On today’s episode of Off the Cuff with Danny LoPriore, clinical psychologist, teacher, speaker, writer, and Founder of Decolonizing Therapy, Dr. Jennifer Mullan is joining me to discuss all things related to rage as well as how the intersectionalities of history, race, and oppression play a role in the mental well-being of people today.
“We gotta acknowledge that, “oh wait. This shit happened.” Or, “oh wait, part, or half, or all of my ancestors did some horrible shit. How did that pass down to me? How am I transmuting that?” Right? And so Decolonizing Therapy in its core is, I think, looking at the collective shadow…that underbelly that the world doesn’t want to look at and what has happened historically and how that in the current day is impacting the well-being, the relationships, the money in the pockets, the health - the mental and physical health, the spiritual health of people today. What we seek to do is help people honor big feelings like grief and rage, which are two sides of the same coin…(25:11)
We chat about all the shapes and forms rage takes, the social stigma surrounding how rage is displayed, the many reasons people display rage, and the over-pathologizing of rage as various mental health/behavioral disorders.
“We’re dealing with mass trauma from civil rights. Then you’re dealing with all the crazy shit that has happened in the last 40 years or so until what’s happening now. I call it the “trauma burger.” What’s happening currently is the patty. And then you have your childhood shit and hurt, trauma, bullying, whatever you’ve gone through is the bottom. And then the stuff that our parents, ancestors, and other people dealt with. And you’re eating that shit every single day.” (35:54)
She also shares the origins of becoming “The Rage Doctor,” the beginning of Decolonizing Therapy, the historical and generational trauma and pain behind grief and rage, how to sit with ancestral shame, and the importance of having a healthy relationship with your trauma.
“I would create a little space for it so that: A) energetically and metaphorically, there is space for it in your life, and you don’t have to fucking inhabit it. You can put that shit on a shelf…” (43:40)
In This Episode:
(2:28) Did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up as a kid?
(4:22) Empathy is a beautiful thing these days
(5:53) Let’s talk about family
(7:50) Navigating life and racial identity
(11:27) “The Rage Doctor” breaks down the root causes of human rage
(17:50) Finding a good therapist is like dating
(20:12) Dissecting Decolonizing Therapy: breaking down generational and historical trauma
(29:00) You are NOT your diagnosis
(33:20) Every generation has a different burden to bear
(40:05) Therapy alone might not be enough for everyone’s healing process
(42:37) Create a space so you can tend to your big emotions daily
(46:23) Having a healthy relationship with your trauma
Dr. Jennifer Mullan is a psychologist, speaker, writer, and Founder of Decolonizing Therapy. With a deep understanding of rage, trauma, and the intersectionality of race, she does not want you to just learn to cope with your big emotions - she wants to help you heal your past and develop a healthy relationship with those emotions: whether it’s rage, trauma, grief, shame, or anything else you feel. Dr. Jennifer developed Decolonizing Therapy to shift away from the outdated goals of therapy and help people reconnect with their historical and ancestral experiences to heal from the traumas that often go unseen and unacknowledged by the Eurocentric methods of wellness.
Resources & Links
Off The Cuff
Dr. Jennifer Mullan