When the DSM, the text that is used by therapists in the United States for diagnostic purposes, was introduced, it was designed to locate psychological pathology in the mind of individuals.
On the contrary, as a group of activist thinkers, we are committed to decentralizing the idea that mental illness rests solely in one’s mind. Instead, we think critically about the role that society plays in making mental health difficult to achieve.
Recognizing the ways that patriarchy, racism, capitalism, heterosexism, sizeism, ableism, and poverty play out in our lives and our client's lives, we begin by take a significant look at the ways in which one’s marginalization has become a traumatizing fact of their history. We then try to make sense of how this marginalization, and the survival of it, is a profound strength and a sign of resiliency.
At Walnut, we honor and defer to each client's self-determination as we help them to work towards clearly and precisely articulating the nuance and texture of their identities. We co-construct a study of the multiple obstacles that society poses as the attempt towards self-actualization is taking shape.
Knowing the oppressive nature of these obstacles, we work to create a deeply affirming space that honors one’s truth about who they are. We are comfortable with this truth being experienced as fluid or fixed and know that there are multiple facets that come together that create one’s sense of self and identity in the world.