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.

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Meet the specialists

 

This is my keen interest. I am currently in a doctoral program studying ways for counseling to help white people to change how we think, in order to free ourselves and others from the traps of racism. I am on this journey myself and I am very motivated to help other white people who are ready to move past the guilt and shame and experience a new awareness that makes room for greater love and joy. The way we change the world is by changing ourselves. We can do it together.

— Lisa Wenninger, Counselor in teletherapy only, 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
 

A Portland, OR Race Talks Consultant and Facilitator since 2018, mentored by Black women and other BIPOC team leaders. Launched in 2020 weekly anti-racism self exploration groups for white people using Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad to do the inner work and stay involved in systemic change efforts for diversity, equity and inclusion. Reparations offer for CA or OR couples with a Black partner or partners to obtain relationship counseling at no charge (or by donation).

— Shannon Batts, Licensed Professional Counselor

As a black man who grew up in the conservative south, I know how white supremacy can color the way in which you see people. I have held beliefs about my own people that were abhorrent and based on stereotypes I was taught and experiences I had. My black experience includes being bullied and made fun of by other black people, meaning, I understand what it is like to be on both sides of this dynamic. The antidote to privilege and fragility is a validating environment to be allowed to be curious.

— Derrick Hoard, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in , WA
 

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

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
 

I have done a great deal of work to explore and understand my own privilege and identity, and I would love to help you do the same. I believe that systemic racism has negatively impacted all of 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

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

— Ashley Gregory, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in East Bay, 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, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, CA

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
 

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

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
 

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 came from a background where racism is the norm. I am still learning all of the ways the norms of my childhood and even day to day life now, is permeated with racist policies. I do not believe most people are maliciously racist, by I do believe a lot of people would prefer to remain ignorant than put in the effort to change it. I do believe it is my responsibility to use my privilege to address the systemic oppression and raising awareness of our own power to change things now and the future.

— MaKael White, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Puyallup, WA
 

As a white cisgender female raised in a predominantly white community, I am continuously working to understand how my access to privilege is also connected to my sense of guilt and shame. I am comfortable working with white clients as they explore their own experiences within, and contributions to, systemic racism. I encourage a shame free environment that promotes the development of self-awareness, perspective-taking skills, and unlearning harmful systems and ideas.

— Kelli Penner, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Highland Park, CA