Issues with Diversity in Clin Psy Trainees Recruitment

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Re: Issues with Diversity in Clin Psy Trainees Recruitment

Post by Volta » Thu May 16, 2019 12:02 am

Spatch wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 9:21 pm

My fear that this is just going to add to the sense of grievance that people who believe that hold. That views are not tolerated if they go against "the orthodoxy" and that diversity is restricted to ethnicity or gender instead of views, ideology or political stance. It's also not a fait accompli that definitions such as concepts such as systemic racism or intersectionality are widely held or accepted. I note that people talked about "I can't be arsed" or "It's not my job to educate", which I can sympathise with as it is techincally true, but in terms of debate or persuasiuon it can come across as a cop out or we are retreating to positions of victimhood. Instead this thread has changed no one's mind or synthesised any ideas that are new. People's beliefs are more entrenched and we retreat to positions that reinforce what we already hold and this becomes another example of "feminists/BMEs can't handle the truth so play the insult card to shut down conversations. QED."
Where do we draw the line between "just opinions" and views with possible harmful consequences to people in marginalised groups? I am not going to repeat Linga and Answeringbell's points but I will extend this by saying a certain sense off entitlement accompanies the demand of being shown otherwise. It also undermines the impact of systemic adversities and implies a request of "proof" of such experiences. It is not a cop out to not want to use your own personal experiences/knowledge when it is quite clear that this is not valued or accepted, rather it is choosing not to put yourself in a vulnerable position. And why should people have to engage in acts of persuasion for their experiences of oppression to be believed? The fact that these beliefs are entrenched, the lack of genuine interest in the opposing view and the lack of willingness to self-educate are all the more reasons why educating others is such a laborious act to engage in. The argument that people in disadvantaged groups cannot handle the truth is a way to further silence already marginalised voices.
Spatch wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 9:21 pm
I have also been struck by the idea raised on both sides about "how can you be a clinical psychologist if you believe/think/express..." which I find interesting. If you look at the history of the profession you can be a right wing or left wing clinical psychologist. People like Jordan Peterson are clinical psychologists, who I philopsophically oppose, but acknowlege comprises as one of our ranks on his own merits and beliefs hold an internal consistency which warrant engaging. No platforming adds to their power and persuasiveness and diminishes their opponents.
I absolutely stand by my argument that CPs should understand how their positioning in relation to their social identities is imperative. I don't care about people's political stances, I care about their ability to acknowledge the power and privileges they have because of who they are. Why is being reflective such a significant skill to have if we are unable to reflect on how our identities might impact on the people we work with? Most of us are willing and capable to think about the power we have as professionals and how this is experienced by the people we work with, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect CPs to think about the power we have when we're white, cis-gendered, heteronormative, able-bodied etc.

I disagree that no platforming adds to power, it draws boundaries when views are potentially harmful. Arguments that this will just drive this kind of thinking "underground" where it will fester and grow is just another way to gain acceptance for the unacceptable. Who or what are we protecting when we don't address, call out or shut down oppressive views?
Spatch wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 9:21 pm
However, it has got me thinking about why issues around diversity and training are so difficult to address and engage with. I do think there is a lot about exercising power and our position and relationship to it. Who is oppressed and who is advantaged, and how the process of selction somehow is held accountable for things that lie way beyond its scope.In doing this work for 15 years, I have not yet met a person who believes selection is fair. Every stakeholder feels disenfranchised or disadvantaged in some way, be it men or women, minorities or majorities, old or young or whatever demographic way you slice it. Yet we are often left feeling there is only one way to see this. Personally, I feel this warrants more discussion rather than less even if it means engaging with those we find objectionable and obnoxious.
There is a difference between feeling/believing that the selection process is unfair and knowing that structural prejudices against part (s) of who you are influencing selection. Saying that everyone is in some way disadvantaged minimises the impact of the internalised biases we all have and actively ignores marginalisation; denial of oppression is oppressive in itself. Issues of diversity are partly difficult to deal with because it causes us great discomfort to become aware of how our identities advantage or disadvantage us. The very fact that we use the word "diversity" and lump all non-white, non-heteronormative, non-able-bodied (all the non-whatever-the-constructed-norm) in one vague term indicates our anxiety about differences and our reluctance to unpick this.

I think you'll find that there was plenty of discussion in this thread and some of us choose to draw a line when discussions went beyond just unpleasant. I am disappointed that someone who has been in the profession for this long appears to be valuing the right to continue debating over the right to not be subjected to harmful views when your social identities are implicated.

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Re: Issues with Diversity in Clin Psy Trainees Recruitment

Post by xxpoogletxx » Thu May 16, 2019 12:46 am

I completely agree with what Mirium, Volta, lingua and other have said. There’s a massive difference between allowing people to have their opinion and not giving a platform to people who espouse hateful rhetoric. I myself have ended up embroiled in online disputes (which I try to stay away from) regarding sexuality. I’m currently a woman in a relationship with a cis-het man but I myself am not heterosexual. I’ve had people say ‘well you can be gay but I just don’t agree with it and think that it should be allowed/you’re going to hell/it’s not acceptable/ you’re wrong etc etc).
There’s a difference between an opinion (i.e disagreeing about what flavour ice cream is best) and hateful rhetoric that basically says that certain people shouldn’t or can’t exist.
And i’ll agree with what previous posters have said about it not being up to marginalised people to have to put in the emotional labour. People are tired and the burden of proof shouldn’t have to be on us to share our personal experiences in order for people to accept that we’re people deserving of being heard.

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Re: Issues with Diversity in Clin Psy Trainees Recruitment

Post by Spatch » Fri May 17, 2019 12:42 pm

Thanks for all your comments and critiques. There is a lot to think about, and some very good points about where the responsibility of emotional labour lies.

I find myself somewhat conflicted. Ideally, I would like to go through each point raised systematically and address them with my view. However, I am also aware that this is an open forum read by a range of people and it could a) derail the thread completely into something else, b) some of it could be used to advocate a political position I don't personally agree with, so I am not going to do that. I am also not sure how much this would add to the discussion, and would instead like to hear more views from others.

While I personally hold to the idea of "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it", but I do concede that I have that luxury. Miriam as the operator of a professional forum that has to balance information, a constructive environment and abide by various restrictions does not have this.

While I am open to criticisms about my own biases and prejudices and can accept these, the thing that sticks with me most is why didn't I just fillet those MRA arguments myself in the ways I was possibly hoping others to do. Ah well, too late, but I have opted to do this with Peterson instead.
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Re: Issues with Diversity in Clin Psy Trainees Recruitment

Post by miriam » Fri May 17, 2019 5:51 pm

Thanks Spatch. And great post about Peterson :)

I think working out how to deal with issues like this is never easy, and we each just do our best. I think for men involved in discussions about feminism (or white folk involved in debates about racism, etc) it is hard to know whether picking up the baton would be considered to be taking over where it would be better to amplify the views of those most affected, or helpful because the voices of peers often have the most impact on those who hold prejudices towards other groups. In this particular context I'd also explicitly wielded my power as the forum owner, which changed the context of the discussion too. Its easy to think someone else with status/authority is already present and to leave them to take appropriate action. Finally, I think you've generally played the role of raising the voice of the out-groups within the profession on the forum, against the perception that there is a narrow clique of acceptable opinions, so you have (appropriately and helpfully) often been the one to challenge me* and/or the dominant narrative, which is what I perceived you to be doing in this thread rather than aligning yourself to a position of sexism.

*which reminds me of a talk I once heard about teasing - that it takes some underlying trust in the relationship to be able to take a contrary or provocative position without risking it landing wrong - and is a good reflection of the mutual respect we've built up over a long period of time, and I hope why I could reply fairly robustly in return.

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Re: Issues with Diversity in Clin Psy Trainees Recruitment

Post by Bokbag87 » Mon May 20, 2019 11:10 am

I wonder if prejudice (if any) against certain groups may be more subtle than this? The idea that men are held back in this profession is silly imo (I’m male btw). I would think that the problem may be more pronounced at certain universities depending on what they look for on forms. If they want a masters then it makes it more difficult for poorer or older students I should imagine. Also it’s dangerous to use one year as a pattern. As an example Newcastle 5 years ago had an entire 15 cohort of white, 25-35 year old women. If you looked at that you could infer all sorts of prejudice

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