Staff Clinical Counselor and Group Therapy Program Coordinator
Licensed Clinical Counselor and Supervisor, Licensed Ohio Chemical Dependency Counselor, and International Certification in Alcohol and Drug Counseling
B.A. - African-American Studies; University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
M.S. - Human Resources and Counseling; East Central University, Ada, OK
EdD - Counseling Education; University of Cincinnati
I have over 18 years’ experience providing clinical counseling, administration, and supervision in a variety of settings across the country, including private residential facilities, inpatient programs, and community mental health centers. During that time, I have worked with delinquent youth, survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, substance users, and others. I’ve also provided counseling on race-based traumatic stress and mindfulness-based stress reduction. While spending my childhood and building a family in Oklahoma, I developed pride in my rural western background and my African American and Native American heritage, as well as a sensitivity to the particular mental health needs of poor and ethnic populations.
My work has included serving as clinical director for treating severely and persistently mentally ill adults, developing programs for adults and adolescents suffering from combined mental health and addiction disorders, training community professionals on multicultural counseling, and teaching/supervising graduate counseling students. I have also supervised and developed part of a national pilot project involving multidisciplinary collaborations among mental health, social work, criminal justice, and law enforcement agencies to provide more effective and holistic services for families recovering from drug addictions.
I have a particular academic, research, and clinical passion for infusing social justice advocacy into counseling services for minorities and underserved populations to improve their mental health care. Over the last four years I have facilitated “Living Free”, a therapy group for students experiencing problems in their lives due to drugs and alcohol. I am also responsible for providing substance abuse screenings and psycho-educational classes for UC students who have been mandated by the university or the area courts to complete a drug and alcohol prevention program. In addition to my responsibilities as group therapy program coordinator at the UC Counseling Center, I work closely with the center director in assisting with the Counseling Center’s growing holistic relaxation and wellness services.
I use a blend of liberation psychology, multicultural counseling, cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based stress reduction, objects-relation therapy, and motivational interviewing techniques, resulting in a dynamic counseling style that provides a unique and effective experience. My therapeutic approach is one that identifies the individual’s presenting problem as a result of his or her interactions in immediate, local and wider community relationships and how these relationships impact crucial aspects of one’s life (e.g. economic conditions, culture/heritage, organizational policies, etc.) that may create cognitive and emotional discomfort. By emphasizing an individual’s unique strengths and helping that person to reframe his or her life in a way that is empowering, clients frequently find it easier to develop healthy coping skills that not only improve how the individual perceives and feels, but are more successful at realizing one’s personal visions and goals.
I embrace an African-centered way of knowing that reflects a multidimensional approach to creating harmony in my life. Based on the principle of Maat ( ancient Egyptian concept of truth, balance, order, law, morality, and justice) and my Native American heritage of Blackfoot and Cherokee nations, I recognize the constant life-giving relationship between the ancestors, my present physical life, and the earth that sustains me. My personal wellness practice includes listening to and experiencing the unified energetic fields of all existence through prayer and meditation, being constantly involved and committed to relationships in my immediate life and to the social justice advocacy for the community of human beings, and being in constant communion with the land by hiking, camping, and enjoying the arts.
For several years I have been a member of the American Counseling Association, the American Educational Research Association, the National Counsel for Black Studies, the Association of Black Psychologists, and this year I joined the Tri-State Group Psychotherapy Society.