A grieving look at Hara and the feminine

I spoke with my mother today about her poetry. She’s been thinking of releasing a volume of her poems from various ages that have gone unpublished because she did not pursue a career in it. So she wanted me to take a look, see what I think. She also told me that my grandmother, her…

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What does it mean for a practice to be cultural-somatic?

Transparently, this article started off with a cascade of titles. “Cultural somatics is dead” “Who killed cultural somatics?” “A farewell to cultural somatics” You can probably sense my grief, disdain, and resolve. I think the way I have been writing over the last few years, under the anguished moniker of ‘Selfish Activist’, these would be…

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Undoing traumatic bonding: responding to claims of harm in the post-#metoo era

A note on scope: The purpose of this article is to simply introduce a few new ideas and get us to think more critically about how we respond to claims of harm in our communities overall. It isn’t necessarily to try to give all the answers. A short article like this can hardly cover all…

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‘Amae (甘え)’ and the sweet indulgence of social justice culture

I want to start this piece with an inconvenient thought. Over the last years, online social justice communities have been shouting down the idea of reverse sexism or racism – I’ve done it myself. The logic that is given is that bias towards men or white people isn’t in the context of a larger system…

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When the personal isn’t that political: what we can learn from the Rubber Hand Illusion about hyper-sensitization in activist communities

Even as a therapist and consultant who specializes in working where trauma and social injustice meet, I have always had some suspicion about how the connection between relational dynamics and systemic oppression is talked about in activist spaces. My primary concern with this has been about how dominant social justice discourse tends to completely skip…

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Understanding ‘accountability abuse’

‘Accountability abuse’ is an abuse of power pattern that happens when we take on self-policing roles within a community without the appropriate checks and supports for ourselves. For me, accountability abuse is a more succinct way to define violent behaviors that tend to be categorized under ‘call-out culture’ or ‘cancel culture’, spanning from brutal accountability…

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Believing survivors isn’t the same as holding their trauma

CN: Discussion of racial and sexual violence I want you to know that, even as I write this, I’m a survivor of childhood abuse. Being received and believed by others has been a big part of healing all aspects of this. I firsthand understand how healing it can be for survivorship to be believed. I…

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Why justice needs ritual: on the sacred origins of harm

NOTE: This article contains graphic depictions of childhood sexual abuse as well as other possibly triggering material. Please read with care. Everything we do is sacred I would like to start off this post by sharing an experience I had on Lekwungen territory in the November of 2017, that taught me about the inherent sacredness…

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