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“Nice White Therapists”: Deconstructing Whiteness Toward an Anti-Racist Clinical Practice

Four Part Series | Virtual

A 2021 American Association for Psychoanalysis in Clinical Social Work Presidential Salon in Conversation with Natasha Stovall, Beth Kita, Alexandra Woods, and Derek Hook moderated by Teresa Méndez, Daniel Buccino, and Brian Ngo-Smith
[ CEUs* ]


➢ March 13, 2021 | 3:00pm - 4:30pm EST, presenter Natasha Stovall, PhD
➢ April 17, 2021 | 3:00pm - 4:30pm EDT, presenter Beth Kita, PhD, LCSW
➢ May 15, 2021 | 3:00pm - 4:30pm EDT, presenter Alexandra Woods, PhD
➢ June 12, 2021 | 3:00pm - 4:30pm EDT, presenter Derek Hook, PhD


To register for this free series open to all, please email Barbara.Matos@aapcsw.org
- Enrollment is limited, with priority given to AAPCSW members.
- Zoom invites will be provided in advance of each session.

* NOTE: CEUs for Maryland social workers available. Check with your local licensing Board for CEd reciprocity.


For generations, white people have been trading genuine connectedness in the human family for the poor substitute of property values and perceived superiority. Some may think we [white people] have a lot to lose. But racial equity wouldn't be a loss for us. It would be a reclamation of our humanity.
— Betsy Hodges

In this anguished time in American history – where it seems we are literally still fighting the Civil War as dead Black bodies are displayed in the public square — it is imperative that AAPCSW, an organization committed to both psychoanalysis and social justice, reckons with the anti-Black racism upon which our country, and by extension our field, is built. Just as racism is fundamentally a White people's problem (Baldwin 1964), so, too, is Slavery White people's history (Parker 2019), to be taken up by White people.

Therefore, before a predominantly White organization like AAPCSW (part of the mental health professions where fewer than 10% of psychotherapists and fewer than 1% of psychoanalysts are Black) can claim an understanding of racial justice and a commitment to anti-racism, we must first begin this work in ourselves.

To that end, AAPCSW is devoting 2021 to a study of Whiteness. We believe this project is especially important for those of us who consider ourselves progressive allies, who “despite believing we are saying and doing the right things, have resisted…systemic changes…for decades” and who “have mostly settled for illusions of change…efforts [that] make us feel better about racism, but fundamentally change little” (Hodges 2020).

Through a series of seminars and small group encounters, our conversation leaders will help us excavate White identity. We will explore our denial, disavowal, dissociation, projection, and even pleasure (George 2018, Hook 2018) in the searing traumas of slavery and violence that built this country and form all of our identities as people who are not-Black (Wilderson 2020).

We hope you will join us in this effort.


Natasha Stovall, PhD: March 13, 2021 3:00pm - 4:30pm EST.
Natasha Stovall is a clinical psychologist and writer in New York City and author of “Whiteness on the Couch.”

Beth Kita, PhD, LCSW: April 17, 2021 3:00pm - 4:30pm EDT.
Beth Kita is a public/private clinical social worker and educator in San Francisco and author of “They hate me now but where was everyone when I needed them?”: Mass incarceration, projective identification, and social work praxis.

Alexandra Woods, PhD: May 15, 2021, 2021 3:00pm - 4:30pm EDT.
Alexandra Woods is a clinical psychologist/psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City and the author of “The work before us: Whiteness and the psychoanalytic institute.”

Derek Hook, PhD: June 12, 2021 3:00pm - 4:30pm EDT.
Derek Hook is a scholar and practitioner of psychoanalysis at Duquesne University and editor with Sheldon George of the forthcoming Lacan and Race.


  • Baldwin, J., Glazer, N., Hook, S., & Myrdal, G. (1964). Liberalism and the negro: A round-table discussion. Commentary, 37, 25–42.
  • George, S. (2018). Jouissance and discontent: A meeting of psychoanalysis, race and American slavery. Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society, 23, 267–289.
  • Hodges, B. (2020). As Mayor of Minneapolis, I Saw How White Liberals Block Change: But this revolutionary moment is inviting us to be a part of the solution. The New York Times. Retrieved November 22, 2020 from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/09/opinion/minneapolis-hodges-racism.html
  • Hook, D. (2018) Racism and jouissance: Evaluating the “racism as (the theft of) enjoyment” hypothesis. Psychoanaysis, Culture & Society, 23, 244–266.
  • Parker, R.N. (2019). Slavery in the White Psyche. Psychoanalytic Social Work, 26(1), 84-103.
  • Wilderson, F.B. (2020). Afropessimism. Liveright.