As therapists we are collectively concerned with these gender-denying bills. Specifically, we are concerned with the coordinated effort to deny transgender people access to established medical care, including mental health care.
We are in a time of great ethical concern. We must each question our legal responsibilities and ethical duties and weigh them against this moment. We have discussed the past harms of psychotherapy as something to learn from, but what of this moment now? We cannot ethically withhold therapy without undercutting our professional ethics.
We at the New England Association for Family and Systemic Therapy, the New England Journal for Relational and Systemic Practice, the South Shore Sexual Health Center and our allies actively stand against transgender hate-speech and misinformation that denies established standards of medical and mental health care. The articles in this issue discuss how our therapeutic community might respond.
Self of Therapist
One of the gaps in information for therapists, and therapeutic treatment, is that we do not know what other therapists in our own community are doing. NEJRSP is hoping to bridge that gap by giving therapists a vehicle and a voice to talk about what works.
In practical terms, it would be interesting to know:
- How are therapists and their clients in Chelsea and Lawrence are coping during this pandemic?
- How are therapists adapting to Zoom meetings? What are the elements of Zoom that are therapeutic? What are the limitations of Zoom to the therapeutic process and the problems of risk?
- Has anyone found a way forward with overworked parents struggling with their own work while providing education and child care at the same time?
- Has anyone begun to effectively treat the vicarious trauma of our health care workers?
- How are therapists talking about race, identity, and sexuality with their clients now? How are clients talking about race, identity, and sexuality with their therapists?
- How are community mental health therapists, directors, and administrators adapting systemically to the pandemic?
- When police officers attend therapy, do they talk about their perspective on Black Lives Matter? What do they say?
These are local issues, and much more.
Let us publish your ideas about your own day to day work, and the insights you gain from month to month, and year to year.