In this workshop we will review the research on black-white interpersonal dynamics and how they relate to our therapeutic work. We will review research on various types of anti-black racism exhibited by white people in their interactions with black Americans in general and in the psychotherapy context. For instance, there is strong research support for a particular type of unintentional racism exhibited primarily by highly educated, liberal white people who consciously identify as non-racist. There is also research showing that many white people believe they can conceal their racism in interpersonal interactions with black Americans. But the research reveals that most black Americans can see through our unconscious defenses around race and may see bias in us that we don't even see ourselves. The consequences of white people who are unable to address their unconscious racist beliefs are actually far-reaching in the lives of black Americans, ranging from police violence, employment decisions, psychotherapy outcomes, and more. We will examine how these dynamics apply to the therapy context and what white therapists can do to confront our unintentional anti-black bias and better serve our black clients. The workshop will also review the research on psychotherapy process between black therapists and their white clients.
2) Learn about various types of racism and think critically about one’s own views on race and how it may impact our clinical work;
3) Evaluate clinical dilemmas in case studies of Black/White cross-racial therapy and how to address them.
Presenter : Laurie Paul, Ph.D is a licensed psychologist. Dr. Paul graduated with her doctorate in clinical psychology in 2014 from The New School, an APA-accredited PhD program in New York City. While in graduate school, she spent 6 years as part of a research team studying how clients and therapists negotiate racial, ethnic, and cultural differences in psychotherapy. Dr. Paul's dissertation and masters thesis were on Black-White interpersonal dynamics, with an emphasis on the implicit racial bias exhibited by progressive White people. Dr. Paul completed a postdoctoral fellowship in psychodynamic psychotherapy at The Karen Horney Clinic in New York City. She currently works in her private practice in Chevy Chase, MD, specializing in trauma, anxiety, OCD, and couples therapy, and is an Adjunct Professor of Psychology at American University.