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Human beings are wired to make assumptions about self, others and the world around. Making assumptions is a step towards making self safe, understanding and aware of what is happening around us.  Assumptions are part of human development and growth. Assumptions allow us to receive information knowledge and then process them internally and relationally.

Assumptions don’t get created by themselves; they are created and recreated in a network of people and they are reinforced in particular ways to serve some purposes and goals. Assumptions need to be tested constantly. When they are not tested and are taken as ‘truth’, they harm ourselves and others.

Yesterday, I attended the 100 years of Social Work profession at University of Toronto, 100 years of offering education, training and research.  In this symposium, I heard stories regarding significant impacts of clinical/political assumptions on aboriginal/ indigenous children and families in the past 100 years.  Speakers like Alanis Obomsawin and Cindy Blackstock reflected back on how political agendas and clinical assumptions joined and supported one another throughout the history. They shed light on how this marriage led to miscarriage of justices and ongoing injustice that destroyed indigenous cultures and harmed generations of people.

We, as professionals, have to constantly practice critical thinking and question what is going around us to be able to effectively provide services to our clients.  When we become complacent and when we allow our consciousness to be compromised, our ability to examine/question our personal/ clinical assumptions is minimized. This reduction will facilitate conditions for further experience of trauma and harm in people’s lives.

Now it is time to do something about the way the past was shaped by our colleagues. It is up to us to shape our future differently and not to repeat what other professionals did in the past.  Let’s stop the history from repeating itself.  The only things we need are our consciousness and critical thinking. Let’s work together to make a better future for all!

Happy Possibilities!

Tahereh Barati