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Dr. Manuel X. Zamarripa joins Francesca Maximé on her ReRooted podcast to discuss destigmatizing mental health, healing intergenerational trauma, and decolonizing language.
Dr. Manuel X. Zamarripa, LPC-S is the director and co-founder of the Institute of Chicana/o Psychology based in Austin, TX where he works with educators and mental health professionals on issues related to Chicanx/Latinx wellness, cultural identity, and mental health from a cultural strengths framework. He is also the Associate Dean of Counseling at Austin Community College District where he coordinates the delivery of mental health services to the student population, assists with the Behavioral Intervention Team, and leads the district’s suicide prevention and crisis response efforts.
Destigmatizing and Decolonizing Therapy
While typical Western modern-day therapy is taught through the lens of Europeans and Freud, when we look historically throughout many cultural backgrounds, there is deep intuitive wisdom that Black, Brown, and Indigenous People have always known there is healing through talk. Dr. Zamarripa looks to destigmatize and decolonize therapy from being primarily a white person service and field, allowing people from multicultural backgrounds to reclaim this legacy.
“While we need to destigmatize, we also need to decolonize the field. The destigmatization part is for people who are aware and talking to their community. The decolonization part is changing the field, holding the field accountable. You can’t have one without the other.”– Dr. Manuel X. Zamarripa
For a discussion on identity and oppression, ranging from Freud to liberation psychology, tune into Ep. 28 of ReRooted
Intergenerational Trauma (18:28)
Francesca and Dr. Zamarripa explore the reality of healing intergenerational trauma through the long view of the seven generations lens. While we can do a lot of healing in our lifetime, we also have to be patient and gentle with ourselves and our communities. For full healing to occur, it may take multiple generations due to centuries of accumulated trauma. We are invited to remember that wounds take time to heal, and each heals in its own unique way.
“Intergenerational trauma means multigenerational healing.” – Dr. Manuel X. Zamarripa
For a conversation around healing multigenerational racial trauma and finding your inner truth, open yourself to Ep. 11 of ReRooted
Decolonizing Language (35:10)
How is our language complicit in perpetuating hierarchal, dominator paradigms? Dr. Zamarripa shares examples of how this happens implicitly and consistently in our everyday speech, explaining this as a product of colonization because it involves imposing ways of being and experiencing that may not fit for everyone. Decolonizing is looking at who is sharing that language, who is sharing the framework, and understanding why it’s invisible much of the time, and the importance of making it visible.
“Language creates reality. What we say isn’t representational of reality. We don’t make words necessarily, or solely, to represent an experience accurately. When we create words and language and we put it out there, we are creating a reality. And so, our language matters.” – Dr. Manuel X. Zamarripa