That is, until a few years ago when I noticed that white people were literally and figuratively running amok in ways that were all too familiar to me as a psychologist and a white person. I began to look for guidance in cultural competence for treating American whites. I found nothing: no recommendations from the American Psychological Association or the American Psychiatric Association, no therapy manuals, few scholarly articles. What I found instead was a patchwork, almost secret, history of white and non-white people in and out of psychology, trying to understand whiteness.
And almost synchronously, research became reality: white patients began to bring whiteness into our sessions, in the form of cross-race friendships that got complicated, or resentment toward “woke” coworkers of color who express anger about racism, or just distress over the relentless build of racist violence in the last three years.