal of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology  
This article addresses the issues of white-centeredness and racialization that are inherent in contemporary American society and culture. The aim is to develop a conceptual framework by which dominant culture therapists and analysts might sensitize themselves to the implications of their dominance in the therapeutic process. While racialization is my fulcrum, the ideas I present could as easily be applied to heterosexism and to any situation in which a so-called normative standard regarding
more » ... rience and behavior reigns. The article addresses the major difficulty in recognizing white-centeredness and challenges the common wisdom that white shame and white guilt need to be removed as barriers to the progress toward racial justice. The author addresses inherent power imbalances in the therapeutic setting and offers ideas for managing white guilt and shame productively.
doi:10.1080/15551024.2014.948365 fatcat:sxvciwoc4zf6nmtbe4yz7jhfua