To understand the outlook of Apolitical Therapy lets imagine you fought with an apple every day and regardless of what you did, the apple won every time. You would meet the apple wherever you went and it would cause a confrontation. When you complained about the apple, you were asked to introspect and think about why you reacted to the apple in the way you did. Why did you fight with the apple in the first place? The apple was never talked about but everything was focused on you and change in your approach. The apple could abuse you in a way it deemed appropriate and you would have to sit there and try to fix yourself in a way that accommodated the apple’s abusive behavior. Maybe the apple has caused you to feel like you don’t have a voice. And maybe that is the reason why you have decided to seek help. But guess what, you cannot talk about the apple. Frustrating right?
The Issue At Hand
With the rise of political disruption since late 2019, the revisitation of how efficient it is to have apolitical therapists is quite crucial. The story remains the same. The pandemic hit and governments were not prepared for what is about to come. They scurried to save face. The pandemic got worse and they scurried to save the people while also saving face. People were compromised while they still tried to save face. And meanwhile, various communities suffered and were subjected to discrimination and racism, third world countries were slapped with the harsh reality of the ever-growing economic disparity. The US, UK and Germany, all broke into a chase for the vaccine. Under the blanket of headlines made by the global visitor of a virus, lay political unrest, physical abdication and inaccessibility to any sort of care, deeply engraved in certain political systems.
Not acknowledging issues as political, deem that politically distressing situations cannot be helped.
Therapists are trained and even forbidden to trail the topic of political ideology. Not acknowledging issues as political, deem that politically distressing situations cannot be helped. And when the decision to get help is based on not feeling helpless, apolitical therapists establish that the political situations are the way they are, there just need to be adjustments around these political establishments.
The Three Main Effects Of Not Addressing Political Subjects During Therapy
Politics directly impact a person seeking therapy and understanding the client falls under the job of the therapist. For example, If person A is facing racism in a professional environment and has recognized the distress it has caused them during their adulthood, they had likely been facing similar discrimination during their childhood that has now emerged to the surface impairing them psychologically. If the therapist in consultation decides to turn a blind eye to these social and political factors then it would be as good as turning a blind eye to their feelings. As only understanding a part of their problem is not “understanding” your client.
A doctor is supposed to perform the correct treatment on their patient so that the person receiving a heart transplant does not receive a liver transplant. The doctor failing to acknowledge the problem in itself because it is a controversial topic to address de-validates the feelings of the therapy seeker. A victim of a harsh political situation is only empathized with if they are treated as equally as substance abuse or familial neglect. Simply turning this neglect at the societal and political level does not make it un-addressable and thus correct guidance must be provided.
Call to action
Being a doctor of any sorts implies that the profession is dedicated to reaching a higher state of physical and mental being of people. And therefore, achieving this goal of better living involves taking a stance on an external factor that can be altered. Standing up against causes that result in mental illnesses in an entire group within a population, if not the entire population, is crucial in diminishing the psychological impacts of political decision-making. Because let’s be real, it affects some of us more than most.
When you think of the future, try not to think about yourself but the generations to come. Think of how they might be born into a world full of hate and a tanking value of life compared to money. The future lies in comprehension and collaboration because ignorance is bliss only until the climate crisis wipes us away.
Edited by: Rajal Monga