The Personal, The Political, and The Therapy Couch

I often hear from clients as they sheepishly disclose some bit of political information or opinion that, “I know I’m not supposed to bring up politics in therapy but…” and I’m not entirely sure where that “rule” came from, but I don’t follow it.

I follow my legal and ethical duties to not impose any beliefs or values of my own upon my clients, but it is an absolute truth that politics effect our health and well-being–physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.

For many of us, what happens in the political realm plays a significant role in our day-to-day lives whether it regards access to health care, access to restrooms, access to rights and liberties, access to jobs, access to education, access to a safe and satisfying life. So therapy is absolutely an appropriate place to discuss politics and social issues because they play such a big part in either contributing to, or depleting our mental health.

The chronic stress of having bodies regulated; of hair styles discriminated; of skin color targeted; of beliefs vilified; of wages unlivable; of identity erased; and so on can and often does result in symptoms of trauma and cPTSD.

“There is no thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.” ― Audre Lorde