Unruly Therapeutic: Black Feminist Writings and Practices in Living Room
Centering the experiences of black women allows for richer therapeutic practices for everyone.
“Black feminisms have provided a foundation from which it becomes more possible to speak and write of interconnection—of a spirited life, soul, a natural mystic blowing through the air—and engagement with all of this in therapeutic practice.”
Part thesis, part memoir, and part poetry, this book is unlike any other therapeutic text. Psychotherapist and writer Foluke Taylor explores how the centering of black women’s experiences in therapeutic scholarship allows for greater space—space for wandering, for wondering, and for deepening narratives—in every therapeutic relationship. Beginning with the book’s poetic structuring, Taylor rejects the need for a streamlined solution, instead inviting the reader to take a different path through her crucial research—one that is unruly, nonlinear, and celebratory of the richer, fuller narratives allowed for by black feminisms.
Praise for Unruly Therapeutic: Black Feminist Writings and Practices in Living Room
Unruly Therapeutic provided new insights into my own experience of therapy; what has ‘worked’ and what hasn’t, what resonated and why. Taylor’s use of black feminisms, in both theory and praxis, shows that the therapeutic can be found in other ways of reading, writing, seeing, listening, knowing, and being. This book is life-giving. It made me feel seen, understood, unruly. I look forward to reading it again and again.
— Nydia A. Swaby, black feminist researcher, writer, and curator
I trust Foluke Taylor as a guide, or maybe more a companion in the good work of getting lost, recognizing my loss as a pathway, and finding new ways of being. I love this book as a curated labyrinth of experiences, references, and experimental approaches to writing. Taylor offers us an embrace that is strong in its vulnerability and sure in its imperative to question everything.
— Alexis Pauline Gumbs, author of Dub: Finding Ceremony
Foluke Taylor has released herself from the moorings of business-as-usual therapeutic practice taught and framed within neoliberal thinking and instead forays into the nonlinear and the unruly. The result is genuinely refreshing and liberating. As you read, what emerges is a sense of adventure, a sense of soul connection, and a deep appreciation for other ways of knowing.
— Eugene Ellis, founder and director of the Black, African, and Asian Therapy Network
Foluke Taylor's Unruly Therapeutic: Black Feminist Writings and Practices in Living Room is a decolonial, black feminist tour de force that we should all be grateful reverberates in and through our world—a cataclysmic ‘yon’ to which one can’t but feel one’s body, heart, and soul respond. In this deeply transformative work, Taylor refreshingly speaks to more than just mental health practitioners, disrupting and retrieving worlds that emerge in parallel with the movement of the text and the author's own affective and intellectual pulse. Equal parts poetic, theoretical, personal, artistic, interactive, subversive, expansive, and generous, Taylor's Unruly Therapeutic is, as she notes, not new or other, but, rather, a love letter to being. It is a must-read and makes one experience a rewri(gh)ting of our turbulent world.
— Lara Sheehi, coauthor of Psychoanalysis Under Occupation: Practicing Resistance in Palestine
How do we live and how, where, and with whom can that living be done? These are among the questions Foluke Taylor asks, and in a form redolent of so-called ‘free jazz,’ she offers a finely textured and discordant, yet melodic and evocative consideration of how spaces for living might be crafted even in the face of the horrors of normative rule. It is a stunning offering! This book will rapidly become essential reading for therapeutic trainings; for professionals in other fields of health and care; for Black Feminist (and Women of Color) and Black Studies scholarship; and for all of us who need to find more ‘living room.'
— Gail Lewis, visiting professor, WGSS, Yale University, author, and psychoanalytic psychotherapist