WHAT WE DO
Just Therapy seeks to create a more just mental health system by providing free weekly therapy sessions to formerly incarcerated individuals who can't afford services.
HOW WE DO IT
Private practice therapists volunteer their time to work with one pro-bono client in weekly sessions for a year. Therapists sign up with Just Therapy and we match you with an appropriate client through our partnerships with re-entry agencies.
It is essential that our therapists have the skills needed to work with formerly incarcerated clients. To that end, Just Therapy provides free training and support to participating therapists addressing issues specific to incarceration and racial justice, including:
- Quarterly trainings on incarceration, re-entry, restorative justice,
racism and the justice system, white privilege for white therapists, etc.
- Monthly drop-in peer consultation groups in San Francisco and the East Bay.
- Monthly anti-racism study group for white therapists
WHY WE DO IT
To say that our justice system is broken is an understatement. It’s a system that is, in effect, set up to incarcerate people of color and poor people, and keeps families and communities locked in cycles of trauma. Not only do most people enter prison with a history of trauma—from their childhoods and adult lives, as well as from the effects of racism, poverty and intergenerational trauma. But on top of that, the experience of jail and prison itself is often traumatizing. And when people are released, they are faced with a whole new set of difficulties. There are huge systemic barriers as people try to rebuild their lives and are restricted from housing, employment, and public benefits, and are often forced to the margins of society.
A skilled therapist can be an invaluable support as formerly incarcerated people work to face these challenges and heal. Without the right resources many end up back in jail or prison, despite being motivated for change. But private practice therapy can be out of reach to many people leaving jails or prisons, which means that people without financial resources are left competing for limited public services. While there is excellent care offered by community agencies and Medi-cal, these services are limited. As a result many people give up and never get therapy at all.
It's possible for us to start to fill in those gaps. We are partnering with re-entry agencies and case workers to match clients with therapists who can offer them the skills and support they need, when they need it the most. By giving our time, skill and compassion to people who are rebuilding their lives, we become part of the solution to injustice in our society, which in turn transforms our own lives.
WHO WE ARE
Just Therapy is a volunteer organization run by therapists who work in private practice. We are passionate about creating a just world for everyone, starting with bringing access to high quality mental health services to people who could otherwise not afford them. We are based in Oakland, CA.