Whiteness and White Privilege in Psychotherapy  book cover
1st Edition

Whiteness and White Privilege in Psychotherapy

ISBN 9781138393943
Published January 3, 2019 by Routledge
216 Pages

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Book Description

This unprecedented, interdisciplinary collection focuses on gender, whiteness, and white privilege, and sheds light on this understudied subject matter in the context of clinical psychology, in both theories and applications.

Psychologists, especially therapists, are often trained to look for issues that are not readily visible, cannot be spoken, and that are commonly taken for granted. Feminist and multi-cultural researchers and practitioners further seek to expose the power structures that benefit them or that unfairly advantage some groups over others. Whiteness has been investigated by sociologists and critical race theorists, but has been largely overlooked by psychologists and psychotherapists, even those who deal with feminist and multi-cultural issues. This volume explores the ways in which gender, whiteness and white privilege intersect in the therapy room, bringing to light that which is often unseen and, thus, unnamed, while examining issues of epistemology, theory, supervision, and practice in feminist therapies.

The various contributions encompass theory, history, empirical research, personal reflections, and practical teaching strategies for the classroom. The authors remind us that whiteness and other forms of privilege are situated among multiple other forces, structures, identities, and experiences, and cannot be examined alone, without context. This book was originally published as a special issue of Women & Therapy.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Whiteness and White Privilege Andrea L. Dottolo and Ellyn Kaschak

Part I: Setting the Stage

1. Little White Lies: Racialization and the White/Black Divide Ellyn Kaschak

Part II: Cultural Critiques

2. Whiteness in Latina Immigrants: A Venezuelan Perspective Elena Padrón

3. The Butterfly Dilemma: Asian Women, Whiteness, and Heterosexual Relationships Natalie Porter

4. Whiteness and Disability: Double Marginalization Martha E. Banks

Part III: Training

5. Extending the Knapsack: Using the White Privilege Analysis to Examine Conferred Advantage and Disadvantage Peggy McIntosh

6. What Do White Counselors and Psychotherapists Need to Know About Race? White Racial Socialization in Counseling and Psychotherapy Training Programs Eleonora Bartoli, Keisha L. Bentley-Edwards, Ana María García, Ali Michael, and Audrey Ervin

7. White Practitioners in Therapeutic Ally-Ance: An Intersectional Privilege Awareness Training Model Kim A. Case

8. I Don’t See Color, All People Are the Same: Whiteness and Color-Blindness as Training and Supervisory Issues Michi Fu

9. Examining Biases and White Privilege: Classroom Teaching Strategies That Promote Cultural Competence Gina C. Torino

Part IV: Microaggressions and being ‘American’

10. Racial Microaggressions, Whiteness, and Feminist Therapy Silvia L. Mazzula and Kevin L. Nadal

11. The Unbearable Lightness of Being White Diane M. Adams

12. "American" as a Proxy for "Whiteness": Racial Color-Blindness in Everyday Life Nellie Tran and Susan E. Paterson

13. Slicing White Bre(a)d: Racial Identities, Recipes, and Italian-American Women Andrea L. Dottolo

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Andrea L. Dottolo is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Rhode Island College, Providence, RI, USA, and resident scholar at the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, USA. Her research and teaching explores how social identities are constructed and maintained, and the ways in which they are shaped by institutional and political structures

Ellyn Kaschak is Professor Emerita of Psychology at San Jose State University, CA, USA, Visiting Professor at the United Nations’ University for Peace in Costa Rica, and the editor of the journal Women and Therapy. She is the author of Sight Unseen: Race and Gender through Blind Eyes (2015).


"The authors take on the very academic framework and practices of psychology themselves, arguing that it is time to begin chipping away at the ‘propped-up’ racial hierarchies that secure the place of select groups within these hierarchies. (…) This is a useful book for anybody wanting to read this important collection who does not have access to Women & Therapy; it is a must for the library of any counsellor, psychotherapist and clinical psychologist training centre." - James Costello, Department of Psychology, University of the West of England, Bristol