Rantz: Seattleites complain they can’t find woke therapists for segregated health care
With the new year, comes New Year’s resolutions. For many, they’re finally taking their mental health care seriously. Or, at least, pretending to. Some Seattleites are complaining they can’t find therapists who meet their woke requirements.
The new requirement for some is that their mental health care provider shares their “intersectional identities.” But some are speaking out after not being able to find a therapist with the same gender identity and race.
Welcome to the burgeoning woke movement of segregated health care.
Seattleites complain they can’t get woke therapy
We usually start the new year with commitments to resolutions that will better our lives. Often, we break the resolutions within days. But one resolution that is important to keep is a renewed focus on mental health.
But it’s apparently difficult to find a therapist in Seattle. That’s the claim by Seattle’s wokest columnist, Naomi Ishisaka from the Seattle Times, where she serves as the assistant managing editor for diversity, inclusion and staff development. Borrowing from her own experiences and those of readers, Ishisaka says finding a therapist (especially one covered by one’s insurance) is a “soul crushing exercise.”
But it’s not difficult for the reasons you might think. The complaint is that people can’t find therapists who identify in ways that meet their woke requirements.
“It can be even more soul crushing when you are trying to find mental health support that is culturally competent around race, sexual orientation or gender identity,” Ishisaka says.
Identify as I do!
To be “culturally competent” in this context, a therapist must share identical or similar identities to the patient. It’s another way for progressive activists to shame “cis-gendered white men and women” as incapable of understanding their experiences.
“Virtually every Facebook group I am part of that is for people of color or queer and trans people has post after post after post from people trying to find a therapist that actually meets them with all their intersecting identities,” Ishisaka says. “Many people, including me, already bitterly gave up on trying to have culturally competent therapy covered by their insurance.”
I have no doubt that there are struggles finding therapists who are accepting new patients in a world where COVID policies caused anguish. But if Ishisaka and her Facebook friends require a therapist to share their “intersecting identities,” then they are the problem. Ironically, it does strongly suggest they’re in dire need of therapy.
Performative complaints about therapy
The Seattle Times links to a companion piece on the struggles some have in finding a therapist.
It would appear that the complaints are, in part, performative. Rather than seek mental health care, they become be the victims of a problem of their own making. Then they turn it into either a political statement or push for health care segregation.
It quotes a 52-year-old Black man who says he’s seeking therapy due, in part, to “the killing and vitriol aimed at boys who look like my son and men who look me,” and “the crumbling of decency and civility in the name of political might.”
Eli, 32, is a “queer and trans person,” who said, “finding mental health support during the pandemic was difficult.” After Eli’s therapist took leave, it was a struggle to find someone covered by insurance.
“I eventually decided to continue paying out of pocket to prioritize seeing a queer therapist with trans competency. Having a queer therapist is extremely critical, but there are not enough,” Eli said.
Segregated health care isn’t woke; it’s bigoted
If you’re queer and trans, you apparently should only see a queer or trans therapist. Why? Because they’re the only ones capable of understanding the queer and trans patient? How utterly absurd.
Quality therapists listen to the patient’s experiences. They withhold judgment and offer compassion and empathy. They use their medical knowledge and training to guide the patient in their sessions. One need not share your identity to put themselves in your shoes. It’s why a therapist living with depression is not necessary for them to treat a patient’s depression.
The Seattle Times and Ishisaka normalize race- and gender-based selection of medical providers. They think it’s the only way a non-white patient can get culturally competent care. Not only is that position verifiably false, but it’s also bigoted.
If a straight male refused treatment by a competent transgender female therapist because she’s not a straight, cis-gendered male, he would be called a transphobe. If a white woman rejected a Black male therapist because of his race, she’d be labeled a racist.
But progressive wokeness says “marginalized communities” with “intersecting identities” get to make the bigoted selections judgment-free. Why? Because they’re rejecting white people and the anti-white sentiment is deemed justified by radical progressives who blame them for society’s ills.
The concept of segregated health care isn’t new, but it’s gaining steam. In Washington state, the law is manipulating health care with segregation in mind.
Washington pushing us into segregated health care
Progressives routinely call for segregation — whether it’s with a health care provider or affinity groups where you can talk through feelings and struggles. It’s being codified here in Washington.
According to the law, the schools must “each develop a goal focused on increasing the number of underrepresented students at each school of medicine, guided by the state of Washington’s need for physicians from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds and each school’s predominant equity goals.”
Calling them “goals” doesn’t negate the end effect of creating quotas to increase students from different racial minorities. And certain races get preferential treatment when they apply.
“In developing the goal, special consideration may be given to students attending the school of medicine at the University of Washington as a part of a regional partnership with other states,” according to the law.
Not all minority groups benefit. Asian students are over-represented in admissions, as compared to other minority groups at the UW. White students are most represented. With a limit on available slots for students, Asian and white students must be held back to meet these “goals.” Consequently, they won’t earn admission on merit. Instead, they earn scorn for an immutable characteristic they cannot change. This is what progressives mean when they speak of “racial equity.”
What a tremendous disservice
You’re not supposed to criticize a patient’s demands. Who they chose is supposed to be respected because the patient must be comfortable. These future patients can and will do what they want. And I’d certainly rather they be in therapy with someone they’re comfortable with, rather than not see anyone at all.
Society is finally breaking the stigma attached to seeking mental health treatment. It seems unwise to normalize a behavior that limits the options available. It’s downright silly to complain you can’t find a therapist when you’re the one putting unreasonable requirements on them.
If one picks a therapist because of a shared identity, it also means they’re not picking someone because they look different. That’s textbook bigotry.
It’s true that some patients pick doctors based on gender — particularly when they’re seeking treatment due to trauma or for medical issues in sensitive areas of the body. But it’s not like in these limited circumstances you’re saying no to a female doctor because she’s Black, or a male doctor because he’s gay.
Therapists should be chosen based on qualifications. And the only identity that matters is the one that comes with a Ph.D. next to their name. Quality mental health care can save lives and it doesn’t matter if it’s coming from a straight white male therapist or a Black lesbian.
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