How to talk to your therapist about geek feminism

Like many geek feminists, I’ve been worn down, burned out, and generally fucked up by this thing we’re doing. I’ve been in and out of therapy for years, trying to manage anxiety, depression, and all the rest, and I’ve been talking to a lot of others who have too.

Every time I’ve been to see a new therapist, I’ve had to spend multiple sessions bringing them up to speed on all the stuff we know: that the tech industry and geek culture are majority-male, misogynist, and bad for our mental health; and that this is part of our daily lives that we can’t escape from by just getting off the Internet.

At WisCon, a few of us got together and decided to draft a document that we could share with therapists and other mental health professionals, to give them an overview of the situation and cut through some of the most common unhelpful suggestions. I’ve spent the last few days filling it in with detailed information, and I’d consider it a more or less complete resource at this point.

You can find it here, on the Geek Feminism Wiki: Resources for Therapists.

Hopefully, this will save you a session or two of going over it all in exhausting detail, and give your therapist the information they need to start helping you.

In future, we’d love to put together a list of therapists who are already hip to this stuff. We’ve also been talking — albeit in much vaguer future terms — about a support fund for geek feminists who need help with legal, medical, or other expenses (including mental health expenses) as a result of discrimination/harassment/abuse in the geek community. What do you think?

5 thoughts on “How to talk to your therapist about geek feminism

  1. Cygnia

    I’m glad my therapist has been open-minded (and helpful) when it comes to me talking about problematic geek stuff that has been bothering me. A link like this is VERY appreciative.

  2. lisanosal

    THIS IS AWESOME. I am a therapist and geek-allied, I think? (Not a geek myself, but many of my friends are, and I read this blog regularly.) I would be happy to help in whatever way I can. Is it ok if I share this link on some LinkedIn forums and such?

  3. Dr. Sheila Addison

    I would be glad to be listed among geek-aware therapists! I see a lot of geek women in my practice, and the psychic toll that constant devaluation, silencing, “imposter syndrome,” and other experiences have on women in tech is absolutely something I attend to when we work together.

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