Hi friends and family,
soo I MADE IT ! I got accepted to the PHD program of my dreams! Fall 2020 I will be starting my doctoral program in Clinical Psychology! My emphasis will be in Community and Global Mental Health. I studied psychology originally because of my interest in the physical and metaphysical and how they intersect at the brain/mind. I followed my bliss a year and a half ago when I went to India for my 200 hr RYT training and now I finally get to bring the wisdom I gained from that experience and culture into this field, while avoiding appropriation, and hopefully making this practice more accessible to all our communities.
My goals have been to help decolonize this field by reconciling western knowledge with indigenous and eastern wisdoms, as we help end the stigmas associated with mental health struggles. I appreciate this field however, I acknowledge the ways in which it needs to be updated, as it has become "over medicalized". This field has unfortunately become one of treating clients, not healing them, much like our health care system.. they treat clients instead of challenging the overall social culture. Labeling survivors of trauma as "mentally ill" does not take into account the injust social and economic factors that originally perpetuated the trauma. Lack of social and political change is what maintains this nation as a "Prozac Nation".
As a first gen U.S. born citizen with indigenous Panamanian and Japanese roots I am interested in amplifying the narratives of those of us with diverse backgrounds and histories. I am particularly interested in investigating how historical traumas and modern day traumas, impact family lineages through bio psycho social factors. My hopes are that by doing so we can propose policies that helps shift our harsh, capitalistic, colonial reality towards one of peace, empathy, sacred rest, and mutual understanding. In the words of my favorite Naturopathic Doctor "I am part of creation, NOT a wheel in capitalistic agendas."
For those of you who know me, you know this has been a huge dream of mine and our communities. As one of my favorite psychologists, Dr. Jennifer Mullan, has said "there is a real violence in continuing to allow white male theorists to take center stage in the mental health world." The field of psychology needs more BIPOC folx, folx who live In the intersections of society, folx who identify with the community they serve, folx who see people as not just physical and emotional beings, but also as spiritual beings, as our ancestors acknowledged. I ask that if you can donate anything (no amount is too small) please do and please share!
- Brett McKinnon
- Al Acosta
- Emily Lam
- Grace Naef