Vol. 2, No. 2 Fall 2003

Internalized White Privilege Silencing Healthy Rage around Class and Race

Achievement of a Free Space (third space) or Bridge to Understanding

My enculturation by Anglo-Saxon birth into white privilege in Canada has silenced the healthy rage of others around race and class issues. Learning about this together in our Esprit group and with another brave person blew the lid off of my blindness. I feel that I can begin to write about this because I am open at fifty-one to facing the people I have oppressed and continue to oppress by my internalized white privilege. This discovery is not my honour, it belongs to the many others through history who have experienced devastating oppression by Euro/American white privilege and have chosen to challenge this domination and to those few who choose with patience, to try to get through to me personally.

Potential Risk, May/Can Cause Harm

Basis for Recommending to the Minister of Health that Psychotherapy be Regulated and/or a Controlled Act.

I have observed that the general public in Canada is aware of one prevailing approach for the treatment of mental health issues, one that is associated with the medical and psychiatric model. Alternative and complementary health care have always existed, side by side with 'conventional' medicine though mostly in silence, muffled for socio-political reasons, tending their own crops and establishing homesteads.

A recommendation was made to the Ontario Minister of Health in March 2001 that psychotherapy be regulated and that provision of any kind of emotional counseling be governed by the Regulated Health Professions Act because of the potential risk of harm that may/can happen by untrained health care workers. If this recommendation becomes law it will prevent a large number of health care providers like, palliative caregivers, grief counselors, priests, psychotherapists who are not psychologists or psychiatrists and possibly even social workers from doing mental health work. Many people living in Ontario could loose access to health care because the alternative or complementary services they know and rely on, that support the growth of our human potential would be required by law to join the existing regulated medical psychiatric model. In essence alternative and complementary health care would be eliminated. In all good conscience, a mammoth decision like this cannot be made on the words of a few who are stakeholders in the medical psychiatric model, and who do not substantiate their claims with solid, verifiable evidence.

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