It should surprise no one that enduring and fighting against racism every day takes a toll on people of color. When he noticed the difficulty many racial justice activists have accessing affordable and helpful therapeutic services, a Philadelphia-based clinician created a list of local therapists who are willing to offer free and discounted sessions to advocates.
“I’ve worked with activists in my practice and would love to have people who are doing work that feels really hard have additional support if they feel like they need it,” Dr. Damon Constantinides told regional publication Billy Penn. Constantinides, a licensed clinical social worker, created the Healing for Activists database to connect local activists with therapists who support the movement for Black lives. Participating healers commit to at least one free or discounted session with an activist. ”In private practice that means you’re going to give that hour every week,” he said. Constantinides also described plans for a similar Washington, D.C.-focused directory, as well as the inclusion of other healing specialists like massage therapists and acupuncturists.
While the directory doesn’t specify the races of participating clinicians, the Healing for Activists website acknowledges power imbalances at play. “We are aware of the history of racism and other oppressions in the mental health care field, that there is a power dynamic in the therapy relationship, and that some people may not feel safe working with therapists of a specific race, ethnicity or gender,” reads the website, which you can access here.