As a somatic (body-centered) therapist, Resmaa Menakem (www.resmaa.com) has counseled families dealing with domestic violence, acted as a trauma consultant for the Minneapolis Public Schools, and led workshops on cultural somatics with the Minneapolis Police Department. He also managed the wellness and counseling services for civilians on 53 U.S. military bases in southern Afghanistan.
Menakem’s book, My Grandmother’s Hands, explores how we all carry the trauma of what he calls “white body supremacy.” His workshops and therapy practice are centered in helping people embark on a “course for healing historical and racialized trauma carried in the body and the soul.”
When we heal ourselves, we heal others too, he says. “The point is to understand how you contribute individually to the communal health. It’s not just about your own individual health, because the horror that has happened to us and our people didn’t happen to us individually. It happened to us communally and continues to happen to us communally. So, we have to have communal ways, embodied little ways, of understanding this thing.”
“I see myself actually carrying on a pretty long history of healing,” he says. “I consider all of the freedom fighters healers, because they charted a course of liberation and freedom in ways that did heal.”
This was excerpted from “Welcome to Wellness” which was published in Experience Life magazine.