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

After working as a volunteer facilitator of anti-bias consultation and training programs in nonprofit, corporate, school, and community settings, I went to graduate school to study the psychological impact of oppression and racial identity development. While in school, I ran a weekly group for anti-racist white students, to explore white identity, intersectionality, and privilege. I am passionate about supporting folks of all races/ethnicities in intersectional social justice work.

— Shannon Budelman, Counselor in Seattle, WA
 

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

I have extensive education in power, oppression and privilege and have facilitated several white affinity groups as spaces to further learn about white privilege and power.

— Ann Robinson, Clinical Social Worker
 

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. 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
 

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

Dismantling internalized white supremacy is work I have done personally, through supervising other clinicians and with clients. If you are invested in this work and/or are being called to it by a person of color in your life, I can help you build insight and change behavior through a strong but compassionate approach. This is a lifelong process. I would never expect perfection from you or myself.

— Sarah Blaszczak, in Portland, OR
 

Through various trainings in anti-racism, anti-oppression and restorative justice, as well as my personal explorations of ancestry, white ethnic identity, white dominance, fragility and shame, 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

I have done a great deal of work to explore and understand my own privilege, and I would love to help you do the same. I believe that systemic racism has negatively impacted us societally and individually, and that working toward dismantling these systems (both externally and internally) will have positive impacts on our collective health. I would be honored to be with you on your journey out of shame and into action!

— Rachel Smith, Clinical Psychologist in Chicago, IL
 

I work with white people as they explore their process of unlearning racism and acknowledging how privilege shows up in their worlds. We can acknowledge the ongoing process of having challenging conversations with ourselves and in our communities and address the overwhelm, anger, and confusion that can often arise. Also, we can work on the intersection of whiteness and other marginalized identities and experiences.

— Rachel Robbins, Psychologist 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
 

As a white therapist with experience in anti-racist organizing, I have worked closely with clients exploring their whiteness and privilege, providing an emotional container as they deepen their understanding of their own intersecting identities.

— Ally Barlow, Clinical Social Worker in Brooklyn, NY

I welcome white people to my practice who are working on their own racism and want to learn to be sturdier allies to people of color.

— Carolyn Moore, Counselor in San Francisco, CA
 

Honestly exploring the role of White privilege in our lives is a critical part of healing.

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

I work with white people as they explore their process of unlearning racism and acknowledging how privilege shows up in their worlds. We can acknowledge the ongoing process of having challenging conversations with ourselves and in our communities and address the overwhelm, anger, and confusion that can often arise. Also, we can work on the intersection of whiteness and other marginalized identities and experiences.

— Rachel Robbins, Psychologist in San Francisco, CA
 

As a multiracial individual who at times passes for White, I've done a lot of self exploration and have participated in much training around White privilege. I enjoy working with clients who are exploring their own White racial identity and especially am interested in helping White therapists so they can better understand and help their clients of color without being fragile when race is brought up in the therapy session.

— Catherine Bitney, Clinical Psychologist in Austin, TX

As a White therapist, I feel it is my obligation to dig deep into the reality of invisible, unearned privilege. 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. I am open to having difficult discussions and being challenged, as part of the process of healing. See my blog post about my personal work in this area: https://www.counselingforresilience.com/post/waking-up-white

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

For over twenty years, I've worked on issues of racial and social justice, with an emphasis on helping white people develop a healthy racial and ethnic identity that includes interrupting white supremacy culture. I combine compassion with self-responsibility to create a space for healing, learning, and unlearning.

— Carrie Heron, Associate Clinical Social Worker in Seattle, WA

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
 

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 woman in my own ongoing personal process of understanding my white identity, I offer support and a space to process identity development and explore how you want to show up in the world.

— Eleanor Wohlfeiler, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, CA
 

In this open-hearted and well-held container, I strive to hold a compassionate healing space for white identified folks to gain comfort & fluency with the tools of anti-racism, to process how our** own encultured racism and white fragility presents itself and to process shame and despair when our** racism and white fragility has been causing harm. **I have a value of not “universalizing whiteness” when speaking about a general collective experience. In this case our = we white people.

— horizon greene, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Seattle, WA

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
 

It all stems from entitlement. If you're ready to take your feelings of entitlement and privilege on, there are many effective ways that will significantly challenge life-long held beliefs that you may have not yet questioned. A great deal of suffering could be resolved if issues surrounding privilege, entitlement, and fragility were addressed without the fear of offending or turning off the individual from examining their privilege. Confronting our morals, ideals, and beliefs can be a true joy.

— Lara Falberg, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Columbus, OH