SCP Letter to Charles Kinsey

July 25, 2016

Mr. Charles Kinsey, Behavioral Therapist
MacTown Inc. Panther Group Home
1365 Ne 128th Street
North Miami, FL 33161

Dear Mr. Kinsey:

As the President of the Society of Counseling Psychology, a division of the American Psychological Association, I am writing to express my sincere support and admiration for the actions you took with respect to your client on Monday, July 18th. Your commitment to your client and your courageous actions in putting his safety above your own– following him, protecting him, and encouraging his return to safety–were both professional and admirable. Many counseling psychologists with whom I interact have expressed a desire to reach out to you and show their support; I hope they will do so.

D17 Denver-331Within our society, we continue to witness violence towards people of color from police, which damages perceptions of law enforcement and further traumatizes people of color. Your experience of violence on that day while assisting and supporting your client is not only unjust to you but also damaging to the social climate for many, many others. Where you should have been perceived as an ally to the police and a helpful bridge to this young man, you were instead perceived as part of the problem and treated accordingly. This must change.

I want you to know that a number of counseling psychologists are working with police to reduce implicit racial bias, and many are working with people of color, taking into account the effects of racial trauma.

The Society of Counseling Psychology has as a part of our mission the advancing social justice and fostering effective communication across a diversity of people, perspectives, worldviews, and lived experiences. Thank you for your courageous example to us all.
May your recovery, both physical and emotional, be swift and complete.

Sincerely,

Jim Lichtenberg headshotJames W. Lichtenberg, PhD, ABPP
President, Society of Counseling Psychology
A division of the American Psychological Association
Email: jlicht@div17.org
Phone: 989-448-8090

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