A Letter from the ChicagoEFT Past President
Dear EFT Community,
We are living in extraordinary times and the protests of the Black Lives Matter movement are powerful demands for genuine, lasting and systemic change in how we as a society view and respond to black, indigenous and other people of color (BIPOC). The chorus of protests have reached virtually every corner of our society – even around the world. Systemic injustice and inequity are all around us. We are in crisis.
If you have been following the ICEEFT (International Center for Excellence in EFT) listservs you have seen that the larger EFT community is no exception. Many therapists have been voicing their negative personal and professional experiences related to trainings and membership. It takes courage to speak directly and openly when one hasn’t felt seen, understood, appreciated and welcomed for who they are, and we are all indebted to those who have taken the risk to speak truth to power. The vulnerability of naming and asking for core needs to be met has too often been met with defensiveness, misunderstanding and worst of all, silence.
I wish I could say the Chicago Center for EFT (now known as ChicagoEFT) has been different, but we have our own shortcomings. To read more..
Our Statement on Belonging
We were drawn to Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) because it validated our experience as human beings.
We believe our humanity suffers when we deny the experience of any other human being.
We believe our humanity is only complete when there is room for everyone’s experience.
We believe everyone has the right to acceptance and belonging.
We believe EFT has the power, when coupled with curiosity and receptivity, to create openings for everyone to learn to embrace and befriend their inner world and show up as more fully themselves in the world and in their most important relationships.
We believe we should treat our community of therapists with the same care and consideration with which we treat our clients.
We make this statement now because we would never expect our clients to show up authentically and risk unless we had made it explicitly safe for them to do so.
We are committed to ongoing dialogue with our community of therapists to hear, listen and respond to hurts, wounds, and other mis-attunements
We invite all voices and are committed to receiving feedback as a gift, seeing it as an opportunity to more fully connect.
We are committed to acknowledging, addressing, repairing and removing obstacles to anyone in this community feeling unsafe or unheard.
You are welcome here.
Actions We Are Taking
- March 2021 4 scholarships of $400 each given to Core Skills participants who work with marginalized populations
- February 2021 7 scholarships (35% discount) given to Externship participants who work with marginalized populations
- February 2021 Diversity and Inclusion training for Externship Role-play Coaches
- March – November 2021 – Anti-racist Education and Process Group for White-Identified Therapists
- January 2021 Asian American Peer Consultation Group began meeting
- October 2020 Update – Next Steps Emerging From the Community Conversations
- August 20, 2020 – ChicagoEFT’s Second Healing Conversation: Centering Marginalized Voices & Creating Opportunities for Healing Connection
- July 23, 2020 – EFT Listening Session: Centering Marginalized Voices & Creating Opportunities for Healing Connection
Reflection on the July 2020 Listening Session
As someone wrote in an evaluation, this event was not a passive listening gathering. It was an experience in which Cadmona and Rachel created a safe space for active listening and participation.
After some introductory comments and explanation of tasks for privileged and subjugated people (see below), we split into 2 groups, one for therapists who identify as BIPOC, a second group for those who identify as white. And as quickly as a Zoom breakout room opens, there was injury. In what seemed to us organizers to be a matter of logistical convenience, there lurked harm, marginalization again. We put the smaller group, BIPOC, in a breakout room (fewer people to identify and assign) and left the larger group, white, in the main room. To read more..
Here are a few resources to help us Listen and Learn. We will be adding more resources.
Resources on Anti-racism:
- Racism in America: Leaning into the Truth with Dr. Yamonte Cooper (That Relationship Show)
- The Air We Breathe: Implicit Bias And Police Shootings (NPR Hidden Brain)
Talking about Race with Dr. Bukky Kolawole
TedTalk by Ibram X Kendi: Being Not Racist vs. Being Antiracist
Resources for Therapy:
Gurman, A.S., & Jacobson, N.S. (2002). Clinical handbook of couple therapy, Third Edition. New York, NY: The Guilford Press. Chapter 22: Couple Therapy Using a Multicultural Perspective. Particularly pages 586-588.