Dear USABP Colleagues,
We are horrified and saddened by the tragic loss of life and the ongoing, multi-generational perpetuation of white supremacy in the United States and elsewhere. This is the outcome of generations of betrayed human connection, abuse, denial of human rights, loss, and unending grief and rage. Beyond social justice, it reveals the shadow of a larger dark force rising. The United States seems to be at a critical point, awakening to the fact that freedom requires consciousness and engagement. The choice for democracy or dictatorship is upon us all.
Peaceful protests and riots have emerged simultaneously. Statements of solidarity are co-opted by violence and looting. This fits what trauma recovery teaches us: when we come out of freeze, or out of denial, we escalate from protest to indignation, and from anger to rage — a heightening of sympathetic responses, a call to action to counteract the hopelessness that threatens to plunge us into collapse or the overwhelming pain that can send us back into denial. When we have endured centuries' worth of pain, it is not surprising that we are ill-prepared to face the sympathetic charge underneath. The indignation and rage are in proportion to the suffering caused by white supremacy, greed, sadistic abuse, and the obliteration of the unimaginable suffering that follows in their wake.
As somatic practitioners, how do we move forward in a political climate that thrives on hatred, division, and dread?
How do we support the distinction between powerless freeze, uncontrolled anger, and the skillful navigation of dangerous times?
Our community has watched with heavy hearts over the last weeks and months as racialized violence has unfolded at a terrifying rate, although we recognize, of course, that this is nothing new. And we are aware of the tragically disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on people of color.
We mourn the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breanna Taylor, Toni McDade, and the countless others who have died or otherwise suffered at the hands of police brutality. We recognize that many of us can only imagine the distress and trauma caused by these injustices, knowing that others in our community are directly impacted by them.
We stand in solidarity with the black community against all forms of racism, systemic violence, and blatant injustice in the United States and throughout the world.
We hold the knowing power of our profession and put the restorative tools we have at our disposal in service of those who need us now.
The United States Association for Body Psychotherapy
Dr. Chris Walling, President
Dr. Aline LaPierre, Vice President
Dr. Karen Roller, Secretary
Mahshid Hager, MFT, Treasurer
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