White therapists grappling with racist comments in therapy

Keywords: intersectionality, white privilege, HIV-positive status, LGBTQ , therapy, oppression


Therapists can be seen to have a moral obligation to use their power to work against social injustice. Engaging with the dialogue of privilege and oppression in relation to race is one example of this. Since responses from white people in being named as privileged can sometimes lead to defensiveness and frustration, a challenge is posed in how to respond to this in therapy. This article suggests that understanding the intersectionality of privilege and oppression in all individuals facilitates the opportunity for more nuanced discussion. It proposes that tools such as the Multicultural and Social Justice Counselling Competencies approach could be used to enable clients to explore their own white privilege. A fictional case example of a white, gay man who is HIV (human immunodeficiency virus)-positive is presented and discussed in order to exemplify this proposal.


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How to Cite
Hunt, R. (2022). White therapists grappling with racist comments in therapy. Psychotherapy & Politics International, 20(3), 1-16. https://doi.org/10.24135/ppi.v20i3.05