Theraplay Stands in Solidarity
Theraplay supports the work of clinicians, teachers, residential workers, professional service providers, and caregivers in creating safety for children and their families in defined spaces, moments, interactions, and relationships. This greater sense of felt safety is one of the core components of resilience in a challenging world. Now, our hearts are so heavy because we look at our world and ache with the knowledge that it is simply not enough. The capacity to survive (and hopefully thrive) in the face of trauma doesn’t negate the fact that traumas such as racism and its consequences shouldn’t be happening to begin with.
We have now watched—horrified—as George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, was killed before our eyes while in police custody. This is an incident that has been repeated far too many times in the U.S. We have now surpassed 100,000 deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. in just three months and we know that infections and deaths have disproportionately impacted Black, Native American, and Latinx communities. The pandemic has magnified deep systemic inequalities and injustice in our country.
Perhaps our Theraplay training also magnifies our need to create safety by eliminating inequality.
These are difficult and uncertain times. The physical distancing and social isolation needed to stay healthy in a pandemic is challenging our human need for connection, while our righteous indignation at the injustice built on generations of systemic racism is calling us to gather and act. At The Theraplay Institute, we stand with those who work to support the mental health and well-being of children and families. We stand with those who work to eliminate racism, hate, and intolerance.
We believe that Black Lives Matter.
I believe that you, the Theraplay community, are working every day to support and engage caregivers in interactions that strengthen caregiver-child connection. When you work with families to build resilient children you are addressing the social determinants of health and family well-being such as trauma and violence. When that child has an opportunity to feel safe, they then have an opportunity to thrive.
What else can we do?
We can be humble and listen and learn.
We can take care of ourselves so that we can care for others.
We can use our voices when need and opportunity present.
And still. Our hearts are heavy. We grieve alongside the family of George Floyd, the global community, and all the families with which we partner across the U.S. and around the globe.
The staff at The Theraplay Institute