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Bear Psychology Podcast

Dr. Anna Baranowsky is a Canadian Clinical Psychologist, CEO of the Traumatology Institute, Founder and President of the Board at Trauma Practice. She is the author of two books on trauma, numerous courses to help train professionals in trauma mental health and the developer of the Trauma Recovery Program for Self-Guided trauma care. She works with trauma survivors and those with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) on post-traumatic growth and recovery.

Through her work she believes that when we share, dialogue and feel supported, it provides a powerful foundation for forward movement in our understanding and the care needed. In her own words "I have found that the most profound changes occur when a person truly feels heard and understood - I like to think of it as deeply BEARING WITNESS to life evolving. We can feel incredibly stuck when we live with our fears, stressors and troubles in isolation."

Dr.Baranowsky is the host of the Bear Psychology Show, focusing on bearing witness to Evolving Mood, Mind, Health. Her talks revolve around recovery, relationships, work and life adventures.

She is dedicated to assisting organizations and health professionals who help trauma survivors to ensure a trauma informed lens of care can grow in community health networks. With that vision in 1998, the Traumatology Institute Canada (TIC) was established. TIC has trained thousands of individuals nationally and internationally.

Dr. Baranowsky serves on the board of directors of the Academy of Traumatology and is a Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress through the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress and is recognized by The National Center for Crisis Management. She has published in the area of Post-Traumatic Stress, Compassion Fatigue, and therapeutic relationships (the Silencing Response).

Copyright:  Dr. Anna Baranowsky, 2020

Jun 25, 2020

In this episode we pay attention to the deep and traumatic roots of Black Lives Matter and unpack the layers of how to respond effectively as individuals and within communities. I dialogue with mental health professional, Ornge trauma team lead and anti-racism trainer, Tom Walker.

After the murder of George Floyd the public outcry continues to be a powerful voice that is awakening the world to the injustice of systemic racism that so many have turned their backs on for too long.   At this critical moment while witnessing continued acts of social injustice and violence against Persons of Color – it is important that we take pause to understand what it means to Bear Witness while engaging in right action moving toward meaningful solutions.

I am personally in awe of the continued courage and persistence of those directly participating in the Black Lives Matter protests happening in the U.S. and around the world. Those who are putting their voices and actions forward, are speaking out clearly about what has to change in our perceptions, in our daily actions and in the way we create societies that will truly respect and include everyone with dignity and equality.

It is no doubt, hard for many to focus and listen deeply to the painful voices of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. There is much shame in "white privilege" and there is longing for some to turn away. It is important to address one's own views and be uncomfortable with the reality of racism in our lives. This is the moment to grapple with the reality of our inaccurate perception of being "nice normal folks, in a nice normal world".  This is simply not always true, and with this limited perspective we may fail to see the experiences of friends, neighbours and colleagues that are confronted with racism every day.

We discuss and explore:

  1. Why #Black lives Matter accurately represents the issue and Why "All Lives Matter" phase is a distraction.

  2. What #Defund the Police, actually means and how it could benefit all including policing services.  Michael Moore does a great job explaining this. Also related is "8 Anti-Racism Policing Policies that cannot wait".

  3. What the Anti-Racism Experts like Reni Eddo-Lodge, Robin DeAngelo, and Resmaa Menakem (author of Notice the Rage; Notice the Silence" have to say.

  4. What White Fragility is (Robin DeAngelo coined the phrase) and knowing when it strikes.

  5. Using "Love, Kindness and Wisdom" to help us through this. Resmaa Menakem provides incredibly meaningful guidance on this.

  6. Why Anitifa is NOT the same as #Black Lives Matter and why you need to know this.

Anti-Racism Resources:

Resources for white parents to raise anti-racist children:  

  Articles to read:  

  Videos to watch:

  Podcasts to subscribe to:  

  Books to read:  

Films and TV series to watch:

  • 13th (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix        

  • American Son (Kenny Leon) — Netflix       

  • Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975 — Available to rent        

  • Clemency (Chinonye Chukwu) — Available to rent            

  • Dear White People (Justin Simien) — Netflix             

  • Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler) — Available to rent         

  • I Am Not Your Negro (James Baldwin doc) — Available to rent or on Kanopy           

  • If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins) — Hulu             

  • Just Mercy (Destin Daniel Cretton) — Available to rent              

  • King In The Wilderness  — HBO       

  • See You Yesterday (Stefon Bristol) — Netflix            

  • Selma (Ava DuVernay) — Available to rent       

  • The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution — Available to rent 

  • The Hate U Give (George Tillman Jr.) — Hulu with Cinemax        

  • When They See Us (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix

Organizations to follow on social media:  

More anti-racism resources to check out: