White Privilege/Fragility

White privilege is the privilege that benefits those who society identifies as white, beyond what is commonly experienced by non-white people under the same social, political, or economic circumstances. According to Peggy McIntosh, an activist and writer, whites in Western societies enjoy advantages that non-whites do not experience, as "an invisible package of unearned assets". Having and recognizing your white privilege is not racist and does not mean that you have not “earned” your success or struggled in your life. It is about acknowledging the inherent advantage of having white skin in America – an advantage that many others do not have. A therapist that specializes in white privilege can help you think about how you can create a more meaningful and purpose filled life. They can help you come up with ways to be a good ally and part of the solution – rather than the problem. They can help uncover fears that are holding you back. They can help you prepare for tough conversations that you want to have with your family, friends or colleagues about diversity, inclusion or racial justice. If you want to explore the idea of white privilege in a safe and supportive environment, reach out to one of TherapyDen’s experts today.

Meet the specialists

As a former higher ed faculty member, part of my coursework was on recognizing privilege and oppression and ways to be accountable with privilege. Our group practice serves a number of white folks who are activists, organizers, spiritual leaders, and community members who are wanting to process ways that white supremacy may show up in their lives and work, as well as ways to move through white fragility.

— Kendra Smith, Counselor

If you are new to the social justice scene and need a dedicated space to discuss your own White privilege and feelings of fragility, therapy is the perfect place to learn and grow. I work with other White folks to reflect on their culture, thought patterns, and behaviors that contribute to racism and White supremacy. I will suggest readings, activities, and discussions that help you process personal reactions while centering leadership and calls to action by BIPOC leaders.

— Katherine Jorgenson, Psychologist in Kansas City, MO
 

I am honored to support other white people in waking up to our cultural conditioning of privilege and power. Operating all the time (in social environments, work settings, inter-racial relationships, etc) white privilege is something we have learned well as white people and can un-learn through compassion, guidance and support.

— Jacquelyn Richards, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

Honestly exploring the role of White privilege in our lives is a critical part of healing. For all of us with this experience, it is a life-long practice of acceptance, reflection and action. In my work and my personal life, I prioritize acknowledgement of racial oppression and privilege as well as openness and awareness of how racism interrelates with all personal/familial/systemic positions within society.

— Ashley Gregory, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Berkeley, CA
 

Honestly exploring the role of White privilege in our lives is a critical part of healing. For all of us with this experience, it is a life-long practice. In my work, I prioritize the acknowledgement of race-based privilege and

— Ashley Gregory, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Berkeley, CA

If you are new to the social justice scene and need a dedicated space to discuss your own White privilege and feelings of fragility, therapy is the perfect place to learn and grow. I work with other White folks to reflect on their culture, thought patterns, and behaviors that contribute to racism and White supremacy. I will suggest readings, activities, and discussions that help you process personal reactions while centering leadership and calls to action by BIPOC leaders.

— Katherine Jorgenson, Psychologist in Kansas City, MO
 

A lot of white people, including myself, are beginning to come to terms with how our privilege has played out in our lives at the expense of people of color. And we're coming to terms with a history of violent oppression that is the legacy of whiteness. This is undeniably painful and can really mess with one's identity as "a good person". If you're going to engage in the hard work of unpacking this history and taking responsibility for dismantling racism, you're likely going to need support. It's natural to feel shame, to feel defensive, to want to disengage and go back to pretending racism isn't that bad. But we have to do better. Talking about it in therapy can help you stay engaged and have a space to be messy in the process.

— Lily Sloane, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

As a former higher ed faculty member, part of my coursework was on recognizing privilege and oppression and ways to be accountable with privilege. Our group practice serves a number of white folks who are activists, organizers, spiritual leaders, and community members who are wanting to process ways that white supremacy may show up in their lives and work, as well as ways to move through white fragility.

— Kendra Smith, Counselor
 

Honestly exploring the role of White privilege in our lives is a critical part of healing. For all of us with this experience, it is a life-long practice. In my work, I prioritize the acknowledgement of race-based privilege and

— Ashley Gregory, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Berkeley, CA

As a White therapist, I am open to having difficult discussions and being challenged, as part of the process of healing. I know it can be difficult to trust a therapist enough to talk about issues involving race and the challenges that come from living in a classist society. My heart is open.

— Lina Lewis-Arevalo, Licensed Professional Counselor in , NJ
 

Through various trainings in anti-racism, anti-oppression and restorative justice, as well as my personal explorations of ancestry, white ethnic identity, white dominance, violence and shame, Black, Indigenous and POC history, I seek to create space for other white people - particularly other white queer and trans* people - to explore themes of power, privilege and oppression as it impacts self, personal relationships, community and society.

— Jonathan Julian, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, CA

We internalize systems of domination in our bodies and psyches, recreating them towards ourselves and one another. Silence and denial are integral to the perpetuation of racial inequity and domination. Tolerating discomfort to tease apart the harm caused by racial injustice builds capacity to make mistakes and remain engaged. In exploring how whiteness shapes and informs our lives and relationships, examining subconscious beliefs, practice moving away from complicity in our role within systems.

— Jessamyn Wesley, Licensed Professional Counselor in portland, OR