The Ventura County Chapter of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (VC-CAMFT) is a non-profit organization of mental health professionals (https://vc-camft.org/about-us/) . We were honored to be featured in their latest newsletter. The full-page "Spotlight" article focused on the services we offer, particularly during this time of physical distancing. Also highlighted is a summary and "unpacking" of the recent "Neurobiology of Trauma Healing" webinar from our very own Co-Owner Susan Richter, LMFT, CEDS.
Our country is having a national discussion about systemic racism and oppression that is long overdue. None of us have all the answers alone. At The New Beginnings Center we do not have the all the answers, but seek out being proactive, starting conversations about privilege, white fragility, systemic racism and oppression, so we may learn from each other. Below you will find a list of resources that will help us all learn and grow together.
Surgery Redesigned produced this helpful flow chart to envision the process of becoming anti-racist. We thank them for producing this graphic and for making it available for sharing.
Anti-Racism Resources Document to Share with Family and Friends
This document is intended to serve as a resource to white people and parents to deepen our anti-racism work. If you haven’t engaged in anti-racism work in the past, start now. Feel free to circulate this document on social media and with your friends, family, and colleagues.
Me and White Supremacy: A 28-Day Challenge to Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor
by Layla Saad
Thousands of people from around the world were galvanized by the #meandwhitesupremacy challenge, examining and owning responsibility for the ways in which they uphold white supremacy. Over 80,000 people downloaded her guide to the movement, Me and White Supremacy Workbook in the space of just six months. And now, that guide is a published book.
White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
by Robin J. DiAngelo
The New York Times best-selling book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality.
75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice
An insightful article on the Medium platform which outlines helpful steps that each person can take to steer our lives and our world toward racial justice.
We join George Floyd’s family, friends, and community in mourning his death at the hands of the police. We also remember Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Michael Brown and the countless other people of color whose lives were brutally taken by the violence resulting from centuries of systematic racism and oppression.
We, at The New Beginnings Center, are grateful for the thousands of people from every facet of society who have marched in the streets and called for an end to the scourge of institutional racism. We join our voices with other justice seekers in demanding that those in power recognize in real, visible and demonstrable ways, that Black Lives Matter. It is our deep hope that the current voices of protest will not fade with the news cycle and that meaningful and lasting change results from this overdue national dialogue.
It is in a time such as this, that each of us are called to use our voices, resourcefulness and creativity in order to create a more just and equitable world. None of us alone have the knowledge, experience and resources to end centuries of racism or heal the pain and trauma that has resulted from the hate, prejudice and white privilege woven through our governmental and societal structures. It is going to take all of us speaking out, listening up, advocating, creating and joining together to pave a future that closes the racial divide and heals the wounds of oppression.
Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University, Dr. Cornel West said,
“None of us alone can save the nation or the world. But each of us can make a positive difference if we commit ourselves to do so.”
We have used this concept as the framework for our discussion about how we can be of service during this extraordinary time:
With deep sorrow for the injustice that has been, determination for a present full of voice and action, and commitment to a more loving and just future,
~The New Beginnings Center Staff
Our brains and bodies are designed to manage stress and even trauma and be able to recover and heal if given adequate support. That support is both external- good selfcare, food, sleep, working on something productive, play, connecting with others, and also internal- talking to yourself like you would to someone you care about, deep breathing, using creativity and imagination to feel better when stressed.
Notice feeling anxious and attend to it proactively. Don't let the scared little kid inside drive your vehicle (body). Pay attention to the signals your body gives you of early warning signs of anxiety- racing thoughts, tension in jaw, back, chest, urge to fight- get mad, urge to flight- numb out, run away, avoid feelings.
Use your ability to direct your attention away from distress triggers and towards what feels better. Deep breathe, imagine someone who loves you unconditionally (Jesus, angel, mother nature, ancestor, totem or spirit animal) offering comfort and wisdom to you. When you pray, remember to listen for the unconditionally loving messages from these Beings who love you. Read poetry, sing, play music, use your creativity to tap into the part of your brain that can transcend the present moment distress and rest in feeling held in a larger perspective.
Reach out for help to develop these self-support skills if needed because chronic stress creates wear and tear on the body and mind that is harmful if left untreated.