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Political Moderates/Conservatives

Unlike many therapists nowadays who primarily identify with liberal/progressive clients, Dr. Whiten prides herself on being able to empathize with and respect clients of all political leanings. If you have been scared to go to therapy because you do not identify as liberal and/or you want couples counseling but believe that the therapist will dismiss your beliefs, Dr. Whiten may be the best fit for you. Here is a post she wrote about how she approaches couples whose conflict stems from different political beliefs.

Nobody deserves to have their beliefs considered "wrong" by a therapist that they are paying to understand and respect them. Certainly, if you are engaging in cognitive distortions that harm you and impede you from functioning in a healthy way, those will be explored. However, to give some examples, supporting a certain candidate for president or understanding the role of natural immunity in COVID are not fringe/crazy beliefs. They should be respected just as any religious beliefs would be (e.g., a pro-life outlook in Catholicism). 


Dr. Whiten says:


"Before the 2016 election and the 2020 pandemic, it seemed that therapists were more willing and able to work with clients of all political leanings, but since then, there have been more therapists that I notice on my listservs and groups that feel personally triggered by clients with political beliefs that are not progressive or liberal. There is no reason that anger about the 2016 election outcome should be considered understandable and anger about the 2020 election outcome should be considered pathological, although unfortunately I have seen this viewpoint expressed by therapists, particularly in coastal cities." 

If you feel that your therapist's political beliefs are informing their responses to you in an intolerant way and/or you are scared to broach your ideas in therapy because you feel that "all" therapists would not understand you, Dr. Whiten will be happy to provide you with a genuinely non-judgmental space. It is a shame that a field predicated on empathy seems to be growing intolerant of competing worldviews. Dr. Whiten is committed to respecting all positions on the political spectrum.

If you are a therapist like the ones described above, and you feel personally triggered or don't know how to work with people who identify very differently than you do politically, please feel free to refer these clients out to Dr. Whiten. It is admirable and ethical to know yourself and know when you can no longer help someone, and the only shame in this would be continuing to work with them unproductively.

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