Reflection from Redeemer Counseling

The tragedy and unrest we have all witnessed over the last several weeks have been a harsh reality, evoking feelings of confusion, anger, and despair. Although systemic racism has destructive effects on all people of color, the murder of George Floyd, along with the recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, and many others are forceful reminders to us of the systemic racial injustice particularly against Black Americans pervading our society. We know these egregious acts of violence stem from deep-seated racism, which absolutely contradicts the gospel of Christ, God’s vision of justice.

At Redeemer Counseling Services, God is using this moment as an opportunity for us to examine ourselves and to ignite a renewed desire for God’s justice to restore our hearts and the world we live in. This time of reflection has led us to repent of our lack of awareness and passivity, as we grieve together as a staff and with our clients, the grave impact of racial trauma affecting the very core of human identity. We are also convinced that we, as believers and as a counseling ministry, have a responsibility to be rigorous about learning, inquiring, and growing in our knowledge about matters associated with racism, and its effects on mental health.

Our grieving is not without hope. This tragic moment in history has united people in solidarity for human dignity and equality across this country and around the world. I believe our God is actively working in our midst to use this moment as an opportunity to transform beliefs and convict hearts to collectively create a more just world. In the words of Bryan Stevenson— “Justice prevails where hope persists.” So, let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful! (Hebrews 10:23).

By Judy Cha, Ph.D, LMFT, Director

Identifying and Addressing Racial Trauma in Counseling
Counseling Toolkit Newsletter

Resource references

Carter, R. T. (2007). Racism and psychological and emotional injury: Recognizing and assessing race-based traumatic stress. The Counseling Psychologist, 35(1), 13-105. doi:10.1177/0011000006292033

Cho, A. (2016). Why race matters to God and what that means for us [Video]. Vimeo.

Hemmings, C., & Evans, A. M. (2018). Identifying and treating race-based trauma in counseling. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 46(1), 20-39. doi:10.1002/jmcd.12090

Row, S. W. (2019). Healing racial trauma: The road to resilience. InterVarsity Press.

Smith, W. H. (2010). The impact of racial trauma on African Americans.

Williams, J. (2016, June 2). Galatians 3:28 does not encourage color-blind Christianity. The Witness.

Williams, M. T. (2019, January 19). Uncovering the trauma of racism: New tools for clinicians. Psychology Today.

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