#186 | Mainstream Psychology Can Go Fuck Itself: Managing Collapse Awareness w/ Holly Truhlar

In this episode, I speak with lawyer, grief therapist, and community builder Holly Truhlar. We discuss her provocatively titled essay ‘Mainstream Psychology Can Go Fuck Itself,’ which addressed the ways mainstream psychology, as it is currently practiced today, largely lacks the framework, language, and tools required to adequately counsel those that are coming into the growing awareness that the systems we are embedded within are leading to societal collapse, ecological disintegration, and abrupt climate disruption on the global scale.

Mainstream psychology “puts the onus on the individual and takes the focus off of the violent and divisive systems we’re in,”* which in turn disempowers the individual from preparing, in any meaningful sense, for what lies ahead as we begin to experience the impacts of a fraying socioeconomic and political system (mired in systemic oppression and corruption), the catastrophic loss of species (described as the Sixth Mass Extinction event), a radically changing climate system (as a result of industrialization), and the likely near-term extinction of the human species as a result of these converging crises. “As with all things capitalist, patriarchal, and committed to the growth of civilization, psychology is used mostly as a tool of the oppressor to keep us divided into individual causes rather than working in solidarity with our class structure.”* Holly, in her work, seeks to make use of the tools provided in mainstream psychology, and incorporate Radical Attunement Work (RAW), which cultivates "a deep awareness of people and systems in order to fundamentally shift exploitative ways of being towards reciprocal relationship, collective liberation, and communities of care.”** As Holly says in her essay “we don’t have time for this shit. We have a small window in which we MAY be able to learn the skills needed to co-regulate with each other and organize for the needed revolution (or end-of-life care for our species).” The stakes really are this high. We discuss this and more in this episode.

Holly Truhlar is a lawyer, grief therapist, and community builder. She’s integrated her doctorate in law with a masters in transpersonal counseling psychology to create a model for personal and collective liberation. This model, called Radical Attunement Work (RAW), moves people and groups from dominating and exploitative ways of being into attuned and transformational relationships. Her work lies at the convergence of ancestral grief, collective trauma, conscious collapse, and social justice. She’s currently practicing and researching social technologies, such as ritual and Deep Democracy work, that foster large-scale trauma resolution and collective nervous system regulation. She's been called to help hold grief in these troubled and transitional times, so she lives with her heart broken open and soul on display.***




Episode Notes:

- Read Holly’s essay ‘Mainstream Psychology Can Go Fuck Itself’: http://bit.ly/2Uwfyjw

- Learn more about Holly and her work at: https://www.hollytruhlar.com

- Learn more about the Tending The Threshold conference: https://tendingthethreshold.com

- The song featured in this episode is “Guns Are Drawn” by The Roots from the album The Tipping Point.

#184 | Cycles Of Trauma: A Critical Look At The Zionist Project w/ Yoav Litvin & Rob Seimetz

In this collaborative interview with Rob Seimetz, host of Moving Forward on PRN, we speak with Yoav Litvin, doctor of psychology, photographer, and writer. Yoav's work focuses on the roots of the ideology of Zionism, in particular how trauma has informed its formation and practice, through the policies and actions of the State of Israel, and through such powerful organizations like AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) — "a lobbying group that advocates pro-Israel policies to the Congress and Executive Branch of the United States."  

In this discussion, Yoav expounds on his views and deep research into the settler-colonialist and supremacist roots of Zionism, not only from a socio-historical perspective, but from a neurological and psychological perspective as well. How has a collectivized form of post-traumatic stress disorder shaped the genocidal policies of the State of Israel, especially toward the Palestinian people and land that the State of Israel has been literally built upon? As Yoav gets into his piece in Monthly Review Online: “In response to antisemitism, Zionists embraced their fear and contempt of their abusers to produce defensive aggression, reinventing identity in a reactionary attempt to ensure survival and restore pride. The reward of violence–power-quickly enticed Zionist leaders to morph what began as a defensive strategy into an offensive one that culminated with a settler colonialist vision of a homeland in Palestine at the expense of its Indigenous population, the existing Palestinian people.”*

Along with addressing the trauma Jewish populations have individually and collectively experienced, we ask Yoav to explain the conflation between legitimate criticism of the policies Israel and Zionism with antisemitism in general. This conflation is done primarily to obscure the real and existing genocidal policies of the State of Israel towards the Palestinian people, with the direct backing of the United States government. With U.S. politicians like Rep. Ilhan Omar coming under intense pressure to apologize for her accurate criticisms AIPAC's influence in U.S. politics, the conflation between antisemitism and criticism of Zionism is no accident. It's specifically intended to shut down rightful protest and criticism of Zionism as an ideology and as a settler-colonialist project, which has lead to one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world to date (e.g. the Gaza Strip and the West Bank).

Yoav Litvin is an Israeli-American doctor of psychology, a photographer and writer. In his work, he investigates the intersections of science, the arts and politics and aims to promote creative and radical causes with a focus on urban culture, social movements and peoples. Litvin’s work has been featured in Truthout, Al Jazeera English, Mother Jones, Mondoweiss, and more.

This is the third joint interview I’ve done with Rob Seimetz, host of Moving Forward on PRN. Follow Rob’s work: http://bit.ly/PRNseimetz


Episode Notes:

- Learn more about Yoav’s work: https://yoavlitvin.com

- Read his article at Monthly Review Online: http://bit.ly/2OEgJrE

- Read his recent piece in Truthout: http://bit.ly/2FR4VzE

- Follow Yoav on Twitter: https://twitter.com/nookyelur

- The songs featured in this episode are “Slow Country” (instrumental) and “Double Bass” by Gorillaz from their self-titled album.

#102 | Collective Trauma: Moving Through It w/ Patrick Dougherty

Patrick Dougherty is a veteran, clinical psychologist, and founder of Moving Through It, an organization that raises public awareness and cultivates a deeper understanding of collective trauma, as well as provides a means for individuals and groups to move through the various states of feeling we have all begun to experience as we enter a time of great uncertainty and instability.

"For many of us, the world isn’t what it was just a few short years ago. Endless war, terrorism, the refugee crisis, rampant inequality and corruption, assaults on civil and workers’ rights, and the myriads of problems contributing to climate change, along with the growth of ultra-nationalism, xenophobia, and hate groups, have together shattered a sense of order many of us felt until recently.

For others, the changes in their social and economic lives haven’t just lost its order, it has actually gotten much worse. This has been especially true for many low income and minority groups, where things have only gotten worse, sometimes much worse.

The abrupt tearing of the social fabric and shared worldview that have bound us together has been traumatic for many of us. And the ongoing nature of the turmoil, for those who have experienced it for a long time already, and those of us getting accustomed to the world around as it is today, leads many of us to despair. We can do something about our trauma and despair, both personally and collectively. Working with them and doing what we can to move through them will help us make better decisions personally and collectively."*

We discuss this, and much more, in this conversation.

*[Source: https://movingthroughit.org/introduction]

Episode Notes:

- To learn more about collective trauma, Patrick, and his work, please go to his website: https://movingthroughit.org

- The song featured in this episode is "Moonchild" by Flako from the album Mesektet Extnd.