Alumnus Connects TCS-L.A. to His Work with Inner City Youth and Gangs
Several representatives from The Chicago School met in December with intervention specialists, case workers, and alumnus Stan Bosch to explore how interns could help in reaching out to Los Angeles inner city youth and gang members.
| Dr. Bosch meets with TCS representatives|
Meeting at Dr. Bosch’s headquarters in South L.A., TCS delegates included Dr. Melodie Schaefer, Dr. Richard Sinacola, Aaron Hanson, and Dave Clayton.
“The stereotypes of people in the inner city are very inaccurate,” says Dr. Bosch (Psy.D. ’09). “Like us, the people there also struggle with joy and happiness. There are myriad reasons for the situation they’re in, such as lack of jobs, lack of space and little family connectedness. Human contact and care is the way of healing. That’s where we come in.”
Dr. Bosch says he wants to “challenge and invite colleagues to come into the inner city and also to bring the skills that speak to care and compassion. I want to hook our Chicago School students into this work, even to get a taste of the gang way of life, where so many kids are simply trying to survive from day-to-day. Violence is diminished in neighborhoods where people are connected and know each other by their real names.”
Dr. Bosch also played a key role at a December conference held at the University of Southern California, attended by 175 people—including new LAPD Chief Charlie Beck—who play an active role in helping to reduce gang-related crime.
Conference discussions revolved around gang prevention, intervention and re-entry, with particular emphasis on empowering youth in inner city Los Angeles to be part of the healing process. Thirty-five youth from the area participated, many sharing aspects of their own history, such as gang involvement, sexual abuse, and homelessness.
Dr. Bosch said the police know “they can’t arrest their way out of the gang problem. This conference and others like it are about building relationships and continuing to work collaboratively.”
His passion is to get at the psychological hurts, wounds and scars that inner-city kids have, which often lead them to join gangs and commit horrendous acts of violence on each other. He believes that urban gang members, above all else, need to be listened to and loved.
"It's bringing kids together to put words to feelings," he says. "It's dealing with what's called 'alexithymia' in psychodynamic terms, the incapacity to put words to feelings. Many of our kids don't know what they feel, and nobody asks them.
"So people act out what they can't talk out, because nobody's really listening about how they feel. And then it's complicated with the socio-economic environment where people are in survival mode. I think kids get lost. That's why they join gangs, a surrogate family, to be able to be recognized by others who 'will know me, call me by a name, die for me.'
"I believe our structural sin is the chasm between the inner city and the outer city," he declares. "If people would just come forward in love and touch these kids, and be touched. Because these kids are hungry to be listened to and share their hurts …It’s amazing what can be accomplished with proper training coupled with genuine caring and love.”