I use the term “intersectional therapy” to describe how I engage with clients. “Intersectionality” is a term developed by Kimberlé W. Crenshaw in her Critical Race Theory work. Intersectionality describes the fact of our multi-faceted and diverse identities we embody; it describes the “intersecting social identities and related systems of oppression, domination, or discrimination. It is the idea that multiple identities intersect to create a whole that is different from the components.” Our identities are comprised of aspects such as gender, race, class, ethnicity, nationality, sexuality, religion, age, ability/disability, as well as the roles in which we serve, and the vibrant expressions of our personhood.
As a trauma-informed clinician who specializes in working with survivors of complex trauma, I see undeniable parallels between the complexities of psychological, emotional, and spiritual/religious abuse in the micro system of family and intimate relationships as well as in the macro system of our workplaces, our schools, our communities, and our society at large. The microaggressions of racism, misogyny, transphobia, queerphobia, bigotry, and other discriminations take their toll psychologically in the form of depression, anxiety, cPTSD, and complex trauma. Social issues are mental health issues. Family issues are mental health issues. Political injustices are mental health issues.