Woman walking in sand with a spiral pattern of rocks.

S5 E5: Cultural Self-Assessment Is a Practice With Transformative Potential

At the beginning of every Seed Field Podcast episode, we ask guests to disclose their positionality: what background and identity they bring to the conversation.

But what if we took this practice of cultural self-assessment—and went further? What if we used it as a jumping off place to really develop skills to navigate cultural differences and combat discrimination? That’s what today’s guest, Mariela Marin, encourages their students in the MA in Clinical Psychology program to do—and in this conversation, they explain how powerful this practice can be and how it can be useful for everyone.

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Episode Notes

Visit Antioch’s website to learn more about the Santa Barbara-based MA in Clinical Psychology that Mariela teaches. You can also check out the program’s Latinx Mental Health Concentration that they direct.

This episode was recorded on March 22, 2023, via Riverside.FM and released on April 5, 2023. 

The Seed Field Podcast is produced by Antioch University.

Host: Jasper Nighthawk

Editor: Johanna Case

Digital Design: Mira Mead

Web Content Coordination: Jen Mont

Work-Study Intern: Sierra-Nicole E. DeBinion

A special thanks to Karen Hamilton, Amelia Bryan, and Melinda Garland

To access a full transcript and find more information about this and other episodes, visit theseedfield.org. To get updates and be notified about future episodes, follow Antioch University on Facebook.


M. Marin

Mariela Marin is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Teaching Faculty, Director of the Latinx Mental Health Concentration, and a first-generation, bilingual Latinx person dedicated to the work of honoring, healing, empowering, and celebrating community through the promotion of mental health and wellness. Additionally, Mariela is the Executive Director of the Community Counseling and Education Center (CCEC), which allows them the opportunity to work not only directly with the community but also with talented trainees and associates.

Prior to that, they have always worked in the nonprofit sector serving abused and neglected children, the LGBTQ community, and monolingual Spanish speakers. They believe in the human spirit and our ability to constantly grow, learn, evolve, and heal with the support we can offer each other and access from our ancestors. They work from a person-centered perspective rooted in liberation psychology to support healing for individuals and communities. 

S5 Episode 5 Transcript

[00:00:00] Jasper Nighthawk: This is the Seed Field Podcast, the show where Antiochians share their knowledge, tell their stories, and come together to win victories for humanity, I’m your host, Jasper Nighthawk, and today we’re joined by Mariela Marin for a conversation about cultural self-assessment and how looking inward and examining our beliefs and biases can be important for therapists, and work also offers key tools for everyone.

This conversation couldn’t be more relevant to the concerns we keep returning to here on the Seed Field Podcast. In fact, if you’ve listened to any of our previous episodes, you’ve probably noticed that our first question is always to have the host and the guest share a little bit about their positionality, what background and identity they bring to the conversation.

This can feel a little unnatural sometimes, we’ve had some guests who are like it’s hard to just put yourself out there and just say all of these things that make up your identity. Disclosing your race, your economic situation, maybe any disabilities that you’re living with. But we’ve also found that it’s a really powerful tool to get people grappling with power and oppression, not just as kind of impersonal forces, but as the current of our society and something that we all live with and are implicated in and affected by.

It’s not to say that all white people are agents of white supremacy or, to make somebody feel bad necessarily, but if we are talking about white supremacy, it’s really useful for people to know that I, for instance, am white. But what if we took this acknowledgement of our positionality and went further?

What if we used it as a jumping off place to really develop skills to navigate cultural difference and to combat discrimination? That’s how they approach this subject in our master of Arts in Clinical Psychology at Antioch’s Santa Barbara campus, where today’s guest, Mariela Marin teaches.

Mariela is the teaching faculty for courses like multicultural awareness, self culture, and context, and clinical skills in the multicultural context, along with a lot of other ones. They’re also the director of the Latinx Mental Health concentration in that degree program. Mariela is a licensed marriage and family therapist and the executive director of the community counseling and education center. They have always worked in the non-profit sector with a focus on serving abused and neglected children, the LGBTQ community and monolingual Spanish speakers, and I think they’re the perfect person to have on for this conversation.

So Mariela, welcome to the Seed Field Podcast.

[00:02:46] Mariela Marin: Thanks so much for having me, love being here.

[00:02:49] Jasper: We love having you here. So I’m gonna just jump in. As I mentioned in the intro, we always start off the show by asking guests as much as they’re comfortable to disclose their positionality, and because we’re talking more formally about the subject of the show today. I want to do this a little bit more formally, so we’re gonna follow a model that you teach the addressing model. And so for our listeners, addressing is an acronym, so it stands for Age, developmental Disabilities, acquired Disabilities, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, indigenous group membership, nationality, and gender. So I can go for myself and then I’ll ask you, to kind of rattle that off. 

So, I am an adult in my thirties. I don’t live with any developmental disabilities and I don’t currently live with any physical disabilities, though I do experience depression and anxiety. As for religion, I was baptized Catholic, but currently have a more syncretic spirituality. My ethnicity in the US context is white. As for sexual orientation, I’m queer, but as a man, married to a woman, I live with a lot of straight privilege. My socioeconomic status is middle class. I have stable income and stable housing. I’m not a member of any indigenous groups. My nationality, I was born a US citizen.

And the G at the end of addressing, gender, I identify as a cisgender man. Mariela, can I toss it to you?

[00:04:21] Mariela: Absolutely. Just right off the bat, just, you know, doing this exercise, already starts to create an opening as we kind of go Oh, oh, oh. Interesting right? Um, so I am a 45 year old, right there smack in the middle of life as we kind of picture it. No disabilities acquired or physical, but like you, I do experience depression and anxiety at different points in my life. So currently it’s all good, but we’ll see where that goes. Religion, I too was born and raised Catholic and consider myself a cultural class, Catholic in how it relates to my ethnicity, but currently practice much more of a nature and spirit based spirituality.

[00:05:05] Jasper: I love, I love that. Like I, I too am experiencing this of like, oh, I’m starting to know you a little bit. Like these are, it’s, it’s intimate too.

[00:05:14] Mariela: Exactly. Yeah. And the reality is, we kind of want to talk about these things. We want these things to be known about ourselves with each other, I love this 

[00:05:23] Jasper: Yeah, yeah.

[00:05:25] Mariela: You know, ethnicity, I, I call myself white and brown. I am Spanish and Mexican. So a little bit of everything, a little cafe con leche. Let’s see, socioeconomic status. I am middle class and am comfortable in life and have stable income. I am, in terms of sexual orientation, I identify as gay, and I do use the word gay. That is not related to gender. It’s just my sexual orientation. Indigenous membership: I don’t have any official indigenous membership, but want to acknowledge the lineage that I have in terms of my Mexican heritage is Purépecha, from the Michoacán area of Mexico. My nationality is American. I was born in the US, and gender, I identify as non-binary.

[00:06:17] Jasper: That’s great, thank you for sharing all of that and I think that there are many interesting openings there and here on the podcast we found a lot of use in disclosing these things up front, in part because audio only, people can’t see us. They can’t see how we’re dressed or where we are. they’re just picking up cues from our voices and our diction. and especially when we’re talking, about power and social justice. It’s really useful to know something about that lived experience. I wanted to ask you, I mean, a therapeutic context is obviously different in a lot of ways.

So why is acknowledging and being aware of positionality important for therapists?

[00:06:57] Mariela: I think one of the things that we want to acknowledge is, in terms of this field, it’s about being in relationship with another, and that means bringing two people at least to the table. And so, you know, to be able to do that, I have to know who I am and everything that I’m bringing forward and with me and the impact that that could have on myself and others to be able to honestly say I’m fully in relationship. Otherwise, I’m only bringing parts of myself to the work and that’s not what I signed up for, and I don’t think that’s what our clients sign up for.

[00:07:33] Jasper: Yeah, I love that. And it’s funny, I was thinking we’re recording this in spring of 2023, which is I think nearing the peak for the hype around artificial intelligence and these programs. And I know people are already talking to these AI’s like they’re a therapist. And it just struck me that a computer talking back to you is not a person and doesn’t have all of those things that make you a person and that, like, a therapist can bring of themselves. If your idea of therapy that it’s just a disembodied voice saying, and how did that make you feel? Maybe. But it seems like by acknowledging and, and being sure to bring all of your, your position and your experiences of life with you as the provider of therapy, that’s something quite different.

[00:08:22] Mariela: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. we have to acknowledge that we do have an impact on our clients. and we come from impacted experiences, from impacted systems. And so, you know, you have to kind of understand each step, each level to really be effective in how you use aspects of yourself and your understanding of the world and how and why we and our clients see the world the way we do and experience it the way.

[00:08:51] Jasper: Yeah. Yeah. I want to talk about like those different aspects of it. so we use this addressing model, which I actually learned about while doing research for this episode. And so, I think we’ve already been through it, but why do you focus on these specific items? Age, developmental disabilities, acquired disabilities, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, indigenous group membership, nationality, and gender.

I mean, that’s a lot of things, but I could think of some other variables that could be played in or arguments to, like, not include one of those things. Why these things as a starting place?

[00:09:28] Mariela: Yeah. That’s such a great question. And, and I love that you’re mentioning that because I want to acknowledge this isn’t the end all of who we are. There are so many pieces of who we are in terms of our identity and our cultural understanding of self. I mean, some of us have tattoos and have a whole culture around that.

Some of us listen to a certain type of music and there’s a whole culture around that. These are really foundational places to start in terms of they are aspects of identity that all of us can sort of speak to and point to in maybe a more direct way. And there are very clear political, social, cultural, systems that have grown up around these issues. And they’re a start in a very impactful, important place. But like you said, you know, we do want to acknowledge that there are other possible places where there needs to be focus and can be focused. But, for folks who have not engaged in this practice at all, this feels like a really foundational, solid footing place to start.

[00:10:30] Jasper: I like the breadth of it. I feel like, you know, addressing, what is it? It’s like 10 variables. And I think sometimes people, when you ask them to disclose these kinds of, Things about the position they’re coming from, they can feel a little called out. especially around things like are you white, are you black? Those can be very fraught. I feel like this model says like, you’re those things, but you’re also a bunch of other things including age and disability, which are necessarily gonna change over time. All of these things can evolve and evolve in our understanding of ourselves.

 I like they all have some relationship to how power is distributed in our society. So it’s not just like hair color, which doesn’t have a great deal of connection to power, but I saw one chart that kind of broke down who has power in these different categories.

So it was like in our society, adults tend to have more power than children and the elderly, or for disability, like people living with disability often have less power than people who are not currently living with disabilities. I guess I wonder, as you talk about these things with your students, does it lead to conversations around power?

[00:11:48] Mariela: Absolutely. And, and that’s the main place to start is first to acknowledge what we know about ourselves, and then the next step is to acknowledge that every aspect of our identity has or some relationship to whether there’s power and privilege in the US let’s say in, in our context. Because it would be lovely just to say, oh, this is something interesting about me. But we live in these contexts where there has been value added. There has been, privilege of doled out arbitrarily based on false assumptions, based on, who knows whose ideas. And so we have to ask the questions that sort of ask what comes with this. And not only what comes with this in terms of rights and privileges, but what comes with it in terms of then my responsibility to how I exist in the world and exist in relationship to others.

[00:12:36] Jasper: Yeah. And I know that this work goes beyond becoming aware of the boxes that you check, you know, it’s almost like a dropdown of your cultural position. so I was hoping you could talk a little bit more about what specifically goes into that ongoing work of self-assessment and multicultural awareness.

[00:12:58] Mariela: The ongoing piece is, you know, first of all, recognizing that obviously we’re in dynamic situations all the time and things are always changing and sometimes it’s changing based on our own sort of energy and experience and life forces. And then sometimes it’s changing from outside of ourselves in those systems that we talked about, like the political, financial, educational, social, and so that this process of self-assessment and self-awareness has to be an ongoing piece because they don’t exist in little silos either. They’re impacting each other at different rates and in different ways. So I might say, well, yeah, you know, I, I got really clear on what it means to be a Mexican person, in my twenties, let’s well, that’s very different today, now that I live in a different place. The way I use my language is different. The social views on what it means to be Mexican are different. And so if I had stopped looking at what my experience is as a Mexican individual, I would’ve been looking at something just very static that is no longer true for me and has a lot of different meanings. And so that process is really about being able to constantly ask ourselves, know, I know I’ve done some of this work, but that’s not enough.

I keep asking. And so it’s—it’s nothing mind-blowing, you’re actually just asking the same questions over and over. What does it mean to me today to wake up as a Mexican, gay, non-binary person in the world? And tomorrow I can ask myself the exact same question and based on what happened today or what came out on the news today, that might be a very different experience for me. So each day there’s something that could be sort of mined from that exploration.

[00:14:49] Jasper: I love That of suggestion to stay alive to these aspects of our own identity. And stay open. it also strikes me, you know, you describing yourself as, non-binary, gay, Latinx, it emphasizes the way that these different identities can intersect, and calls attention to this idea of intersectionality, seeing people not just as, know, one thing. As a white person or a black person, or, a Mexican American person, but like, as many different identities that come together, and can lead to trans people of color having more intersecting identities that are facing oppression often than, like white trans people or cisgendered people of color. So do you feel the inward work of looking at your own identity and continuing to reflect on it and self-assess when doing therapy and when you’re just treating people in general, because it helps you think about the intersectional identity that they’re going through the world with.

[00:15:56] Mariela: Yeah, absolutely. I think, you know, it highlights for ourselves a recognition of yeah. when something gets more highlighted, and if that’s true for me, how could this possibly be true for another, or when I think of myself and go through that process of sort of naming, well, you what’s my identity experience as a gay person who identifies as non-binary opposed to say my wife who identifies as female and is white. And we have very different experiences. We have very similar experiences. And I have to go through and say, what are those things that shift the experience? And fascinating first of all. So it’s super interesting to do, but it’s also really important because it helps me recognize, know, there are these other factors at play, whereas if I would’ve minimized it just to, well, we’re both two gay people. We get each other, we lose so much of ourselves and the other.

[00:16:50] Jasper: Yeah. me, I come from the world of creative writing where over the last decade, a lot of us in this world have been grappling with questions of identity and the ethics of writing from points of view, other than your own and of writing about experiences that you haven’t yourself, had, which in some ways is like the root of fiction, but in other ways can be done in such ham-handed and bad ways it can end up causing real harm. And a, it’s kind of a lively discussion, but it strikes me that therapy there’s always the encounter with the other. But also the demand that you, you do look inside offers kind of like a, a different way of looking at the question of identity. Like it’s more possible to get outside your identity because you are ultimately, at least as a therapist, service to the person on the other side.

[00:17:49] Mariela: Yeah. You know, sometimes doing this work and teaching these classes over and over again, not gonna lie. Sometimes I wake up and go, oh gosh, I don’t know what else I could tell folks today about who I am or how many times I’ve looked at myself, and yet when I show up in class, just even based on who’s looking at me, and the faces of who’s looking at me and assumptions I’m making about who they are and that I assume they’re making about me, it’s an opportunity to go, oh wow, okay, there’s something I missed, or there’s something that’s new and different for me today, and that ongoing self-assessment not only in service of the relationship with another. But it also, I have often come home and gone, you know what?

I learned this new thing about how I feel today, about what I think of myself, about how I see myself in the world that I wouldn’t have known had I not gone there, and been asked to go there, with some intention. So, yeah, it’s, you know, it’s in service of, the client, the student, me, the person I come into contact with at the grocery store, who’s now gonna be impacted by the way that I understand myself. So it’s constantly giving. Yeah.

[00:19:01] Jasper: very, it’s gen, a generative place.

[00:19:04] Mariela: Yes. Yeah.

[00:19:05] Jasper: I, I wanted to go towards the ways that this gets beyond Pure introspection and starts to address power and the forces of oppression and marginalization and like, helps therapists to be, and anyone who’s practicing this to be a radical force against oppression.

And so you teach this. of building on this called multicultural awareness, self culture and context. And your topics week by week are like racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia, ableism, classism. And so I wonder if you could talk a little bit about how therapeutic work goes out and begins to with those realities that people face in our society,

[00:19:50] Mariela: yeah. So, and, and first of all, Just I love teaching these courses and in ten weeks imagine trying to sort of look at all this. Walk away. Done. Right? I think ultimately what the classes are meant to do is, to keep priming us to be looking inward and understanding ourselves to them.

Be able to bring that forward, right. And this work and doing this in community, I think is what is so kind of radical, right? And folks might hear it and say, well, that’s not that radical. But how often do you sit around, with a group of people and say, all right, let’s just put it out there.

Let’s just say what we know of ourselves and what that means about us, and do it in our actual voices, so that we can’t run and hide from it. And so that’s the part that to me, is super exciting about classes. You know, that’s ultimately what we’re doing. We’re asking folks to be vulnerable, be honest, name truths, name experiences, share experiences, and welcome creating space for the experiences of others, because what that then does, it makes it a much more safe and natural process going forward in the therapy room. You don’t want your therapist to be doing that for the very first time with you, you know, as, as their first client. You want there to be some sort of track record, some sort of comfort, some sort of understanding of how to create not only safe, but brave space around these issues that are, that we’re not taught how to talk about, that we’re not encouraged to actually voice and talk about. Just like anything else is about practice, getting comfortable saying these things, getting comfortable, naming, yeah, you know what? I struggled with that bias You know what? I still have pieces of that that I’m trying to dismantle and explore and create a new narrative around. Because that’s really the only way, you know, I think of things like, I’m no scientist. I don’t know, like viruses or bacteria I know don’t like the sunlight. so that’s the same thing that I think of here is bring it out into that sunlight and, and let it do its work on it.

[00:22:01] Jasper: Yeah, just that, that thing of acknowledging, speaking the thing. Saying that it’s there and then, actively and in community, like you’re saying, addressing it and looking at it, that’s really beautiful. I wanted to talk a little bit about a specific identity, which is you direct the Latinx mental health concentration in the MA in clinical psychology. And, you also specialize in not just working with Latinx people, but also with monolingual people who often have Spanish as the only language they’re fluent in. I was wondering , if you could just talk a little bit about your experience working with this specific subset of people but also how you bring your own identity, which you’re obviously, bilingual or I don’t know if you speak other languages. 

[00:22:51] Mariela: I wish.

[00:22:52] Jasper: I know. But what it feels like to bring your whole self into that work. And also just a little about that work, which I know in the US people who don’t speak English often really struggle to reach services.

[00:23:05] Mariela: Yeah. I, and I want to acknowledge being here in Santa Barbara California, certainly the experience of working with monolingual Spanish speakers happens quite a bit. And it’s a very specific subset. Even then maybe what it would be like working with monolingual Spanish speakers who are in Iowa. Their experience is very different Being in Iowa versus Santa Barbara, let’s say.

[00:23:26] Jasper: Yeah, and I know where I grew up in Northern California, most people who don’t speak English are still bilingual, but they speak Maya or another indigenous language alongside Spanish, its own interesting set of intersectional identities.

[00:23:42] Mariela: Absolutely. So there’s so much there. From my experience, I’ve lived in Santa Barbara for over twenty years. And so working in this community, what I’ve definitely seen is there’s been an increase in monolingual Spanish speakers receiving services.

And to be honest, the community has recognized the need and responded more programs have created more programming and more, services for folks in this area for monolingual Spanish speakers, which is fantastic, and which is why, know Antioch recognized folks need to be heard and held in their language, in their culture.

 Not that someone who isn’t bilingual or Latinx can’t do therapy with someone, but there are moments where that is what would make someone feel safe. And to give folks that opportunity. And the Latinx community has a lot to contribute to the therapy world, in terms of growth and possibility and creativity. So having students who really focus on the Latinx experience, has opened up the availability of services for folks in this community. And I see the community responding. You know, Latinx folks do come to therapy regardless of what sometimes the, know, quote unquote research is telling us, Or stereotype

Yeah, exactly. Folks are willing to bring themselves forward, incredibly vulnerable and brave in doing this work. Sometimes not sure if their language is gonna be understood or if their culture is going to be understood. And I’ve actually seen folks who run the whole gamut of the spectrum, folks who come and do really quick crisis work and then clients who stay in therapy three, four, five years and use it that way. So, now, I couldn’t say that there’s one picture of what my experience has been like with the Latinx community, but what I can say is, folks are making use of the services, when they’re available and make use of it just as well as anybody else.

So, we. There to be more representation in the field overall clients and the professionals.

[00:25:53] Jasper: That’s great. heartening as an Antioch alum and someone who works for Antioch to hear that the effect that your program is having in that community making there be many more people doing this work that have the training and the skills to help a community that you said, when you first moved there twenty years ago, was less well served.

[00:26:13] Mariela: Right, right. Yeah.

[00:26:16] Jasper: We talk about things like oppression, marginalization. It doesn’t frame the deficit particularly, but it focuses on the ways that people can be, in some way, impoverished by our cultural order. By, by the way, our society is set up and I know that you have written about alter making and thought about these a, in a mental health context, and it struck me that i n some ways it’s also like using an identity that maybe if we were making the, the two columns and showing who has power and who doesn’t have power, these, know, non-white identities might not have as much power, but actually looking and saying like, well, what are the source of strength and what can I learn from, this culture? I may assume a white perspective in this of saying like that, it’s outside of my own culture, but I was hoping you could talk a little bit about alter making and the place that other practices can have within mental health treatment.

[00:27:18] Mariela: Yeah. You know, I mean, I think we’re all probably seeing or or taking note of the fact that there is more space in the field, or at least there’s talk of more space, right? We’re finally talking about the fact that for who knows how long, our theories, our perspectives have really been centered around the white European experience, and, we’re being more, inclusive I as a field of looking at different ways of healing. And I think this is a really exciting period in that it is acknowledging that there is such an untapped wealth of knowledge and practice and healing perspectives in other cultures.

And so we’re going beyond, when I was in school, back in the day, know, multicultural competence was this concept that was talked about. But if I had to say that I saw it being practiced, it wasn’t. And today I’m seeing folks being more willing to practice and actually more excited about practicing and incorporating things like, say for instance the, know, altar, making. know, no tradition, field of study owns that practice. We get to bring that forward where it makes sense to us and why not psychology, right? Why not medicine? Why not astrophysics? You know, there is a lot of potential in this idea of being multiculturally competent and responsive, which invites us to be creative, which invites us to add personal meaning, which invites us to, be curious and, go beyond what has previously been delineated as therapeutic to what has potential to be therapeutic.

And it’s so broad, you know, for me, altar making was just something that really was concrete and very clearly therapeutic, but there’s so much more beyond that for sure.

[00:29:25] Jasper: Yeah, the, the vista of possibilities of, when you take off the blinkers of like what has been is so inspiring You know, I grew up in the nineties really, and that was kind of like the first heyday of multiculturalism, but in, at least in like public school education, it was often like, and now the multicultural unit and we’ll learn about what they do in India. And, it was always from a white point of view, I think I would say. And it was always like, look at how these other people are doing it. And I think it gave multiculturalism a bad name.

and some people have argued we need less multicultural education, more anti-racist education. I find myself inspired by the way that you are defining it now, which is not as just like knowledge, but as, as practice and of seeing in the great diversity of cultures that we’re blessed with as human beings, other possibilities and other ways forward.

[00:30:22] Mariela: Right, That, concept of in the nineties for sure. Right. Going beyond just those things, like, oh, the food, the music, the, you know, language. I mean, all of those are wonderful and those have their place in, in the psychology world, but Right, those other practices that, that feel spiritual, that may feel psychologically based, that may be relationship based, I mean, they. Yeah, they’re asking to be used, they’ve been used for, you know, the centuries, and are there for a reason. Made it back to us for a reason, for us to ignore that now it’d just be yeah. So, you know, whether it’s alter making or whether it’s nature-based practices doing some of this stuff outside. I mean, something that simple like taking something outside or, you know, even the way in which we, we might use music and food and dance in some of this stuff. all of that can be incorporated and has roots in different multicultural traditions.

[00:31:26] Jasper: Yeah. That’s so lovely. And also when I was describing my own ethnicity, I said that I’m white, but you saying these things, I think about, you know, my, like Irish ancestors or my grandma was a first generation Romanian immigrant. And, and always there was just like so much Romanian culture that was in our family life and I think as much as we can be more, specific about our cultural practices, we can kind it, maybe it’s utopian to think that we can start to escape, of, some of the ways that society has been shaped to reduce us kind of less than the vibrant, thriving people who we all want to be.

[00:32:05] Mariela: I love that. Yeah, absolutely. And that’s the thing if some of us were supported and encouraged in, in doing that self-exploration of our identities, we would see and we would be able to sort of mine. Like just how in this, you Last few minutes, you’re like, oh, my Irish culture, my Romanian culture.

Like there’s something there. Of course, there’s something there. Hell yeah. Let’s dig around in there to see what else we can find. So I love that.

[00:32:29] Jasper: Yeah. Yeah. Well, thank you for like, and acknowledging that, we are almost out of time, unfortunately so I had a last question, which I think comes out of this really, perfectly, which is, we didn’t get to talk about liberation psychology, but I know that that is of your practice as a, therapist. And from this conversation I get a sense of the potential that you see for these psychological approaches, psychological education, to challenge like our existing power structures and to provide tools for dispossessed and to build a more just society, and I’m probably putting some words into your mouth, but, I was hoping you kind of expand on this and paint for us a picture of what a world with more liberated minds could look like and the work that you see you and your students doing to begin making those, things a reality.

[00:33:19] Mariela: I mean, and I love this because it does sort of bring to mind and in my brain the picture of my students. Because what I see is, what really comes for me is that they are engaged in the practice of liberation psychology. Is just this idea of there isn’t one way to do things.

I love that about liberation psychology. If, if you had to bring it down to one point, that’s it. There is no one way to do it. And it’s about highlighting the voices of folks who have been marginalized and who have been excluded and saying, you know what, no more, that’s not gonna fly.

And so seeing the fact that these students, who are part of the Latinx mental health concentration and, and other folks, but I’m just thinking of, of the students I’m working with right now, who are making their voices heard in the classes that are specific the Latinx mental health concentration, and in their other courses with their other peers saying, Hey, you know what? We didn’t talk about this particular group of folks, we need to address this issue. We need to acknowledge the place that poverty and violence and repression has in our legacies and in our histories. And they’re super on it like they are doing it. is, that is liberation, right there. I, what I’ve seen is that they have created a really a collective voice where each of their voices has weight and importance, but then together is when they have the most impact they celebrate that, they get excited about it. And that’s what I imagine more liberation, perspectives and practices looks like. It’s support and community. It’s a voice that at times might make other people uncomfortable, but is still gonna be upheld and is still gonna be put forward. It’s creative, art based, there’s life to it, and there’s a real sense of wholeness of not just addressing one issue. One thing. It’s a recognition of, we are whole beings in whole societies, in whole communities. That needs whole work, you know, can’t just piece things apart. So, that’s what just noticed in terms of the students, and what their motivation is and has been, which to me is just pure excitement to see that happening with them.

[00:35:38] Jasper: Yeah, it’s very exciting to hear it from you. So, thank you so much for coming on the podcast today, Mariela.

[00:35:46] Mariela: Absolutely. My pleasure. Love, love to talk to you.

[00:35:49] Jasper: The MA in clinical psychology that Mariela teaches in, is at Antioch’s Santa Barbara campus, and we’ll have a link to more information about that program in our show notes. We’ll also link there to the Latinx mental health concentration specifically. We post these show notes on our website, theseedfield.org, where you’ll also find full episode transcripts, prior episodes, news about awards that we’ve won and more. The Seed Field Podcast is produced by Antioch University. Our editor is Johanna Case. I’m your host, Jasper Nighthawk. Our digital designer is Mira Mead. Jen Mont is our web content coordinator, Sierra Nicole E. DeBinion is our work study intern. A special thanks to Karen Hamilton, Amelia Bryan and Melinda Garland. Thank you for spending your time with us today.

That’s it for this episode. We hope to see you next time. And don’t forget to plant a seed, sew a cause and win a victory for humanity. From Antioch University, this has been the Seed Field Podcast.