Phenomenological colonialism: A few thoughts 

Race Reflections

On being taught my experience

A few months ago I was asked to speak at a community event on Fanon, decoloniality and radical mental health. There, I was approached, after my talk by a white man wishing to have a conversation. He said he wanted to invite me to a conference. We exchanged email addresses. When he later got in touch, he had made his way through Race Reflections on which he had posted half a dozen ‘private’ comments which he said were for my ‘benefit and learning’ only. Mainly, he was agreeing with my writing, indeed even commenting on the fact that I had a very good understanding of the issues. He elaborated on some ideas, and suggested some reading. All posts commented upon dealt with Black womanhood and my lived experience. That conference he had mentioned, he had no intention to invite me to speak. Instead, he wanted…

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Death and Taxes… @joelhirst reblog

Joel D. Hirst's Blog

So it’s that time of year again, and I’m doing my taxes. Reminding me just how complicated life is and how much time was spent last year in slave labor. This year is sort of my halfway mark – if I’m lucky. More if I’m really lucky; and almost the end if I’m really, really lucky. Not of filing taxes. Like death – taxes are the only other inevitable thing; but more powerful, because even after I die they will keep coming for my money.

I was recalling this morning where it all started. Do you remember your first pay? Not by your parents, who gave you an allowance to do chores, or your grandparents sliding a crisp five dollar bill into a birthday card. But the first time you worked hard for something and were paid for it?

I’m a missionary kid, and missionary kids have a weird relationship…

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Theo and the distinctly sexual flavour of French racism

Media Diversified

by Guilaine Kinouani 

Content warning: contains detailed descriptions of sexual abuse

On 2 February, a 22-year-old black French man named Theo was allegedly violently raped with a police truncheon, gang assaulted and racially abused by four French police officers in the Parisian suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois. So severe were the anal injuries sustained by Theo that he needed major surgery after the incident. As I write, Theo remains in a stable condition in hospital after having been visited by president Hollande.  The incident occurred less than a year after the suspicious death of Adama Traore in police custody and, led to renewed accusations of police brutality and racism in France. Old wounds have been re-opened and the city is gripped with protests.

Francois Hollande visits Theo in hosital by L. Blevennec/Elysée Press Office Francois Hollande visits Theo in hospital by L. Blevennec/Elysée Press Office

In a country that seems to have made the denial of racism a national sport…

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Allied Health Professionals: Maximising Psychological Wellbeing: Music Therapy @Ed_Sings

Let's Talk about Dementia

Let’s face the music…

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After 17 years in engineering Ed Muirhead decided to follow his passion for music, enrolling on the Music Therapy MSc at Queen Margaret University. Ed is currently based at an Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Resource Centre for the duration of his second year placement and is really enjoying the challenge of working with music therapeutically in a variety of ways, particularly relating to dementia. In his blog this week, Ed shares a snapshot of music therapy in action.

Picture the scene, Harry* makes a joke about Gene Kelly, Nancy* laughs. Harry was saying he’s not seen Mr Kelly for a while. He talks as if discussing a friend he used to know, and in a sense that’s true – Harry is a dancer, in the past he took part in competitive ballroom dancing with his wife all over the country, long before “Strictly”.

We’ve just sung “Singing…

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Culturally Biased Therapy? Epistemic Violence and CBT (Part 1): Guilaine Kinouani

Race Reflections

For his first and rather controversial blog of 2017, the president of the British Psychological Society (BPS), Peter Kinderman took a critical look at Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Whilst acknowledging that the way that we make sense of the world has ‘profound implications’ for how we feel and behave and, referring to ‘acceptance and commitment therapy’ as a less individualist and pathologising ‘variant’ of CBT; Kinderman highlights in his blog, the serious limitations of focusing on people’s interpretations of events that are socially located and produced, to reduce psychological distress. He states:

‘CBT can rightly be criticized for adhering to an outdated and unscientific model of mental ‘illness’, for continuing to locate the blame for our distress inside our heads (rather than looking to social or even political root causes), and for sometimes implying both that people are responsible for “thinking errors” and that “positive thinking” can solve our problems’.

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