by Kayla Blau
A seven-year-old Black student was put in a chokehold by a white school security guard at Stevens Elementary in March, right before schools closed due to COVID-19. The incident further exposed Seattle Public School’s commitment to punitive policing of students, a dangerous practice that fuels the school-to-prison pipeline.
KUOW reported that the student was screaming “I can’t breathe!” while the security guard, David Raybern, held her in an illegal restrictive hold with his “right forearm across her neck,” the article noted. Principal John Hughes was present for the abuse and did not intervene.
Continue reading OPINION: Why Does Seattle Public Schools Spend $3.2 Million on Security Guards?
by Ashley McGirt
When I first saw the scars so deeply rooted into the back of an African American slave, I thought I had seen it all. When I viewed a photo of Emmett Till for the first time, I thought I had seen it all. I can still see his mother’s face, the cries that were captured on film, the crevices in the corners of her eyes that would form valleys so deep no one would ever dare travel through. I studied her face, then went back to her son’s face that no longer bore a resemblance to anything human. In that moment I saw how Americans can, and still do, view Black people as less than human. I remember Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Charleena Lyles, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and the countless others who we have lost to police violence. You continue to think you have seen it all until the newest tragedy is unveiled.
Continue reading When You Thought You’d Seen It All … Healing From Racial Trauma
by Liz Covey, LMHC
“Miserable is exactly how the white people who want to help should be feeling right now, and then they should sit with that misery until something breaks in their brain, the narrative changes in their psyche, and the legacy of emotional paralysis lifts entirely.”
—Rebecca Carroll, The Atlantic (June 2020)
I’ve had this saying about my work for years now, and it goes like this: I will spend the rest of my career indebted to the (mostly Black) kids and foster families with whom I worked early on, and who had to put up with my sorry self, before I knew the damage I was causing as a white practitioner in Black spaces. I dedicate any good work I do today to these kids. In the spirit of Black Lives Matter, I Say Their Names, to myself, in my heart, on the regular.
Continue reading Calling Out White Supremacy in Seattle’s Mental Health Establishment: One Therapist’s Confession
by Liz Covey
Question: This shutdown thing feels like it will last forever, even though I know it won’t. At first I was sort of rolling with it, I got some masks, and checked in with my neighbors and all my family members. But now I’m beginning to unravel a bit. I’m not really sleeping well, and my husband tells me I’m being really negative. Should I try to remain positive, even though I’m starting to kind of lose it? There is so much advice out there, I can barely stand to even look at it anymore. What should I do??
Continue reading Ask a Therapist: Learning to Live in an Indefinite Crisis
by Jasmine Pulido
My suffering is nothing.
Continue reading Whose Suffering Matters?
I’m sitting at home, safe and sound. Is it possible to still feel shitty despite how good I have it? Does it matter?
When I participate in comparative suffering, I lose every time. While the homeless in Las Vegas are being “quarantined” by laying in marked-off squares in a parking lot, while my mom-friends are telling me that they now juggle full-time work-from-home with arduous attempts at homeschooling their children, while essential workers risk daily exposure to disease to sustain their (and our collective) livelihood, how much weight can I possibly put on my own suffering?
Counselors Roy Fisher and Liz Covey answer readers’ questions for South Seattle Emerald’s “Ask A Therapist.” Have a question about a relationship? Wondering about the struggles of being a parent? Others likely have the same questions and Covey and Fisher bring years of professional experience to provide their insights.
In this article, Liz Covey addresses a reader’s question about holding perpetrators of childhood abuse accountable, and healing from that trauma.
If you have a question, please click here and let us know. We will select two questions each month to answer. The form requires no email address or identification and is completely anonymous. If you are in crisis or in immediate need of care, please contact Crisis Connections at 1-866-427-4747.
Question: how can adult survivors of childhood abuse do more to hold perpetrators accountable? After all the healing’s done. In my case, I am wondering about the possibility of either bring a public display to the perpetrators home via fliers, signs, etc., but I also know our courts are designed to make a person whole again after suffering personal injury. I’ll be living with my disability, due to emotional and physical abuse for my lifetime. What do you know about the possibility of filing a personal injury claim against a living perpetrator childhood and adult abuse?”
Continue reading Ask A Therapist: Healing from and holding accountable perpetrators of childhood abuse
by Emerald Staff
South Seattle Emerald Contributors Liz Covey and Roy Fisher are professional counselors ready to answer your questions in a monthly column, “Ask A Therapist.” The two are professionals providing their insight on your anonymous questions.
Continue reading Submit Your Questions to the Emerald’s “Ask a Therapist” Column
by Laura Van Tosh and Janine Bertram
State lawmakers in Olympia are debating House Bill 1394 (and its companion bill, Senate Bill 5431), an expensive proposal to build more hospitals with inpatient beds for people suffering from mental health or substance use challenges. This bill has gained wide appeal, and yet it takes a very awkward and giant step backward in terms of reforming what has been called, “a broken system.” We don’t believe our system is “broken” but we do believe Washington State policy makers are on the wrong path, thinking that more inpatient beds are the answer.
Continue reading OPINION: State Lawmakers Seek the Wrong Answer by Demanding More Mental Health Beds
by Emerald Staff
The South Seattle Emerald is pleased to announce a monthly column, “Ask A Therapist,” which will answer questions you may have by professional counselors. Have a question about a relationship? Wondering about the struggles of being a parent? Others likely have the same questions, and counselors Liz Covey and Roy Fisher bring years of professional experience to provide their insights.
Continue reading Submit Your Questions to the Emerald’s New “Ask a Therapist” Column
This story originally ran on Medium.
by Marcus Harrison Green
As someone whose profession makes constant demands to traffic in reality, I can tell you that too often this world and our society is repulsed by the very notion of the truth.
Continue reading I Had Accolades, But I Wasn’t Filling My Own Cup