I Support #BlackLivesMatter And Was Threatened With A Lawsuit By Shannon Thomas, A White Therapist, For Speaking Up

Ivy Kwong
10 min readJun 15, 2020

I never thought I’d write anything like this, but here we are.

My name is Ivy Kwong and I am a first-generation Asian American psychotherapist. I support #BlackLivesMatter. In case you’re thinking, “But you’re a therapist and you shouldn’t be bringing up political issues,” I offer the following quote by Aristotle:

Human beings are by nature political animals, because nature, which does nothing in vain, has equipped them with speech, which enables them to communicate moral concepts such as justice.

We are political animals. The color of our skin makes us political. The neighborhood we grew up in makes us political. The history of our ancestors makes us political. It is impossible to remove yourself from the context in which you find yourself. If you are a human being, you are political.

Which brings us to what happened on Sunday, June 7 2020. I saw the following public Instagram post by licensed therapist Shannon Thomas in Southlake, Texas who “specializes in healing trauma and working with people who are victims of narcissistic abuse” and responded accordingly:

Two thoughts:

1. In the wake of the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Rayshard Brooks, and so many more, #BlackLivesMatter protests against police brutality are being met with extreme police brutality. Domestic violence is terrible but we need better solutions for DV and this post felt tone-deaf and insensitive posted in a moment when there is documented evidence of police brutality in over 45 cities and over 12 peaceful protestors recently killed by police.

2. It is greatly concerning to me when licensed therapists, especially those who specialize in trauma, minimize or do not consider the trauma caused by structural racism and systemic oppression. Racism, trauma, and mental

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Ivy Kwong

Asian American therapist specializing in healing codependency, trauma (ancestral, sexual, racial), AAPI thriving, & decolonizing mental health. www.bareivy.com/