THE POLITICAL SITUATION IN THE UNITED STATES
STATEMENT FROM THE PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELLING UNION (PCU, UK) and
PSYCHOTHERAPISTS AND COUNSELLORS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (PCSR, UK)
[Please circulate this statement to organisations and individuals in the therapy field.]
PCU and PCSR are two progressive organisations in the UK comprised of therapists with interests in politics, society and culture. Our members are aware of the psychological impacts stemming from the result of the US election, and how these are affecting the life and work of our professional colleagues and their clients. Such impacts are manifest here as well. The atmosphere is one of violence and fear.
We are deeply concerned for the individuals and groups most negatively affected by the election result. These include but are not limited to members of ethnic and ‘racial’ minorities (including African Americans, Native Americans, Latinx and Muslims), sexual minorities, those living with disabilities. As a result of the misogyny expressed during the election campaign, we are keenly aware of the impact on women, particularly survivors of sexual violence. We are also greatly concerned at what was said about environmental issues during the election campaign, including climate change. This wide range of issues is not only of external significance but also goes to the heart of the internal and emotional concerns of many citizens.
When therapists work with individuals and groups such as those noted, we are made forcibly aware of the ways in which political and economic structures impact psychologically on them in a disproportionate way. In addition, therapists are often forced to address their own prejudices in connection with clients and colleagues from different backgrounds.
We deplore attempts to stigmatise all those who voted for the victor. This is because we are aware of the systemic and class complexities of the choice that was made by many of them.
We are aware that many therapy organisations in the US and thousands of individual therapists are engaged in a wide range of political actions in protest at the general direction the new Administration seems likely to take. As psychotherapists, counsellors, and activists, we stand in support of our colleagues who seek to mobilise in response to the result of the election. We join our organisational names and our memberships in active solidarity and in the hope of dialogue.
Correspondence: Kate O’Halloran: firstname.lastname@example.org