Psychologists Call to Action

My mind is heavy with the recent shootings and multiple factors that may contribute to the senseless violence. As psychologists, I imagine that all of us have lots of ideas and strong opinions about the issues. As a psychologist in training, I grew up in Denton at Texas Woman’s University with a faculty that encouraged activism; yet, I observed quietly.

Like many Gen Xers, I have stayed on the sidelines even though I held passionate views about issues. I raised my children to use their voices. Proudly, I witnessed the fruits of my motherhood labor as each of my adult children followed their passions and used their voices. Yet, while encouraging and proud and living vicariously through my kids, I bite my tongue, so not to offend, to be neutral, accepting, and non-judgmental like a good therapist. I respect other’s opinions and sit quietly with my own.

Last year or so, I finally acted on my concern about the changes in our profession, training requirements, and licensing in Texas. I booked a hotel room, cancelled my private practice clients, packed up my rabbits along with my husband, and drove to Austin to testify at the hearings with TPA. Only to be let down, when TPA members were limited to a handful of psychologists to address the congressmen and women. Defeated, I stayed home this year and shrugged my shoulders when there were calls for action.

Lately, I find it harder and harder to keep quiet. As a trauma therapist, my heart aches for the children and families being separated on the border. I know those children. They are my adult clients. I watch with horror at the news of two mass shootings in less than 24 hours. I know those victims and survivors. They are my adult clients. I can’t keep quiet. My time is now. I encourage each one of you to tap into what you know as a psychologist to advocate for change. Please stand up for your beliefs–wherever you stand. Perhaps, we, as psychologists, can be agents of social change to bring safety and peace.