Simba Simbi means to hold up that which holds you up. In these series of conversations, the foundational thinkers and leaders of the Association of Black Psychologists discuss their theory, practice, and inspiration with students who represent the future of the field and organization. Black Forward!
Simba Simbi means to hold up that which holds you up. In these series of conversations, the foundational thinkers and leaders of the Association of Black Psychologists discuss their theory, practice, and inspiration with students who represent the future of the field and organization. Black Forward!
Simba Simbi means to hold up that which holds you up. In these series of conversations, the foundational thinkers and leaders of the Association of Black Psychologists discuss their theory, practice, and inspiration with students who represent the future of the field and organization. Black Forward!
In today's episode, Tafeni English, the host shares insight on the importance of prioritizing our mental health and well-being. There are resources and support available for you. Therapy for Black Girls- is an online space dedicated to encouraging the mental wellness of Black women and girls. No More Martyrs- No More Martyrs is a mental health awareness campaign committed to building a community of support for Black women with mental health concerns. https://www.healthline.com/health/power-in-video-series#3 https://time.com/6046773/black-teenage-girls-suicidehttps://reckonsouth.com/therapy-for-your-budgethttps://www.mytherapycards.com/?r_done=1 The Suicide Prevention Lifeline -- 1-800-273-8255The Anxiety and Depression Association of America -- 1-240-485-1001 The National Alliance on Mental Illness -- 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) The Association of Black Psychologists -- 1-301-449-3082Adult MHFA- https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Mental-Health-First-Aid-Adults-One-Pager_2019.pdfYouth MHFA- https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Youth-Mental-Health-First-Aid-One-Pager.pdfTeen MHFA- https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/043021_tMHFA_GeneralOnePager_v5.pdfMHFA for Veterans- https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Mental-Health-First-Aid-Veterans-One-Pager.pdfMHFA for Fire and EMS- https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Mental-Health-First-Aid-Fire-EMS-One-Pager.pdfMHFA for Higher Education- https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Mental-Health-First-Aid-Higher-Education-One-Pager.pdfMHFA for Older Adults- https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Mental-Health-First-Aid-Older-Adults-One-Pager.pdfMHFA for Public Safety- https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Mental-Health-First-Aid-Public-Safety-One-Pager.pdf
In this mini episode Keegan and Madigan discuss the importance of seat belts, the Derek Chauvin trial and vaccine passports. RESOURCES: The Anxiety and Depression Association of America- 240-485-1001 National Alliance of Mental Illness- 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) Suicide Prevention Lifeline- 1-800-273-8255 The Association of Black Psychologists- 301-449-3082 SOURCES:https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2021/03/29/drug-use-training-and-witnesses-factored-heavily-first-day-chauvin-murder-trial/7055787002/ https://www.insider.com/derek-chauvin-police-history-shootings-violence-george-floyd-2020-5 https://www.cbsnews.com/news/george-floyd-derek-chauvin-nightclub-bumped-heads-changes-story/Go to the link in our bio on Instagram to donate bags or purchase hygiene products for Keegan to donate to the unhoused in Los Angeles. Do you have a news story that you want our take on? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.orgFind us on social media: Instagram: @angryneighborhoodfeminist Twitter: @YANFPodcast Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/angryneighborhoodfeminist **Don't forget to REVIEW and SUBSCRIBE on iTunes!** Music: Lee Rosevere
I met with Dr. Ajamu to discuss his path to becoming a psychologist and his interactions with the psychologists who influenced his path. We processed the importance of developmental psychologists creating a new paradigm for understanding the African American community and creating new paradigms for healing. Finally, we discussed a framework for discussing and understanding the psychological impact of the work of author Ayi Kwei Armah.
Welcome to episode 22 of Destination Freedom Black Radio Days Podcast a copyrighted program of No Credits Productions LLC. I’m producer/director donnie l. betts In this episode, I speak with Dr. Anthony Young. Dr. Young has been practicing mental health in Colorado for over forty years. He has a doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Denver. He has taught Psychology courses for twenty-six years at the University of Colorado. In the past, Dr. Young has partnered with the Department of Corrections and the Mental Health Institute in Pueblo. Currently, he is the president of the Denver Rocky Mountain Association of Black Psychologists. Next on Destination Freedom Dr. Tony Young.
The pandemic is having a profound impact on the mental health of Americans, but Black Americans are being disproportionately affected. Adam Kuperstein talks with Dr. Dana Collins, a clinical psychologist and President of the New York Association of Black Psychologists, about the issue.
Hosts Tracy Swain and JaVonne Williams are joined by Dr. Barbara J. Brown. Dr. Brown is a licensed Clinical Psychologist who earned her Bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College and her Master’s and Doctoral degrees from Boston University in Massachusetts. She has practiced psychology in Washington DC for 30 years and founded the CapitolHill Consortium for Counseling & Consultation, LLC (CCCC) in 2009. CCCC consists of a dedicated group of multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary clinicians who provide psychotherapy, bio-psycho-social assessment, and psychological testing to meet community mental health needs of children, adolescents, and adults in the DMV region (www.ccccmentalhealth.com). CCCC also offers consultation, presentations, and diverse program services to community-based and corporate organizations. CCCC is certified as a woman-owned business enterprise by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and a woman-owned small business (WOSB) as designated by the National Women’s Business Council. In today's episode, Dr. Brown discusses some of the mental health programs CCCC provides throughout the DMV areas and the importance of receiving and using psychotherapy as a tool of empowerment. Dr. Brown believes that accessible, affordable, and culturally competent health care is imperative and that routine mental health screening at key developmental stages across the life span is critical to optimal health and prevention of common-place tragedies. Everyone can benefit from psychotherapy at some point in their lives; it is a strength, not a weakness to understand and empower oneself. Dr. Brown is an author writing in the Women in Business Breaking Through book series. She is also a proud member of professional organizations and groups who provide community service including the Women President’s Organization, American Psychological Association, Association of Black Psychologists, The Links, Incorporated, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Jack & Jill of America, Incorporated, and The Girl Friends, Incorporated. To learn more about Dr. Barbara J. Brown and the CCCC services, visit their website: www.ccccmentalhealth.com. For a copy of their eBook visit also visit www.ccccmentalhealth.com.
(This program first aired August 11, 2020) Today, we revisit a conversation Tom had in August with the woman who heads a group of African American psychologists whose approach to counseling and therapy is centered in the traditions of Africa and the African diaspora. How do the mental health needs of African Americans differ from those of Whites and other ethnicities? What approaches to treatment can be employed that address the particular challenges caused by COVID 19 in the Black community? Can Black psychology be used as a tool to confront institutional and systemic racism? Tom's guest is Dr. Theopia Jackson. She’s a licensed clinical psychologist and the President of The Association of Black Psychologists. She is Co-Chair of the Department of Humanistic & Clinical Psychology and Chair of the Clinical Psychology degree program at Saybrook University in Pasadena, California. She recently relocated to Maryland after 30+ years of practice in the Bay Area. Dr. Jackson joined us via Zoom. Because our conversation was recorded earlier, we can’t take any calls and e mails today. Mental Health Services: Black Mental Health Alliance or text 443-214- 2642 Mental Health Warm Line: 443-608-9182 Baltimore City – Baltimore Crisis Response, Inc: 410-433-5175 Baltimore County – Baltimore County Crisis Response System: 410-931-2214 First Call for Help (all types of referrals): 410-685-0525 or 211 Suicide Grassroots Crisis Line (suicide intervention hotline): 410-531-6677 Maryland Youth Crisis (suicide and other interventions): 1-800-422-0009 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) Domestic Violence and Abuse House of Ruth - Baltimore: 410-889-7884 Hope Works – Howard County: 410-997-0304 Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Hotline: 410-828-6390 National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1- 800-799-7233 This information shared is for educational purposes only and does not serve as treatment. Please contact your healthcare provider for treatment and health concerns.
“We have to defy lies and embrace the truth of our humanity.” In this episode, Dr. Cheryl Tawede Grills, a clinical psychologist and the past president of the Association of Black Psychologists, joins to discuss how we can recognize and cope with racial stress and trauma at work and beyond. We talk about the impact that racial stress and trauma has on our mental, emotional, and physical health, as well as on our relationships with others, and how we can emancipate ourselves from ubiquitous messaging regarding Black inferiority. Topics Covered: How Dr. Grills began researching racial trauma and stress Defining trauma, racial trauma, and collective trauma The impact of trauma on our mental, emotional, and physical health Signs and symptoms of racial trauma Dealing with racial stress and trauma at work and strategies to cope The erasure of Black women’s experiences of racism and racial trauma How we internalize the myth of racial inferiority Emotional emancipation circles and how they can help to increase our consciousness How to deal with anti-Black racism Resources: Association of Black Psychologists; Dr. Grills’ TEDx Talk, Emancipation from Mental Slavery Find links and show notes at https://breakconcrete.com/bc022 Follow us on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/breakconcrete/ Twitter https://twitter.com/BreakConcrete/ Facebook https://www.facebook.com/breakconcrete/ E-mail feedback to email@example.com. If you like this episode, please leave a review and rating.
Does the conventional wisdom of the white dominated field of psychology make the wrong assumptions about the weight of racism and its impact on the psychological well-being of African Americans? Tom speaks with Dr. Theopia Jackson, president of The Association of Black Psychologists. Dr. Jackson explains how African and Black centered psychology embraces Afrikan traditions, and draws on the strength of community to meet the individual mental health needs of Black people.
Dr. Janet E. Helms joins Francesca to explore the historical roots of whiteness and systemic racism, and offer perspective on privilege and racial identity. Francesca is joined by Dr. Janet E. Helms to explore the concept of whiteness. White is whiteness? What is white-bodied supremacy? Where did this come from in terms of the history of this country? How does it live in people’s psyches, movements, behaviors, and actions? What kind of research supports different ways of being? These questions are explored among others concerning race relations, gender, patriarchy, autonomy, and freedom. Dr. Janet E. Helms is the Augustus Long Professor in the Department of Counseling, Developmental, and Educational Psychology and Director of the Institute for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture at Boston College. Learn more about Dr. Helms: https://www.bc.edu/bc-web/schools/lynch-school/faculty-research/faculty-directory/janet-helms.html https://www.bc.edu/content/bc-web/schools/lynch-school/sites/isprc.html She is past president of the Society of Counseling Psychology. Dr. Helms is an APA Fellow in Counseling Psychology, Ethnic Diversity, and Psychology of Women. In addition, she is a member of the Association of Black Psychologists, the American Psychological Society, and the American Educational Research Association. She has written extensively about race, for laypeople as well as for clinicians. Whiteness, Systemic Racism, & The Constitution Dr. Helms and Francesca share on how the concept of whiteness perpetuates racism in this society, and is rooted even in The US Constitution, which actually protects white male heterosexual privilege. Systemic racism has to do with the protection of that privilege, where all the rules, policies, and social practices are essentially designed to protect white male heterosexual privilege. This is rarely in the common vernacular because its recognition poses a threat to the people who have privilege from birth. “Whenever we change a rule about systemic racism in this society, we threaten someone who’s white, and so I think it’s really important for us to begin to think about what is the threat, because if we can understand why white people feel threatened then we can maybe help them understand how they can change themselves in ways so that they’re not always afraid of losing something.” – Dr. Janet E. Helms Unacknowledged Privilege (5:02) Highlighting issues surrounding privilege, Dr. Helms shares that if you are a white person who begins to recognize that you have been treated differently because of your skin color, there becomes a recognition of some responsibility for change, both in yourself and the current societal paradigm. That might not feel so comfortable to give up some of your own privilege, some of your own safety. “There are different privileges and each white person has to begin to ask themselves, ‘What is the privilege in my life, and how do I have to change myself in order to share privilege?” – Dr. Janet E. Helms Dr. Helms shares that this action is not just reflecting on oneself, but also learning how to change the context in which you exist. Learning to see things from an interconnected, holistic, ecological perspective acts as good medicine. “It’s good medicine for everyone, but I think it would be unwise of me not to warn people that people don’t always like to take their medicine. So, as one begins to awaken and try new things, one needs to be aware that other white people might not accept you because you’re challenging social norms. I think; though, that what will happen eventually is that if enough white people begin to challenge those social normals, then this challenging will become the norm, rather than the colorblindness that now seems to exist.” – Dr. Janet E. Helms
Dr. Janet E. Helms joins Francesca to explore the historical roots of whiteness and systemic racism, and offer perspective on privilege and racial identity.Francesca is joined by Dr. Janet E. Helms to explore the concept of whiteness. White is whiteness? What is white-bodied supremacy? Where did this come from in terms of the history of this country? How does it live in people's psyches, movements, behaviors, and actions? What kind of research supports different ways of being? These questions are explored among others concerning race relations, gender, patriarchy, autonomy, and freedom.Dr. Janet E. Helms is the Augustus Long Professor in the Department of Counseling, Developmental, and Educational Psychology and Director of the Institute for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture at Boston College. She is past president of the Society of Counseling Psychology. Dr. Helms is an APA Fellow in Counseling Psychology, Ethnic Diversity, and Psychology of Women. In addition, she is a member of the Association of Black Psychologists, the American Psychological Society, and the American Educational Research Association. She has written extensively about race, for laypeople as well as for clinicians. Learn more about Dr. Helms: bc.edu
In this episode, Dr. Reliable Jewel is joined by her colleagues Dr. Sarah Cunningham and Dr. Reginald Riggins. Listen as they discuss important healing tips as well as their journey of becoming Clinical Psychologists. This is an opportunity to hear three psychologists discuss the trials, tribulations, and importance of being Black Psychologists. This episode is in memory of Dr. Nathan Harper and Dr. Rosemary Hadley.
Kara Walker: “Silhouettes are reductions, and racial stereotypes are also reductions of actual human beings.” What we know about race is largely influenced by our upbringing, education, and exposure. According to Dr. Anthony Young, President of the Denver-Rocky Mountain Association of Black Psychologists, there is deep shame and miseducation around the subject of race. This leaves many unable to address the “funky elephant” in the room. We’re addressing the elephant in this conversation. Highlights: The concept of race is inherently flawed Education used as a means to indoctrinate Healing starts from within Connect with Dr. Anthony Young Additional Resources Thought-provoking presentations for those willing to "do the work" Dr. Robin Diangelo, author of "White Fragility" Tim Wise – video lecture Jane Elliott African/Black Psychology in the American Context: An African Centered Approach by Dr. Kobi K.K. Kambon (https://shadesofafrika.com/african-black-psychology-in-the-american-context-an-african-centered-approach-kobi-k-k-kambon/) Black Labor, White Wealth by Dr. Claud Anderson (book: https://www.mahoganybooks.com/9780966170214 video lecture: https://youtu.be/oMLcXrraKRY Shattering the Myths by Dr. Paul Hamilton (Book: https://books.apple.com/us/book/african-peoples-contributions-to-world-civilizations/id1223170328) #TimeToComeAlive #ConnectToJoy #Race #Racism #Education Subscribe to my YouTube channel and access new and past episodes! To receive episodes in your inbox, subscribe at www.TimeToComeAlive.com. Find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Soundcloud, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher.
In this episode, members of the Association of Black Psychologists gather in a roundtable discussion to explore Black Lives Matter and the social movement taking place right now in The United States. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
In response to current events, we are re-releasing an interview Diana conducted in June 2019 with an African-centered psychologist and expert on racial trauma, Dr. Kristee Haggins. Racism is a public health crisis with deep, ongoing negative impacts on psychological and physical health. In this episode, Dr. Kristee Haggins discusses how to identify racial trauma and strategies to support healing. Dr. Haggins describes how black people can connect with the truth of their history, cultivate healing, and make choices that are good for themselves, their families, and larger communities. Dr. Haggins also offers recommendations for the work that those who do not identify as black can do to promote racial healing and change. Listen and Learn How do you know if you or someone you care about is experiencing racial trauma and stress? Effective self-care practices that black communities are using to heal racial trauma together Internal and collective “work” white and other non-black people can do to promote systematic and grassroots change Ways in which mental health professionals can better meet the needs of black and other diverse communities About Dr. Haggins Dr. Kristee Haggins is a community healer, African centered psychologist and professor who takes a holistic approach to healing mind, body, spirit, and community. She is a founding member of Safe Black Space Community Healing Circles and is committed to promoting health and wellness particularly in the Black community. Dr. Haggins studied Psychology as an undergraduate at the University of Southern California where she received a B.A. with honors. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from The Ohio State University. Dr. Haggins has had a multifaceted career as a clinician, educator, consultant, trainer, and university administrator. Currently, she is a professor at California Northstate University and at Alliant International University, Sacramento where she teaches courses in multicultural counseling and therapy skills. Dr. Haggins has expertise in racial stress and trauma; African American mental health; multicultural psychology/diversity issues; and spirituality and mental health. She offers training and tailored workshops and consultation in these areas, in addition to others upon request. In 2016 she was awarded the Community Healing Award by the Community Healing Network (CHN) for her collaboration with CHN and the Association of Black Psychologists. Resources Dr. Kristee Haggins Web siteSafe Black Space Community Healing CirclesAssociation of Black PsychologistsThe Racial Healing Handbook by Annelise SinghSomebody Told a Lie One Day quote by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 96. Effective Conversations About Diversity Issues with Drs. Anatasia Kim and Alicia del Prado51. The Psychology of Political Division
In the PART 2 episode of "Meeting You Where You Are", host Jan Desper Peters and Dr. Kevin Washington, psychologist, professor, and past president of the Association of Black Psychologists, dissect the many examples of modern-day lynching of Black men and boys. We also discuss a full range of topics including how critical it is for Black and Brown people to vote in the upcoming elections and to position ourselves to ask for what we want from our elected officials. We would not want you to miss any of this discussion so we broke it up into two parts, so sit back and listen up to Part One! Watch the full interview on YouTube. Listen to the full interview, like, and subscribe on Apple Podcast, Soundcloud, and Podomatic.
In this episode of "Meeting You Where You Are", host Jan Desper Peters and Dr. Kevin Washington, psychologist, professor, and past president of the Association of Black Psychologists, dissect the many examples of modern-day lynching of Black men and boys. We also discuss a full range of topics including how critical it is for Black and Brown people to vote in the upcoming elections and to position ourselves to ask for what we want from our elected officials. We would not want you to miss any of this discussion so we broke it up into two parts, so sit back and listen up to Part One! Watch the full interview on YouTube. Listen to the full interview, like, and subscribe on Apple Podcast, Soundcloud, and Podomatic.
Discussion on mental health resources during COVID-19 such as apps and how to find a therapist. Race specific resources listed for Native Americans, Asian Americans, Latin Americans, and African Americans (see links below). Additionally, Hulu series “High Fidelity,” starring Zoe Kravitiz, is reviewed. New segment, Interview With A Celebrity, flashes back to interview with Little Richard back in the 90s.LINKS mentioned in podcastMindfulness apps: https://www.happify.comhttps://www.headspace.comhttps://www.calm.com UCLA Mindfulness App (Search App Store)Meditation app: https://chopra.com/https://chopraananda.com/Therapist and mental health resources:National Alliance on Mental Illness-https://nami.org/Asian American Psychological Association - https://aapaonline.org/ National Latinx Psychological Association (NLPA) - https://www.nlpa.ws/Society of Indian Psychologists - http://aiansip.org/ Association of Black Psychologists - https://www.abpsi.org/ Music:“Jazz Addict’s Intro” by Cosimo Fogg Check out my new Underground Magnolia website here.Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Zach sits down to chat with Dr. Richard Orbé-Austin, a psychologist and a partner of Dynamic Transitions Psychological Consulting, LLP, about the psychology of impostor syndrome. Dr. Orbé-Austin breaks down the concept of impostor syndrome itself and talks a bit about how gaslighting can tie into and even exacerbate it. He also shares several practical ways impostor syndrome manifests in the workplace. Listen to the full show to learn a handful of methods to combat it on a personal level.Connect with Dr. Orbé-Austin on LinkedIn and Twitter.Check out DTPC's website by clicking here.Follow DTPC on social media. They're on LinkedIn and Facebook.Interested in Lisa and Richard's book? Find out more about it on Amazon.Find out how the CDC suggests you wash your hands by clicking here.Help food banks respond to COVID-19. Learn more at FeedingAmerica.org.Visit our website.TRANSCRIPTZach: What's up, y'all? It's Zach with Living Corporate, and look, man, you know what it is. And I always start with "Look, man, you know what it is," and I apologize for being gendered in my introduction, so let me start over. What's up, y'all? Y'all know what it is. It's Zach with Living Corporate, and we have real talk with real people in a corporate world, and this real talk is doing what? Centering and amplifying underrepresented voices at work, and man, we have a great guest. We have a great guest, really excited to have Dr. Richard Orbe-Austin. Now, is that right? Is it Orbe?Dr. Orbé-Austin: Yes. Yes, like sorbet.Zach: Aye. Haha. "Smooth Like Sorbet" Orbe, what's up? Bars. Dr. Orbe-Austin is a psychologist--I don't know why I started off like that. Dr. Richard Orbé-Austin is a psychologist and a partner of Dynamic Transitions Psychological Consulting, a career and executive coaching consultancy in New York City. Dr. Orbé-Austin has worked in the field of career and executive coaching for over 15 years, and was the founding director of NYU’s Graduate Student Career Development Center. In this capacity, he developed the strategic vision and led a team responsible for managing the career needs of over 14,000 graduate students in over 100 different disciplines. Prior to his tenure at NYU, Dr. Orbé-Austin served in a variety of leadership roles, including as the chief diversity officer at Baruch College-City University of New York and as president of the NY Association of Black Psychologists. Okay, so he's certified. Again, see, people come on this--you know what I'm saying, people, you know, will subversely kind of ask me, like, "Well, who do you even have on your podcast?" Y'all be trying to talk to me--you know, it's really a function of colonialist white supremacy, but we ain't gonna talk about it right now, how y'all try to come and challenge the credos of this show, but, you know what I'm saying, we have real ones over here, so don't test us, okay? Do not test us, mess around and, you know what I'm saying, pull your card. Don't play. [ow sfx] Dr. Orbé-Austin’s opinions and writings have appeared in a variety of publications, including Forbes, Fast Company, Diversity Executive, and ThriveGlobal. He earned his PhD in counseling psychology from Fordham University’s Graduate School of Education and his BA in psychology from NYU. His book, Own Your Greatness: Overcome Impostor Syndrome, Beat Self-Doubt, and Succeed in Life, published by Ulysses Press [and] co-authored by his partner Dr. Lisa Orbe-Austin, will be released in April 2020. The goal of this book is to provide a systematic way to eradicate impostor syndrome and help readers find their power so they can utilize it for their own goals and lead a more balanced life. What a bio. I feel like I gotta drop some air horns just for the fact that that was very, very dense and all very substantive and impressive. What's up? Come on. Drop 'em right here. [Flex bomb, then air horn sfx] Come on, let's go. How are you doing, Dr. Austin? Dr. Orbe-Austin, excuse me.Dr. Orbé-Austin: I am wonderful, Zach. It's a pleasure to meet with you and your wonderful audience, so I'm thrilled to be chatting with you today.Zach: Now, look, I don't want to spill too much tea, but I know your cousin, right, and his name is not Orbe-Austin, it's just Austin. Can you talk a little bit about the last name?Dr. Orbé-Austin: So yes, I want to always tell the story about--any time my wife and I go and present anywhere and we introduce ourselves people kind of give a look, and then I have to start by saying, "Look, just to get it out of the way, we're not brother and sister. We're actually husband and wife." So when we got married I actually took my wife's name. So her name was Lisa Orbe and my name was Richard Austin, and as we joined our families we joined our names. And so I think it's not traditional, I think, for a lot of people in society to see a man do that, so I think it throws people off, so I'm always kind of thrilled to talk about, you know, equity and equality and really being able to join families in that way.Zach: You know what? And shout-out to you, you knwo what I mean? Because, you know, you're rejecting patriarchy one bold move at a time. It's interesting how we normalize the idea that women's last names are just erased, you know what I mean? You know, it's not really cool, you knwo what I'm saying? Now, look, did my wife take my last name? Yes, okay? Would I hyphenate? Probably not because I'm not really that strong. I'm pretty insecure as a man, you know what I'm saying? But look, it takes a real man to, you know, admit that. Because it's funny, you know, I can come on this podcast and I can talk about rejecting patriarchal systems and all these kinds of things, but then if you ask me, you know, to supplant any privilege that I may have, I'm over here like, [hold on a minute there playa sfx]. You know, wait a second. We ain't gonna just--you know, I'm not giving up. Nah, but all jokes aside, that's awesome. I love that, and I was very curious about it from the beginning, and yes, definitely shout-out to Mrs. Orbe-Austin, your partner in crime and business and life, what's up? Let's talk about your journey though and why you got into psychology. Like, what was the path there?Dr. Orbé-Austin: The first reason I got into psychology is a pretty simplistic notion of psychology. So about eighth grade I always remember developing this advice column for my classmates called Ask Dr. Rich. So at the time I thought being a psychologist meant telling people what to do, and so, you know, as an eighth-grader with all the knowledge that I had at that time--Zach: All the answers.Dr. Orbé-Austin: Right, so why not, you know, do that? So I really enjoyed being able--and, you know, at that time it was usually relationship issues that people were writing in about, and I had my little column, and again, not that I had that great of experience in relationships, but I felt like I could provide something enough for people to seek my assistance. And then as I got a better understanding of what it meant to be a psychologist I came to realize that I could make a contribution down that path in terms of really being able to help people be their best selves. And so the background that I typically give is I'm a son of Haitian immigrants, so that automatically means that I was destined to be a medical doctor, right? [laughs] So for a long time I thought I was gonna be a psychiatrist, right, 'cause that fills both the medical doctor side and then my desire to work on behavior. Thankfully enough my sister became a pediatrician, my oldest sister, so I think she gave me some room to navigate and negotiate the reality that "Hm, maybe I'm not actually gonna go down that path of medicine but continue to pursue my dream of going into psychology." And so through college I was pre-med. I thought I was going down that path. I [?] all the things to really shape the direction of going into medical school, but then I began to know and understand when I took an internship after my junior year at Columbia University and I had the good fortune to work with a black male psychologist, who at the time to me was, like, a unicorn. So I had never actually met a psychologist in person, let alone a black male psychologist, and began to really know and understand that 1. it's possible to go down that route, 2. that I would have mentorship to really be able to know and understand how to navigate that path and negotiate it. So I had to have that hard conversation one day with my parents that I was not going to pursue medicine, but I was still gonna be a doctor, and it was just going to be a psychologist. So ultimately that's the path I took. I pursued, you know, my counseling psychology degree and really along the way understood that that was the best fit for me.Zach: Can we talk a little bit about--so you talked about it, you know, that seeing yourself represented is what then gave you the gumption to then pursue it yourself, but can we talk a little bit more about black representation in mental health and, recognizing that you are a child of immigrants, Haitian immigrants, but I'm curious about what have you seen in your presence as a black man make with your black and brown patients and students in perspective or hopeful psychologists and psychiatrists?Dr. Orbé-Austin: One of the particular missions that I've always had is to really increase the representation of black mental health practitioners, I'll say, in general in the field. So when we look at the numbers right now they're abysmal. Less than 4% of psychologists are black, and I'd say less than 2% of psychologists are black males. And it's typically across the board you see those similar numbers in psychiatry and social work, so the people that tend to engage clinically with our folks are not the people that look like them, right? And so over 86% for instance of psychologists in the U.S. are white. So what I was able to know and recognize as I said before 1. is to be able to see individuals who look like me pursuing the same profession as I wanted to pursue was very inspirational to me, but they also were able to provide me guidance and a home to talk about some of the challenges of being the only one in a lot of these spaces. So when I started my doctorate program I was the only black male there. I often times was primarily the only male in a lot of these rooms, and so, you know, the running joke in my program is that they would have one black male, like, every four, five years, and so I would meet--you know, I met the person who came on before me who was the black male for that time, and subsequently I knew I needed to join organizations and connect with professionals in the field, so I was able to be exposed to the Association of Black Psychologists very early on in my career, so I felt like I had an opportunity to engage with other folks doing this work. And then I saw it full center when I was able to do some of my training. One of the stories that I always talk about when we talk about things coming full circle as a child of Haitian immigrants, I had an opportunity to do an internship at King's County Hospital out in Brooklyn, New York, and I had the opportunity to actually work with this Haitian psychiatrist who had created a special clinic for Haitian patients, Haitian-American patients, and one of the things that he did as a psychiatrist primarily was to provide medication, but he recognized that a lot of these folks needed some more support, and so he was able to collaborate with me to start, like, a psychology clinic where I would do therapy with some of these folks, and the fact that I could speak their language, the fact that I knew their culture, the fact that, again, I looked like them, I think was so helpful in 1. helping them to not be afraid of the journey that they were taking through the mental health landscape, and then 2. it really enabled them to feel like they were being heard, understood, respected, and seen in ways that they probably may have never felt that they had been seen before, especially as many of them had recently immigrated to the U.S. and were trying to find their way.Zach: And so, you know, it's interesting to your earliest point around, like, the representation in the space being abysmal, like, it's challenging too, like, as someone who has, at various points in their life, like, pursued psychiatry or therapy or, like, just talking to somebody, right, it's not only, like, finding somebody, but, like, that small pool then limits some of the flexibility that I've heard my white counterparts have where it's like, "Okay, I have this psychiatrist, but we don't really click, so I'm gonna go and try to find somebody else, right?" Like, they'll shop around. Like, for me, you know, it's kind of like, "Well, dang. I mean, he and I don't really vibe on this level," or "She and I don't really agree about this," or whatever the case may be, but "She looks at me, and she at least empathizes with the bulk reality of my experience. So don't let me be picky. I'm just gonna stay here."Dr. Orbé-Austin: Yeah, and it becomes a challenge, especially when folks reach out to me and say that they're looking for some level of support and they say, "Hey, I want an African-American therapist." And typically, you know, I do say to shop around to find a fit, right? And so I want to give them as many options as possible. I end up being able to give, hopefully on the better end, three to four options, and then if they go to the first one and they feel like, "Okay, there's not a connection there," they may or may not actually then move forward on it, right? So I know that by the time someone gets to a point of really wanting to go to therapy, it's a major step for them to make that call, right? And so I always want to honor that and honor that, you know, effort to really make sure that they link with someone as soon as possible, and someone that they can vibe with, right? 'Cause yes, someone can look like you, but if you don't feel comfortable enough to be open and vulnerable to them, then it's just not gonna work, right? So that's the thing that I talk about, 'cause, you know, we can all feel like, "Hey, you know, they look like us," but if we don't connect, whether it's a co-worker or, you know, other person, we're like, "Yeah, they're black, but, you know, I'm not really feeling 'em in that way."Zach: All skinfolk ain't kinfolk.Dr. Orbé-Austin: Right? So it is a dilemma in helping people to feel like they have options and, you know, it's all right to kind of go to one or two to get the best fit.Zach: So you're a black man. You are in a highly--like, a very white academic space, and I'm really curious about what--like, what do micro-aggressions and just straight on aggressions look like for you, right? And I'm looking at your profile picture. I would imagine, you know, you're not catfishing anybody. You probably look a lot like your profile picture. So you look--like, you present... you don't present, like, a child, but you don't, like, present a very old man. Like, you present moderately young, right? And so I'm really curious as to, like, what does it look like just being you in these spaces, and, like, what do micro-aggressions look like, what do actual aggressions look like, how do you navigate that? What are some maybe patterns of behavior that you see operating as who you are in these spaces?Dr. Orbé-Austin: Sure. So I'm glad that you raised my picture, right, and how young I look. I appreciate the compliment. [both laugh] But that was one of the big ones, right, when I started out in either doing clinical work or in teaching - for a while I used to teach at the collegiate level, and I would get always, "Well, you look really young to be a professor," or "You look really young to be a therapist," right? And sure, on one hand it could be about age, but I think after a while if you still keep getting that same thing--and my white colleagues who were just as young as me were not getting that--then it made me begin to think about, "Well, what does that necessarily mean in terms of credibility, being authentic? How do I then recognize how to be seen for who I am?" So that was one, and then the other piece of it, you know, often times that would come up is the typical "Wow, you're very articulate," right? Whether it's, you know, giving a speech to a group of faculty members, whether it's, you know, being able to do a case presentation at a [?] conference. So often times there would be these underlying micro-aggressions that were really racially and, you know, gender-based. So if, for instance, you know, sometimes people would say, "Oh, you know, don't dress in a particular manner because, you know, it might be intimidating to the students. Just dress down," right? So for me it's like--you know, I wear a suit to work, right? That's my style. But to be told--I'll never forget this--to be told by a supervisor, "Well, you know, like, you may not want to do that. It might just be intimidating," and again, in that moment I didn't necessarily feel like, "Oh, okay. Well, this is clearly a micro-aggression," and that's the nature of micro-aggressions, right? That in the moment it kind of catches you a little off-guard. It's not so direct, but then when you sit and think about it for a little bit, then you recognize that, "Okay, my white male colleague wears a suit and a tie every day and is a little older than me, and I'm not imagining, you know, he was told the same thing," right? So it's managing and navigating that path. And then on the other path, you know, some of the work that I do as a consultant going into these different spaces, corporate spaces or, you know, academic institutions and people being surprised, right, they may not necessarily see my picture. They may have a conversation with me, but then when I show up in the room, you know, you get that sense of "Oh." You know, my name sounds a little bit generic, you know, especially when it was Richard Austin, right? So sometimes they're not expecting me to show up as the person that I am, and so they do a little double-take, right, and then they catch themselves, right? And so I get that, right? But now I've always said, to be quite honest, that my PhD has provided me access to many spaces that I otherwise wouldn't have had because of who I am, right? That those three little letters enable me to step into rooms that otherwise I'd be shut out of, and when I'm in those rooms I can then [?] my power, even though there is some level of pushback against it.Zach: And so, you know, it's interesting, 'cause I've spoken with folks--we have some mutual connections, and some of them also have, like, some really prestigious degrees, and so the conversation that I'll have with some of those folks is something like, you know, "My education and my profile can, like, preemptively trigger fragility and insecurity with my peers because they see the additional letters after my name," but I'm curious, like, have you ever experienced that yourself, or do you think that that's a bit more masked because of the fact that you're in, like, more formal academic spaces?Dr. Orbé-Austin: Well, not always am I in these spaces, right? So for instance, one of the types of consulting I do is diversity, equity and inclusion work, and in those spaces, particularly when I'm in corporate rooms where, yes, they can get that, you know, I have those three letters, but there is pushback, you know, against some of the things that I may have to offer, I think, because of, you know, who I am and what I may represent, right? And so we, you know, go into some of these spaces knowing that people might talk about wanting to do the work, but when it's time to do the work and when the work that's being guided by a black male is not what you want, then there can be a particular level of backlash or, you know, aggressive pushback that needs to be navigated and negotiated. Zach: And so then, you know, I think that leads us well into--you know what? No, I'ma pause on this actually, because, like, we have not formally talked about this on the podcast, but I think it leads well into, like, the main topic that we're gonna get into today, which is impostor syndrome. Can we talk a little bit about, like, gaslighting, and, like, what that is? And then perhaps how gaslighting can tie into impostor syndrome or exacerbating impostor syndrome.Dr. Orbé-Austin: Mm-hmm, yeah. I mean, I think that that's a great segue, because when we talk about gaslighting, in essence it's trying to convince you that what you're experiencing, seeing, listening to, is not your experience, right? That if someone makes a clearly racist, sexist, homophobic comment, clearly has done something offensive and they say to you, "Well, you know, you're reading too much into that," right? Or, you know, "I don't really understand how you came to that conclusion," right? And in the workspace, again, it's very difficult, especially one if there's a power disparity, right? Like, if the person doing the gaslighting is a supervisor or a senior peer, it's difficult to feel confident and comfortable enough to push back. And then two it's ultimately hard to then feel like you can win, right? Because if someone is in their particular stance, it's very difficult to argue with unless you have, you know, video recordings and you play it back and you're like, "Yeah," because they can say, "Well, I don't remember saying that," or "No, that's not what I said," right, and then you're left to kind of say, "No, this is my experience. This is what I heard," and if you don't have the "data," so to speak, they may just dismiss it, right? Say that you're just being sensitive or you're playing the race card or you're doing this, and then you're left totally powerless to really be able to make your argument stick.Zach: Or situations where they say, "Well, you know," to the point around race cards, like, "Maybe it's the fact that you're just not good enough, and so now you're leaning back on this as an excuse." Dr. Orbé-Austin: Mm-hmm, yeah.Zach: Well, let's talk about this. Let's talk about the concept of impostor syndrome. Like, in Season 1, it was, like, one of our first episodes actually, we were talking about impostor syndrome, but we really didn't get into, like, the science of it. We more so talked about, like, believing in yourself and, you know, knowing who you are and not trying to be fake, right, being authentic, but we didn't get into the neuroscience and, like, the genuine psychology of impostor syndrome and how it relates specifically to black and brown people. Can we talk a little bit just about what impostor syndrome is as a concept and how you would define it medically?Dr. Orbé-Austin: Sure. So first off I will say that impostor syndrome is not a diagnosable disorder, right? So it was first coined by two psychologists, Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes, in actually 1978, and at the time they were studying very successful female students and faculty members at an academic institution, and what they noticed was that these women, who seemingly were high achievers, did not feel as such, right? They felt that they were frauds. They felt that they were going to be exposed as not smart enough, not good enough. They, again, thought that they were impostors, so they coined that term to really speak about this phenomenon when people have difficulty internalizing their accomplishments, their skills and their experiences. They're constantly in fear of being exposed as a fraud, and as a result of that they tend to overwork to compensate for their perceived lack of ability. So when we talk about impostor syndrome, it's really that experience that someone may have that isn't necessarily a medical or mental health, you know, disorder, but it tends to be something that impacts people who, again, 70% of the population have talked about experiencing impostor feelings, and so it often though impacts people who are high achievers, because that level of success they do not attribute to their own smarts or intelligence. They attribute it to luck. They attribute it to, you know, key relationships, and so they're constantly haunted by this feeling of being a fraud.Zach: And so then, you know, what are some practical ways that impostor syndrome shows up at work?Dr. Orbé-Austin: So when we talk about impostor syndrome in general, we can talk about the fact that a lot of what we call impostor-triggering workplaces exist nowadays where in people are always feeling like they need to prove themselves over and over again, that they're never good enough, and when we talk about black and brown folks especially, they have a double burden to bear. So on the external end they're actually dealing with lies and discrimination and people and systems that are telling them that they're not good enough, that they don't belong, that somehow or another they did not earn their spot, and then they're dealing with their own internal voices that also tell them that and make them feel like, "All right, well, maybe I shouldn't be here. Maybe they are right. Maybe I was lucky. Maybe they made a mistake," and it leaves you then feeling like you don't necessarily deserve more. So at work it means you might not ask for a raise. You might not take on a key project because you fear that you'll finally be exposed if you take up that key project, which could actually give you more visibility and access, but you're concerned that it will be a house of cards and you'll finally be found out. It makes you feel often times stuck in trying to really look for a better position, either within or outside the organization, because again of this notion of "Well, I'm just lucky to be here. I shouldn't ask for too much." And it comes up when your boss or peers will say to you, "Oh, well, you made a mistake on that one thing," or "Oh, that didn't go that well," or you beat yourself up as well, because one of the key elements that goes hand in hand with impostor syndrome is perfectionism, right? Because if you feel that the only way you deserve to be anywhere is to be perfect and to overwork to strive for that perfection, then you can work yourself to the levels of burnout, and if you make any simple mistake you will beat yourself up over it and not allow yourself to really grow, learn from it and move forward.Zach: And so then what are ways that you think that organizations--'cause you talked about organizations that exacerbate impostor syndrome, right? What do you think are some ways that organizations exacerbate impostor syndrome for everybody, and then what are ways that you believe that organizations exacerbate impostor syndrome particularly for black and brown folks?Dr. Orbé-Austin: Sure. So I talk about some of the triggers in today's work culture. One of them is this notion of performance, right? When I talk to [?] organizations and ask them what their performance is and some of them will give me blank looks or they'll report back that "Oh, you know, it changes, and, you know, it's constantly shifting." If people don't have an understanding of what good performance is, right, like, what they're striving to do, then they'll feel like they're not hitting their targets and they feel, again, that they have to keep proving themselves. And so on the organization's end they may feel like "Well, that's great 'cause it's gonna drive productivity," right? But ultimately it may drive people out of the organization. It may drive people to burnout, as seen through absenteeism, as seen through, you know, different ways of not necessarily being at the level of production that people want. So the first thing I tell organizations to do is to really make sure that you have a legitimate performance process, typically not just once a year, because again, if someone doesn't know either that she's doing well or that there's room for improvement, she's just gonna keep working working working until burnout, right? So that's the first way that organizations can really address and reduce impostor syndrome. The other thing is the manager is one of the key people to deliver the message for the organization. So, you know, management needs to be trained to know and understand how to provide appropriate feedback. So you have some managers who feel like "Well, I don't give praise at all. I don't give positive feedback because people don't really deserve it. They'd have to do something great, and no one really does anything great. You know, by me giving negative feedback, it helps them to keep moving forward and get better," and that has not proven to be the case. Research does not support that notion, that the more negative feedback that you give without any positive feedback the better people will perform. So it's helping people to really understand what constructive feedback is. Again, often times people who rise to the level of manager were great individual contributors, so they don't know and haven't mastered the skill sets needed to be a good manager. To be a good manager is to really develop people, to help people grow and learn, and if you don't have that lens you will continue to make some of the same mistakes that drive impostor syndrome and sustain it, especially when we talk about black and brown folk. It's helping them to feel that they actually belong, that they're not given the projects that nobody else wants, that if they're on the team they're given some the lower level types of projects, that you actually help them to know and understand that "You deserve to be here, we respect and value your skill sets, your expertise and your experience, and we're invested in keeping you and helping you to grow," right? So often times, you know, these notions of belonging and psychological safety that I talk about tend to be overlooked by organizations because, again, for them it's just about their bottom line. They want to make sure that people are producing at the levels that they need them to, but they don't necessarily think about the cost to those individuals, and so they end up marginalizing certain people, and when those people leave, then it's this self-fulfilling prophecy of "Oh. Well, yeah, they didn't belong here anyway," and they don't really learn and understand that, well, maybe it was the organization that didn't create a welcoming enough space for them to actually excel.Zach: You know, and it's interesting when you talk about, like, performance and, like, being really clear with, like, you know, what does good look like, I think it's challenging as work continues to become less transactional, and, like, high-paying jobs become more quote-unquote "strategic" and "qualitative" and "subjective." I think, like, with that comes a danger, or at least more opportunity, to have ambiguity in terms of what good performance looks like, and it gives managers space, unconsciously, consciously, maliciously or otherwise, to create hierarchies in their mind, like, outside of whatever system you want to use to grade something. Because if work is super subjective--like, one thing about consulting, right, like, so much of consulting has to do with relationships and, like, the work itself, because you're not making X amount of widgets a day. You're putting together a PowerPoint or you're writing a paragraph, and so much of those things are again, like, just inherently subjective. Like, PowerPoint design, I mean--and I know there's plenty of folks who hate PowerPoint, but, you know, there's some PowerPoints that look great to some folks and look terrible to others. There's some people who love the way that you run a meeting and there's people who think it's the worst thing in the world, right? So it's like--I guess my question to you, as we continue to think about the future of work and we think about the more [soft?] skills are gonna be needed to do the type of work that's gonna be left when you think about what automation is gonna pick up and kind of, like, what we're going to pick up after automation digs through the rubble of work. What are ways do you think that we can still create some norms, some performance standard or expectation norms, that don't exacerbate or create, like, impostor organizations?Dr. Orbé-Austin: I think that's a great question. One of the things that immediately comes to mind is 1. being able to acknowledge just the level of inherent bias in the process as a whole, right, that we as humans, and we as machines, tend to have bias, right? So a lot of organizations are really all about technology and AI, and AI ultimately will reduce bias and discrimination, and then when we look at, you know, some of these apps that, you know, when you take a picture they can't recognize black faces or they recognize them as monkeys. We know that people make these particular programs and artificial intelligences, so being able to constantly understand, be on the lookout, for the level of bias that exists in performance reviews. So one of the things that my wife and I talk about, we do some work around gender bias, and one of the presentations we talk about is that women tend to get more vague feedback, feedback that does not allow them to, again, think about ways to improve. So, you know, you said this term "strategic" before, and that's something I will say to you that comes up a lot, that women will be like, "Well, you need to be more strategic," and I always say to my female clients, "Ask them what that means," right? What does that look like, right? Men tend to get much more tangible, concrete feedback about how to improve, so it enables them to clearly know and understand what they're striving for, right? And, you know, I think it's some of the same type of challenges with professionals of color where if they get any feedback it may not necessarily be substantial or substantive enough to help them understand how to grow. It may just be punitive. You know, I was reading this article the other day about a hiring process where different black candidates were coming in to the process, and one of the, you know, committee members kept asking and talking about, you know, dress and timeliness to the black candidates, but to the white candidates that never came up. And thankfully there was someone else on the committee who noticed that and said, "You know, I have a question for you. Like, why is it that you're asking questions about timeliness and dress to, you know, certain candidates and not others, and why is it that the candidates that you're asking it about are the black candidates?" And the woman, you know, was able to [?] enough say, "Well, you know, I used to supervise this black woman, and she used to come in late all the time, and, you know, I wasn't really happy about that, so I really wanted to kind of, you know, make sure that that was talked about," right? And so you see that she was able to even pinpoint it, right, that this was not even unconscious bias. It was a conscious bias of saying, "Hey, this is something that is not acceptable," and then we have the issues related to, like, hair discrimination now, which is a big thing that, you know, in 2020 we're still talking about how people wear their hair as a means of, you know, determining whether or not they belong is just unfathomable to me. So organizations have to be honest with the bias in their processes and in the leadership norms and culture and continue to attack it, that it's a life-long learning process, that it's not this "Okay, we're good now. We did some diversity, equity and inclusion work, and we got our certificate, so we're good to go for the next fifty years," right? It's really institutionalizing that process. It's really saying "How are we enabling all of the different people who come into our organization to feel that they belong, that they're psychologically safe, that there is room for them here?"Zach: So you said a phrase and I'm gonna follow up on that, but before I get there, you know, you talk about--and again, I'm excited because I have someone in the space, so I want to--and I've continued to say when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion work, I wish that--if there was a way I could've still got the bag, Richard, if I could have still gotten the bag and gotten into psychology, but I just couldn't see myself, like, getting the bag, not getting into that whatever, but I really am intrigued by the why behind the things that people do, right? So when you talk about giving feedback to black and brown employees, to people of color, do you think there's any role that, like, self-preservation or fragility plays into not giving into the type of feedback that black and brown folks receive? Like, in the ambiguity of the feedback as well as, like, the subjectivity of the feedback, and maybe even, like, the lack of substance in the feedback itself. Like, do you think that fragility or self-preservation plays into that?Dr. Orbe-Austin: Yes, definitely, because giving feedback is a very difficult, uncomfortable thing to do, and you can be called out when you're giving the feedback as to the things you're lacking and doing, right? So if you are a manager who doesn't feel secure in managing, right, 1. you tend to not give any kind of feedback until you have to in that year-end review, that one-time process, and there's some level of fear and anxiety, especially if you find black and brown folks more threatening, that if you give them feedback that may be upsetting that it may either come back to you in the form of them saying, "Hey, well, I also want to be able to give you some constructive feedback," and 2. if you believe that "Oh, well, they're just gonna be angry," then you will refrain from doing anything until, you know, again, you have to, and then ultimately if you don't feel that they actually belong in the organization consciously or unconsciously, it is a way for you to facilitate an exit, right? So I had another opportunity with an organization to talk about some of their challenges within their retention process, and one of the things that they raised was the reality that when they looked at the individuals who were on tips, they were consistently black employees, and the HR person, you know, thankfully said to the managers, well, "Why is that? I noticed this, and what does this mean?" Right? And it's the same way I used to talk about in schools that black males and suspended and expelled at higher rates than their white counterparts even though they may have the same levels and types of infractions, right, that some of the danger, you know, due to the fragility is "Okay, black and brown bodies are threatening to me, so therefore I have to find ways to protect myself and to punish them, either in the professional space or the academic space." So there was a case the other day where a young black male had the police called on him in his collegiate classroom because he refused to move his seat, and his white male professor decided that the way he was going to negotiate it was through punishment and to call the police to remove the young man rather than 1. recognizing that, you know, the reason he didn't want to move his seat is he had already come in, he had sat down, but the professor was trying to tell him he needed to come to the front, right? And again, like, would he have done that with a white student? Probably not.Zach: Well, you know, it's interesting too. I think that also speaks to, like, just the bizarre ways that, like, punishment for black and brown bodies, like, escalates so fast. It's like, "Wait, I went from not talking to anybody, there not being any issue, to now I'm talking to, like, someone with a huge difference in power than I have. Where did this come from? Like, how did we get here so fast?"Dr. Orbe-Austin: Yeah, it escalates. And I will say to you, you know, we talk about this issue of micro-aggressions and straight up aggressions. I remember one of the first jobs that I had, you know, while I was in graduate school was working in this college office, and again, only black male, primarily white women working in the space. It was a job to actually help, you know, primarily black and Latino students who had gotten kicked out of a four-year college--this was a community college--helping them to get back academically to a space to be able to return. So it was an advising position. I was focused on doing the work relative to helping these students. So I come in, go to my office, close my door, see my students and go, and that was not acceptable to my white female supervisor. So she decided that she needed to watch me or kind of know and understand what it was that I was doing, and chance would have it, you know, that this is where I actually met my wife, the other Dr. Orbe-Austin. She came on board, and when she came on board this woman said to her, "Well, can you watch him?" Like, you know, "'Cause you're another person of color. Can you watch him and see, like, what he's up to?" Now, mind you, this woman and her other colleagues, all her other direct reports, were white women, would go out to these long lunches, go to Lohman's, go shopping and do all these other things. I was in, you know, my office seeing these students, but I was the one who was suspect, and it got to a turning point where, you know, again I was able to connect with my wife [?], and she told me, "Yeah, I was sent to kind of surveil you," right? And it's unbelievable, right? At that stage of my life and my career that, you know, that level of micro-aggression is like, "Okay, he's doing his work, but I can't see him 'cause his door's closed." Well, my door's closed 'cause I'm talking to students and I'm dealing with them in that way, right? So that's some of the hidden ways, 'cause had my wife and I not connected and she then was like, "Oh, yeah. I'm gonna watch him and report back," then it would just be "Oh, he's lazy. He's not doing his job."Zach: Yeah. "I don't know what he's really doing. He says he's doing this, but I don't see that."Dr. Orbe-Austin: Right, and so when we talk about this issue of privilege, you know, I often talk about the fact that white privilege means that you're given the benefit of the doubt relative to competence, relative to innocence, and you just have a higher trust point, right, that people will tend to believe you and give you the benefit of the doubt even if you're not doing anything right. So that's the heavier burder that we carry, and it's not--you know, it's not playing the race card. It's not an excuse. It's the reality. It's what the data shows. It's what time and again the numbers show from a wide variety of vantage points.Zach: It's interesting, like, your point around being at work and you're a credentialed professional, right? You're doing your job, and yet there are these informal hierarchies, right, that are forming around you. You know, I've experienced that myself. Like, I've been in situations where, you know, I have people who are supposed to be junior to me or at peer level to me, but again, people are typically not as slick as they think they are, right? Like, the reality is black and brown people have to be extraordinarily vigilant in just paying attention, which we're gonna get into psychological safety in a minute, but it's just interesting because I've been in those situations more than a few times where I'll be, you know, on paper supposed to be this title, but then there's folks around and, like, I'm noticing they're kind of checking on me or they're asking a bunch of questions or they're--they feel empowered to try to coach me or tell me what I'm not doing or ask me what I'm doing or, you know, say, "Well, I talked to So-and-so, and we think you should be doing--" And it's like, "Well, who is we? You're not my boss." Okay, so again, what we're talking about and what I'm hearing, frankly I'm getting stressed just, like, re-thinking about those things and hearing you describe your experience. What are ways that leaders can create higher degrees of psychological safety so that employees, particularly black and brown ones, can work more effectively?Dr. Orbe-Austin: So one of the things I talk about, and this comes up a good deal when I do some DEI work, is psychological safety, at the end of the day, is telling someone or someone having the feeling that they can show up at work and be their true selves without fear of negative consequence, right, that they can really talk about their experiences, kind of share their beliefs and not be silenced, and a culture has to be developed in order for someone to feel that, right? And what that means on the leadership end is being able to really allow room for differing viewpoints one, not punishing people if they don't necessarily agree with what the leaders with, two really actually listening to people instead of just waiting to talk next after someone else is talking and being able to understand and have a certain level of empathy for someone else's experience. Being able to be vulnerable yourself as a leader and sharing some of the things that you may be experiencing to let people know that you're not just superhuman or perfect, that you do make mistakes. Take accountability when you do make mistakes as well to again demonstrate that it's all right for you to not have everything in order, but that, you know, it's really adopting a growth mindset of saying that, you know, we're here to do good work." At the same time, we still are striving to learn and grow in those ways, right? So creating these spaces to be able to have people have a voice is one of the easiest ways for honestly organizations to develop psychological safety, right? So it's having access to the leadership. When I meet with people and I talk about "Well, how often do you talk to even your manager?" And they're like, "Oh, you know, we meet maybe once every two or three months," and my mouth is like totally, like, open... like, yeah, that's not good, right? Like, you have to be able to build relationships with your manager. Your manager has to be able to know who you are, not just, again, as someone filling a space and making widgets, but what are your aspirations? What are your hopes and dreams? What are your plans for being in this organization? And because so much management training is lacking or is not as in-depth as it needs to be, a good deal of managers feel ill-equipped to have some of these conversations, and so they just have very much transactional types of engagements with their direct reports where in they're just wanting to know "Okay, did you do X project? Let's do a check-off," rather than really taking the role as coach/mentor/growth agent. Zach: What can individuals do to combat impostor syndrome, right? So we talked about it at the organizational level, but what can individuals do?Dr. Orbe-Austin: So we talk about in our book this model that we created called the 3 C's model, which stands for Clarify, Choose, Create, and it starts with really clarifying your impostor origin story. So we all have origin stories, and some of us are better at really being honest with it than others, but it's being able to know and recognize "Well, what may have triggered or started this impostor journey?" Often times it might be because you were labeled in your family early on as, you know, either the super smart one who makes no mistakes and so you just feel like you have to be perfect and if you make a mistake, then that means you're an impostor, or on the other hand you were labeled as the social one and another sibling or family member was labeled as the smart one, right, so then you didn't feel like, "Oh, there's room for me to be smart and social." So recognizing that the origin. Not to again blame anyone, but to know and understand where that comes from. And then the other part of Clarify is to know what your triggers are. So for a lot of people with impostor syndrome, new experiences are a trigger point. So a new job, new project, meeting new people, may help them begin to feel increasingly anxious about being found out, that "Oh, this is gonna be the job I fall apart. This is gonna be the project where I'm exposed as a fraud. This person is gonna see right through me." So knowing and understanding that and then really being able to get support for that. So the last part of clarify is to change your narrative, right? Like, we all have a particular story that we tell ourselves, and people with impostor syndrome typically have a very negative narrative about who they are and what they've accomplished and how they've accomplished it. So being able to honestly look at and own your accomplishments, really being able to say, "I really earned that because of my effort and some of the actual skill that I have." And then we go to Choose, where it's speaking your truth. So the reason often times impostor syndrome tends to be sustained is because people suffer in silence, right? Like, they feel that they're ashamed to even raise it, right? Like, if you're a senior VP, you know, everyone around you looks like--you know, all of your family members feel like "Oh, you made it," then you might be afraid to say, "Well, I'm actually not happy, and I actually feel like I'm an impostor." So there's this fear that people will ridicule you for doing that. So being able to say it out loud can be freeing to begin the process of healing that. And a part of healing it is changing not only the narrative but some of these automatic negative thoughts you may have about what people think about you, how you label yourself and how you unfairly compare yourself to others. So being able to create what we call a positive [?] instead of these immediate when something goes wrong the automatic negative thought is "Oh, I'm a failure," or "Here we go again, I'm an impostor." And then in the midst of all this it's really taking care of yourself, really being able to make self-care a key priority for yourself in choosing, and then finally, you know, the last piece of the puzzle is trying on and creating. When we talk about Create, it's experimenting with new roles. So a lot of people with impostor syndrome tend to be the helpers, the go-to person in their friend/family network, so they don't have the room to ask for support or assistance or feel ashamed to do it, to actually taking on the role of asking for help and feeling like it doesn't expose you to being weak or not being able to do things, making sure you build your dream team of support, getting a coach, getting a mentor, you know, getting people who will support you in your impostor syndrome-defeating journey, and then finally understanding that impostor syndrome can be triggered at any point in your life. So when we talk about defeating impostor syndrome, we don't talk about it as an end-all and be-all cure. We talk about it as decreasing the frequency and intensity of those feelings and that when they do occur again understanding and identifying the conditions for your optimal performance, right, which is the self-care, which is the dream team, which is changing your narrative.Zach: Man, Dr. Orbe-Austin, this is incredible. I want to make sure I give you space to plug your book, to talk about where people can learn more about you, where they can find you, all of that.Dr. Orbe-Austin: Sure. So again, I appreciate this opportunity. It's been a pleasure to chat with you. If people want to know more about the work that I do, they can go to my website, DynamicTransitionsLLP.com. So my wife and I, our consultancy is called Dynamic Transitions Psychological Consulting, LLP, so you can go online, and it will have information about the work that we do. It will have information about the book, which will come out in April. So we're really excited about that. Again, the name of the book is Own Your Greatness: Overcome Impostor Syndrome, Beat Self-Doubt, and Succeed in Life, and, you know, one of the things we felt was important when we wrote the book was to have it be something dynamic and alive, so a part of it talks about, you know, the experience of impostor syndrome, but it also then has activities for you to do to really help in overcoming impostor syndrome. So it's not necessarily solely just an academic guide to things. It's actually some practical tips and applied types of activities that will enable you to move forward in living your best life.Zach: I love it, I love it. Man, it's just been great. I'm just so excited, because I do believe--and my goal, our collective goal at Living Corporate, is to get more psychologists and psychiatrists on our platform, because when it comes to really making sure that we are centering and amplifying black and brown voices and, like, effectively empathizing with them, I think it's important to have people on who have some of the academic background and knowledge and, like, formal understanding, not only for our own sake because a lot of us can't afford or for a variety of reasons, you know, don't have those resources, but maybe this will encourage us to go seek help that we desperately need just as an output of being a part of an oppressive capitalistic patriarchal system. But I also think it's important that we have folks like you on for the folks who are not black and brown who listen to our platform, because so often times education is used as a barrier to not listen to black people, black and brown people, or hear our stories. This, like, Euro-centric, like, demand for quantitative data and research that in itself is inherently biased, but whatever. So I'm just thankful that you're here, that's what I'm trying to say, okay? I appreciate you.Dr. Orbe-Austin: Well, I appreciate you creating this platform, because when I heard about it I was so excited to kind of engage with you, because as I've talked about many times, a lot of our folks, particularly in these corporate spaces, are suffering in silence and may feel like they're the only ones having some of these struggles, and I think you present a space for them to not feel that they need to go through it alone, and you provide a certain level of hope and strategies for them to really be able to free themselves from some of the things that may be more corrosive to their quality of life and really being able to help them believe they can live their best lives.Zach: Man, I mean... [applause sfx] You know, that's claps for both of us, you know what I mean? We're both celebrating right now. All right, y'all, look. This has been Living Corporate, okay? Really glad that y'all were able to stop by. You heard Dr. Orbe-Austin and all of the information. Make sure you check it out in the show notes. Make sure you check us out at living-corporate--please say the dash--dot com. If you want to check us on the social media, we all over the place. Just Google Living Corporate and we'll pop up. Until next time, y'all. Peace.
Retired FDNY firefighter and actor, Hisham Tawfiq joins the Roots of the Spirit Community as a regular contributor -- sharing his own path to healing and shining a light on the importance of health and wellness for Black men. Roots of the Spirit interview w/ Hisham from 2015: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f86EEzF1F9w Roots of the Spirit website profile of Hisham: https://www.rootsofthespirit.com/copy-of-hisham-tawfiq Instagram & twitter: hishamtawfiq Resources: Therapy for Black Men: https://therapyforblackmen.org/ The Homecoming Podcast with Dr. Thema: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxpb1ZdNd6M99Fhaw09H81Q/featured Therapy for Black Girls https://therapyforblackgirls.com/ The Association of Black Psychologists http://www.abpsi.org/find-psychologists/ HealHaus (Brooklyn) https://www.healhaus.com/
Black Folks Do Therapy is a podcast dedicated to helping reduce the stigma about mental health amongst the African American community. Dr. Anthony Smith is a licensed psychologist in Durham North Carolina and the owner of Alase Center For Enrichment and has been in business for 20 years. This podcast will incorporate a variety of topics dealing with mental health in addition to interviewing Black Psychologists around the world to bring a variety of perspectives on Black Mental Health. In today’s episode we discuss the benefits of having a culturally competent psychologist. Please remember to visit my website at www.alase.net for more information. You can reach me on twitter at @heartmindhealer. Our instagram and facebook are alasecenter.
What is the psychology of Black women? Dr. Huberta Jackson-Lowman has dedicated her career to answering this question. She is the immediate past president of the Association of Black Psychologists, an international organization dedicated towards liberation of the African mind, empowerment of African character, and illumination the African spirit. In this episode, Dr. Afiya and Dr. Huberta Jackson-Lowman discuss all things Black women's mental health.
Psychology can take you on a journey to discover yourself, your purpose, and to change our world. In this episode, Dr. Afiya engages in a meditative conversation with Dr. Mawiyah Kambon on the history of Black psychology and the process of merging psychology with African spirituality. Dr. Mawiyah Kambon, is a licensed psychologist, past president of the Association of Black Psychologists, and founder of the Sankofa Journey African travel company. She took Dr. Afiya on her first trip to Africa about 10 years ago. Dr. Kambon will be leading her next Sankofa Journey to Ghana and Benin from May 26 - June 8, 2020.
Racism is a public health crisis with deep, ongoing negative impacts on psychological and physical health. In this episode, Dr. Kristee Haggins, an African centered psychologist, discusses how to support healing racial trauma. Dr. Haggins describes how black people can connect with the truth of their history, cultivate healing, and make choices that are good for themselves, their families, and larger communities. Dr. Haggins also offers recommendations for the work that those who do not identify as black can do to promote racial healing and change. Listen and Learn: How do you know if you or someone you care about is experiencing racial trauma and stress? Effective healing and self-care practices that black communities are using to heal together Internal and collective “work” white and other non-black people can do to promote systematic and grassroots change Ways in which mental health professionals can better meet the needs of black and other diverse communities About Dr. Haggins: Dr. Kristee Haggins is a community healer, African centered psychologist and professor who takes a holistic approach to healing mind, body, spirit, and community. She is a founding member of Safe Black Space Community Healing Circles and is committed to promoting health and wellness particularly in the Black community. Dr. Haggins studied Psychology as an undergraduate at the University of Southern California where she received a B.A. with honors. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from The Ohio State University. Dr. Haggins has had a multifaceted career as a clinician, educator, consultant, trainer and university administrator. Currently, she is a professor at California Northstate University and at Alliant International University, Sacramento where she teaches courses in multicultural counseling and therapy skills. Dr. Haggins has expertise in racial stress and trauma; African American mental health; multicultural psychology/diversity issues; and spirituality and mental health. She offers training and tailored workshops and consultation in these areas, in addition to others upon request. In 2016 she was awarded the Community Healing Award by the Community Healing Network (CHN) for her collaboration with CHN and the Association of Black Psychologists. Resources: Safe Black Space Community Healing CirclesAssociation of Black PsychologistsThe Racial Healing Handbook by Annelise SinghSomebody Told a Lie One Day quote by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr. Kevin Washington is a licensed psychologist and assistant professor at Howard University, who has served as a behavioral consultant for Essence Magazine and BET, Black Entertainment Television. He is the President of the Association of Black Psychologists. He has degrees from Grambling State and Texas A&M. His work centers around rites of passage, ubuntu and ubuntu psychotherapy. Through his research and writing he seeks to assist people to live with power, purpose and passion.
Dr. Marva Robinson returns to The Context of White Supremacy. She's the president of the St. Louis Association of Black Psychologists and has been counseling black Ferguson residents since the police killing of Michael Brown Jr. When she visited us in December, she explained that an important aspect of the healing involved confronting the reality of Racism/White Power. We look forward to hearing an update on the mental health of black St. Louis residents. We're curious to see how the lack of indictments and subsequent shootings of Black people have impacted the Ferguson area. Some of our listeners began administering healing circles after Dr. Robinson's previous visit. Perhaps they can give us a word as well. We'll also hear from former South Carolina NAACP president Melvin Poole. We'll discuss the Charleston, SC shooting and coordinated White response. INVEST in The COWS - http://tiny.cc/ledjb CALL IN NUMBER: 760.569.7676 CODE 564943# SKYPE: FREECONFERENCECALLHD.7676 CODE 564943# The C.O.W.S. archives: http://tiny.cc/76f6p
HOW TO MAKE A NEGRO christian....GET THIS BOOK www.lulu.com/kamau301 Tonight we are blessed to be doing an interview with DR. HATE, a past 2 time president of the dc chapter of the Association of Black Psychologists, member of the FANON PROJECT, a critical study group doing detailed analysis on the life, works and impact of Frantz Fanon; known for his shows on WPFW, his annual HATE AWARDS shows & at times co-hosting I MIX WHAT I LIKE w/ Dr. Jared Ball http://imixwhatilike.org/ In 2011, he gave a magnificent presentation to ASCAC which is available below entitled: Frantz Fanon and Amos Wilson's Blueprint for Decolonizing the African Mind https://vimeo.com/33264374 DR. HATE will be here to add his wealth of detailed Fanon studies to our CONCLUSION of our Fanon series, in which we have been discussing on his chapter in Wretched of the Earth, entitled THE PITFALLS OF NATIONAL CONSCIOUSNESS. Please, let's make this an interactive show w/ your Fanon questions by calling in @ 760-454-1111 DR. HATE will be giving us 1 hour. After he departs, we will finish the last few pages, summarize & conclude our Fanon series
Episode 59: Today's Social Work Podcast is on incorporating religion and spirituality into social work practice with African Americans. Or at least that's the official title. The unofficial title is, "If my client brings God into the conversation, what should I do?" I spoke with Nancy Boyd-Franklin, best-selling author, multicultural researcher, family therapist and clinical trainer, and recipient of awards from the American Psychological Association, Association of Black Psychologists, and the American Family Therapy academy. When I was a social work intern, I worked with an African American mother who had AIDS and whose 6 children were HIV+. The father of her children had been an IV drug user who had died of AIDS. The mother was in poor health, and rarely sought her own treatment. I had a hard time tracking her down because she spent most of the day, every day, on public transportation with one child or another taking them to and from medical appointments. I remember being on the bus with her one day (because that was only place I could meet with her), listening to her talk about how she had successfully fought hospital administration to get treatment for one of her kids. Being the eager social work student that I was, fully prepared to acknowledge my clients strengths and resources, I told her that I was in awe of her strength. "How do you do it?" I asked her. Her response totally caught me off guard. She said, "The good lord will give me only as much as I can handle." I had no idea how to respond. See, I was expecting her to say something like, "a parent will do what a parent has to do," or maybe, "I don't know either; I sure could use a vacation." I expected her response to be much more... textbook? You know, the kind of response that I had read about in my textbooks so that I could follow up with, "and so if you took a vacation, what would be different?" Which really makes no sense at all since she was obviously not about to zip off to the Dominican Republic for a week at the beach. Not so textbook. In that moment, on the bus, I found myself completely at a loss for words. Not that I didn't have a million things running through my head, I did. I just thought they all sounded stupid. On one level I was trying to figure out what she meant: "ok. She said that the good lord will give her only as much as she can handle... does that mean that when she can't handle any more, she'll die? or that the good lord knows exactly how much she can handle and then when she can't handle any more the good lord will stop giving her things to handle, or is there a third option I'm just not thinking about. I mean, I'm just a social work intern, I'm not sure what I can offer above and beyond what the "good lord" can offer her, so what now?" Ok, so in case you got lost in all of my self-talk here's a quick recap. I asked my client a question. She responded. That's it. What should have come next was me saying something intelligent. Instead, what I said was, "Wow." So why did I have such a hard time coming up with an appropriate response? Well, for one, I thought that as a social worker I should know what my client meant, and I should understand what she meant... Another things was that I had a different belief system from my client and it didn't seem right to disagree with her, nor did it seem right to agree with her, because that wouldn't be genuine. My social work education did not prepare me to deal with issues of religion and spirituality. My textbooks didn't provide me with templates for how to respond when my clients brought up the issue of God. Prior to 2001, accreditation guidelines from the Council on Social Work Education didn't require schools to include spiritual assessment in the biopsychosocial assessment, which I talk about in more detail in Episode 2, Biopsychosocial-spiritual Assessment and Mental Status Exam. Another reason is that there has been a long and contentious relationship between religion and the helping professions. Religion was either the answer or the problem. On one hand, the social work profession is in part rooted in the Friendly Visitor movement which believed that the right version of religion was the answer to poverty. On the other hand, you have Freud's legacy of religion being considered an obsessional neurosis. So for many providers, the only safe middle ground was "Religion is not within my scope of practice and therefore I'm not going to deal with it at all." Well, today's guest, Nancy Boyd Franklin, would say that when religion or spirituality is part of a client's life, the effective provider has to be able to deal with and be willing to engage in conversations about it. "Wow" just won't cut it. She would see this mother's belief in the power of the good lord as a sign of strength and resilience, not weakness or pathology. She would also say that I could have simply responded to the mother's statement by saying, "tell me more." In today's interview, Nancy spoke about the heterogeneity of beliefs among Black Americans. She and I talked about the difference between religion and spirituality, what a church family is and why it is so important, whether or not social workers should ask about religion and spirituality if clients don't bring it up, and what the role of religion and spirituality is in traditional African American families. I interviewed Nancy at Temple University's School of Social Work. She was the invited speaker for the school's lecture series on social work research. For more information about Temple's School of Social Work, or the research lecture series, please visit their website at www.temple.edu/ssa.org. And now, without further ado, on to episode 59 of the Social Work Podcast. Incorporating religion and spirituality into social work practice with African Americans: Interview with Nancy Boyd-Franklin, Ph.D. For links to resources mentioned in this episode, or other episodes on social work topics, please visit our website at https://socialworkpodcast.com
Episode 59: Today's Social Work Podcast is on incorporating religion and spirituality into social work practice with African Americans. Or at least that's the official title. The unofficial title is, "If my client brings God into the conversation, what should I do?" I spoke with Nancy Boyd-Franklin, best-selling author, multicultural researcher, family therapist and clinical trainer, and recipient of awards from the American Psychological Association, Association of Black Psychologists, and the American Family Therapy academy. When I was a social work intern, I worked with an African American mother who had AIDS and whose 6 children were HIV+. The father of her children had been an IV drug user who had died of AIDS. The mother was in poor health, and rarely sought her own treatment. I had a hard time tracking her down because she spent most of the day, every day, on public transportation with one child or another taking them to and from medical appointments. I remember being on the bus with her one day (because that was only place I could meet with her), listening to her talk about how she had successfully fought hospital administration to get treatment for one of her kids. Being the eager social work student that I was, fully prepared to acknowledge my clients strengths and resources, I told her that I was in awe of her strength. "How do you do it?" I asked her. Her response totally caught me off guard. She said, "The good lord will give me only as much as I can handle." I had no idea how to respond. See, I was expecting her to say something like, "a parent will do what a parent has to do," or maybe, "I don't know either; I sure could use a vacation." I expected her response to be much more... textbook? You know, the kind of response that I had read about in my textbooks so that I could follow up with, "and so if you took a vacation, what would be different?" Which really makes no sense at all since she was obviously not about to zip off to the Dominican Republic for a week at the beach. Not so textbook. In that moment, on the bus, I found myself completely at a loss for words. Not that I didn't have a million things running through my head, I did. I just thought they all sounded stupid. On one level I was trying to figure out what she meant: "ok. She said that the good lord will give her only as much as she can handle... does that mean that when she can't handle any more, she'll die? or that the good lord knows exactly how much she can handle and then when she can't handle any more the good lord will stop giving her things to handle, or is there a third option I'm just not thinking about. I mean, I'm just a social work intern, I'm not sure what I can offer above and beyond what the "good lord" can offer her, so what now?" Ok, so in case you got lost in all of my self-talk here's a quick recap. I asked my client a question. She responded. That's it. What should have come next was me saying something intelligent. Instead, what I said was, "Wow." So why did I have such a hard time coming up with an appropriate response? Well, for one, I thought that as a social worker I should know what my client meant, and I should understand what she meant... Another things was that I had a different belief system from my client and it didn't seem right to disagree with her, nor did it seem right to agree with her, because that wouldn't be genuine. My social work education did not prepare me to deal with issues of religion and spirituality. My textbooks didn't provide me with templates for how to respond when my clients brought up the issue of God. Prior to 2001, accreditation guidelines from the Council on Social Work Education didn't require schools to include spiritual assessment in the biopsychosocial assessment, which I talk about in more detail in Episode 2, Biopsychosocial-spiritual Assessment and Mental Status Exam. Another reason is that there has been a long and contentious relationship between religion and the helping professions. Religion was either the answer or the problem. On one hand, the social work profession is in part rooted in the Friendly Visitor movement which believed that the right version of religion was the answer to poverty. On the other hand, you have Freud's legacy of religion being considered an obsessional neurosis. So for many providers, the only safe middle ground was "Religion is not within my scope of practice and therefore I'm not going to deal with it at all." Well, today's guest, Nancy Boyd Franklin, would say that when religion or spirituality is part of a client's life, the effective provider has to be able to deal with and be willing to engage in conversations about it. "Wow" just won't cut it. She would see this mother's belief in the power of the good lord as a sign of strength and resilience, not weakness or pathology. She would also say that I could have simply responded to the mother's statement by saying, "tell me more." In today's interview, Nancy spoke about the heterogeneity of beliefs among Black Americans. She and I talked about the difference between religion and spirituality, what a church family is and why it is so important, whether or not social workers should ask about religion and spirituality if clients don't bring it up, and what the role of religion and spirituality is in traditional African American families. I interviewed Nancy at Temple University's School of Social Work. She was the invited speaker for the school's lecture series on social work research. For more information about Temple's School of Social Work, or the research lecture series, please visit their website at www.temple.edu/ssa.org. And now, without further ado, on to episode 59 of the Social Work Podcast. Incorporating religion and spirituality into social work practice with African Americans: Interview with Nancy Boyd-Franklin, Ph.D. For links to resources mentioned in this episode, or other episodes on social work topics, please visit our website at http://socialworkpodcast.com