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Found Inspiration – James Baldwin

Found Inspiration is a series inspired by a prompt at the start of our meetings where we invite therapists to share an unconventional not explicitly therapy-related influence on their clinical practice. We’ve found that when your experiences aren’t reflected in academic settings and literature, and when you expand your understanding of mental health care beyond a medical model to one of healing, meaning-making and connection, you have to build your own canon.

James Baldwin, a brilliant writer and thinker, was a consummate advocate for the truth no matter how difficult or dangerous that truth may be. It is his commitment to authenticity and speaking truth to power that has most deeply influenced our practice in our exploration and affirmation of the complexities of identity, race and sexuality.

He reminds us that “not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.” Despite feelings of helplessness, we are powerful in our ability to name and confront not only our personal struggles but the oppression of others. Progress is not promised, but we must find the courage to engage in order to create meaningful change and transformation, be it within ourselves or affecting the larger systems around us.