BLACK THERAPIST ROCK: A GLIMPSE THROUGH THE EYES OF EXPERTS



Title: Black Therapist Rocks

Author: Sedan Young

Publisher: Black Therapist Rocks, LLC

Number of Pages: 264

About The Author

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President and CEO

Growing up with an incarcerated father and a mother who struggled with mental illness and substance abuse, Deran gained knowledge and experience of discrimination, poverty, and social services at a very early age. It was no shock that she later decided to pursue a career as a helping professional.

After obtaining her Bachelors degree in Social Psychology, Deran moved to pursue a Masters in Public Administration and Masters in Social Work. While obtaining her Masters in Social Work at the University of Texas, she was blessed with an amazing opportunity to visit Ghana West Africa twice, first as a graduate assistant and second during a final field placement/internship.

During her six month stay in Ghana, Deran created a Guidance & Counseling Center at a High School in a neighborhood that has been historically identified as a population of lower socioeconomic status. During her work there, she also created a scholarship program titled “Choices” and conducted a cuiltural identity field trip for students to learn about African and African American History first hand. Although the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade has significant roots in Ghana, most citizens are not afforded the privilege to visit these historical sites due to financial difficulties and hardships. During this trip, fifteen students were able to visit the Cape Coast Slave Castle and the One African History Museum. Her passion for culture and diversity lead her to further explore issues of social justice and social psychology. Her current professional areas of expertise include International Social Work, Gender Issues and Trauma/Anxiety Disorders.

Deran created Black Therapists Rock as she noticed a gap in mentorship, knowledge sharing and unity among helping professionals. She saw this as an opportunity to organize counseling professionals towards ACTION in decreasing the stigma and other barriers to psychological and social well being among African Americans and other vulnerable populations.

Deran currently works/resides in Washington, DC with her five year old son. She has now visited over 32 countries (including recent trips to Vietnam, China, Japan, Singapore, Dubai and Oman with her little Nomad Jr.).

About This Book

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The black community is often thought of as an ongoing saga of reliance, incredible strength, and perseverance, in spite of a brutally harsh past. However, the obvious connection between mental health and racial oppression, health disparities, cultural differences, societal factors, poverty, and reduced quality of life, often goes unspoken.

Thousands of black people are suffering in the shadows while making every attempt to be seen. Although there is no single narrative, mental health and psychosocial wellness underpin many of the challenges experienced by black people. Black Therapists Rock has become a movement that is passionate about loudly speaking our varied truths to begin the healing of emotional wounds that are multiple generations deep. Although we may not be the cause of this deep-seated pain, it is ours to bear and soothe.

The professional perspectives shared in this book strive to inspire hope, beyond the divorce courts, housing developments, emergency rooms, domestic violence shelters, broken homes, jails/prisons, homeless centers, welfare offices, or foster care systems. NONE of us are immune. Statistically, we all have at least one relative that has experienced one or more of these situations. And now, with our #villagementality, we can offer an honest and true source of healing; with compassion, forgiveness and genuine connection for ourselves and others.

Black Therapist Rocks Book Review

As I read from the beginning of “Black Therapist Rocks” I became connected to what each of the authors was hoping to convey. I am a inspiring Mental Health Peer Counselor who envision what those days will be like going through a theraphy sessions with a Therapist, however just like many individuals I also experiences some doubt. Deran Young created “Black Therapist Rocks ” in the purpose to let the readers including me knows that we aren’t alone when we have those moments. But also, that I have a purpose as an inspiring African American Male who experienced dealing with Mental Illness from a client to a Mental Health Peer Counselor to bring a different perspective bringing awareness about the importance of Mental Health in the African American Community. “Black Therapist Rocks” really verbalizes the modification of social and psychological battles in the midst of Black People in America, and it reviews the sequence of impact in the aftermath of trauma.

There are so many stigma about Mental Illness in the Black Community. Mental Illness wasn’t talk about at all. It was pushed under the rug. It is considered a taboo in the Black family.In the Black Church Community is even worse, some church folks believes that if you are depressed then you don’t have faith in God. Saved folks doesn’t supposed to be depressed. I remember when I was in the hospital for depression, one of my family members visited me and mentioned I didn’t need to go to the doctor just talk to Jesus and He makes it alright. I told her that just like you have chest pains that you go to the Doctor for medical treatment. God does answer our prayers by directed us to seek professional help with a doctor. We must take care of our Temple and mind so we can do God’s ministry. God always provided us with resources but we must be diligently to go and seek treatments. Today let remove the stigma that associated with mental illness. You aren’t your diagnosis and mental illness doesn’t define who you are. Breaking the stigma starts with your conversation. Change the words in your conversation. I am bipolar into I am dealing with bipolar right now but bipolar won’t define who I am. You see how powerful that conversation is. Some people are too afraid to seek professional help with a Therapist because they have been taught that it is a sign of weakness. There are nothing wrong talking to a psychiatrist and therapist at all. By talking with them that you are strong by admitting that you need help. The only way that you are weak if you let pride get in the way of you getting help. I was called a punk by a so called friend for trying to killed myself and being depressed. Immediately I walked away from that person forever. That negative comments made me feel worst. Simply by telling your son or brother and even your male friend to “man up” isn’t going to give him the solace he needs to deal with his issues. Just remember mental illness doesn’t discriminate and anyone can end up being a statistic of mental illness. I also empower the Black Church Community start to bring awareness about Mental Illness and seek help with a licensed professional that deals with Mental Illness. Educate yourself about Mental Illness and shows some compassion to those who are dealing with Mental Illness.

Deran bring into existence of Black Therapists Rock due to the facts that she realized there is a gap in mentorship, knowledge sharing and unity among helping professionals in the Mental Health field and in The Black community. She saw this as a moment to starts organized counseling professionals in the roadmap in the direction of ACTION in decreasing the stigma and other barriers to psychological and social well being among African Americans and other vulnerable populations.

The Black therapists who shared their own stories in this book are of those who are doing the work that they are passions to do. They do their jobs at it best to assure that they given their whole self by showing up in the therapy room. These Black Therapists inspired me to meet and not shrink from the challenges unique to Black professionals in today’s world. As I reading this book, I learned how they rejected obstacles of institutional racism and sexism to legitimately lay claim to their part in professional spaces. I find myself shaking my head in agreement, and at times, shrinking because the testimony touches an internal standing I had rather not visit. Most importantly, these therapists are showing up and speaking for by their actions what our communities need. My challenge to other Black mental health professionals like myself as a Mental Health Peer Counselor and etc. is to do the self-work and look for areas where we are withholding parts of ourselves. What inner part, negative, or self-limiting thoughts are holding us hostage? What do we need to do to stand out more in our life… and in the lives of our clients? Our communities lacking for representation and the expertise of Black Mental Health Professionals. We owe it to ourselves, and those in need, to stand out.


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