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The Legacies of Cultural and Historical Trauma

My Story

Anita Mandley

By Anita Mandley - I not only have an expanded vision of trauma these days, but an increased sense of mission to help other therapists see the larger context of what we carry inside. It’s not a matter of dredging up a painful past, but of normalizing our interconnectedness and the emotions and behaviors that come out of it.

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Saving My Younger Self

Black Therapists Rock Member Profile

Psychotherapy Networker

Therapists who grew up in the communities of color they serve often have the social capital and particular wisdom to better understand clients’ core needs and make therapy accessible and meaningful. Here, Black Therapists Rock member Nicole Thompson takes us on her own journey from a Philly kid steeped in adversity, to an urban school psychologist who’s gone back to the old neighborhood and found her calling.

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A Black Therapist in America

Speaking Out Against Learned Voicelessness

Ken Hardy

By Kenneth Hardy - My own clinical work has become centered on issues like the anatomy of racial rage, learned voicelessness, and an array of other invisible wounds of racial oppression. But after all these years, I still have my own untold stories.

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VIDEO: Talking Race in Psychotherapy

Deran Young’s Call for Action

Lauren Dockett

Deran Young of Black Therapists Rock talks to Psychotherapy Networker’s Lauren Dockett about what the field can do to fight professional isolation and systemic racism within its ranks.

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Creating Neighborhoods of Healing

A Trauma Therapist’s Passage with Chicago Gang Members

Mary Jo Barrett

By Mary Jo Barrett - I'm on a five-day camping trip with 20 gang members as part of a program called Pride ROC. Most of these guys have suffered repeated abuse and severe poverty, seen friends and family members shot, stabbed, or fatally overdosed on drugs. Not surprisingly, every one of them suffers from complex trauma—which is why I’m here as a therapist, trying to apply what I know and use in my office in a place far away from the comfortable world I usually inhabit.

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Celebrating Black Therapists

How an Online Community Broke the Networking Mold

Chris Lyford

By Chris Lyford - In the two years since its founding, Black Therapists Rock, an online community of black therapists, has gained more than 22,000 members. It's a resource, they say, where they can network, get advice about challenging cases, and meet potential mentors. But it’s also a place where many black therapists finally discover—often for the first time in a decades-long career—a sense of camaraderie with other professionals like them.

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The New Community

Searching for Professional Connection in a Fragmented World

Chris Lyford

By Chris Lyford - Therapists are hungry for community. And no wonder. It’s no mystery that in the field of mental health care, schedules and work can be emotionally demanding. With reported rates of loneliness and feelings of isolation rising nationally, are therapists any better off?

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What Basketball Taught Me About Therapy

Learning to Stay in the Game with Challenging Clients

Barry Jacobs

By Barry Jacobs - Basketball has taught me many lessons. I learned about trust, relationships, and teamwork. I learned the power to regulate feelings. It would shape my clinician's game too. I developed a knack for handling male aggression, as well as physical decline and loss.

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Making Space for Race

Creating and Holding Connection with Black Teenagers

Ken Hardy

By Ken Hardy - Therapy with teenagers has to be about creating and holding a connection. As a therapist, I'm like a spider trying to lure my clients into a web that will support them. While I try to use the context of racism to help African American teenagers understand their situations, verbalize, and vent their feelings, I also want them to develop inner resources and tools for handling the adversity they face in more useful and productive ways.

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Confronting the Language of Subtle Racism

Commenting Even When It's Not Convenient

Dee Watts-Jones

By Dee Watts-Jones - I believe that addressing racism, in whatever form it appears, is always relevant to therapy. As therapists, we have a responsibility not only to our clients, but to the wider community, to speak up in the face of values and practices that oppress. So when I encounter racist language in my office, whether it can be linked directly to a family's presenting problem or not, I address the issue.

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