In today’s increasingly complex and polarized social world, many somatic psychotherapists are being called, pulled, and/or pushed into addressing issues of social justice – in our work with clients, in our relationships with colleagues, and in our own lives. For those without a background in activism or anti-oppression work, it can be challenging to know where to begin – how to recognize our privilege, unpack our own history of oppression, and find the moral courage to act in alignment with our deepest values in contentious or charged situations.
As body psychotherapists, it’s also important to understand how the body is implicated in oppressive social dynamics, as well as how it serves as an essential resource in cultivating our capacities for resistance, resilience, and accountability. This presentation will offer somatic psychotherapists a basic introduction to some of the key ideas in social justice work, describe how these ideas map onto the body, and outline a set of steps for making small but meaningful changes toward a more just and equitable world.
Rae Johnson, PhD, RSW, RSMT, BCC is a somatic psychotherapist/scholar/activist whose work focuses on the intersection of somatics and social justice. Rae is the author of Embodied Social Justice and offers training and consultation on embodied microaggressions, somatic resilience, body shame, and the traumatic imprint of oppression on the body.
Rae is Chair of the Somatic Studies Specialization of the M.A./Ph.D. Depth Psychology Program at Pacifica Graduate Institute. They is a somatic movement therapist, educator, and researcher. They is the former Chair of the Somatic Psychology Department at the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute, former Director of the Body Psychotherapy Program in the Somatic Counseling Psychology Department at Naropa University and the founding Coordinator of Student Crisis Response Programs at the University of Toronto. There research and clinical interests include the somatic impact of oppression, embodied critical pedagogy, and feminist somatic research methods. They teaches Dissertation Development, Introduction to Somatic Studies, and Research Methods II: Qualitative Methods.
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