Black History Month, observed in February in the United States, is a time to celebrate the achievements of the Black community and to pay homage to their contributions in shaping this country. As part of Black History Month and in keeping with its theme this year, Black Health and Wellness, we want to call attention to the importance of building multicultural awareness and enhancing cultural competence in the mental health field. Because mental health professionals work face-to-face with others, day in and day out, they will meet a diverse group of people over the course of their careers. Cultural competence provides the ability to better understand, better communicate with, and better support any client that might walk through the door. Although it goes without saying that all clients should be treated with the same respect and dignity, mental health professionals (most of whom, in the United States, are non-Black) must be willing to learn about and respond to the unique lived experiences of their Black clients if they are to support these clients effectively. This requires openness, humility, curiosity, and research. As we honor the achievements, sacrifices, and rich cultural heritage of Black Americans, we must remember that cultural competence is more than just a month-long endeavor. It is something that we must practice every day—putting in the work to foster our multicultural awareness and turning this awareness into action, continually learning and developing the ways to best support our clients. At PESI, we recognize the brilliant work done by the following authors and editors and all those who work to make a difference in our world.
The Unapologetic Guide to Black Mental Health: Navigate an Unequal System, Learn Tools for Emotional Wellness, and Get the Help You Deserve
Rheeda Walker, PhD This breakthrough book is an exploration of Black mental health in today’s world, the forces that have undermined mental health progress for African Americans, and what needs to happen for African Americans to heal psychological distress, find community, and undo years of stigma and marginalization in order to access effective mental health care.
My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies
Resmaa Menakem, MSW, LICSW, SEP A New York Times bestseller, My Grandmother’s Hands examines the damage caused by racism in America from the perspective of trauma and body-centered psychology, introducing an alternative view of what we can do to grow beyond our entrenched racialized divide.
Black Fatigue: How Racism Erodes the Mind, Body, and Spirit
Mary-Frances Winters, MBA This is the first book to define and explore Black fatigue, the intergenerational impact of systemic racism on the physical and psychological health of Black people—and explains why and how society needs to collectively do more to combat its pernicious effects.
Diversity in Clinical Practice: A Practical & Shame-Free Guide to Reducing Cultural Offenses & Repairing Cross-Cultural Relationships
Lambers Fisher, MS, LMFT, MDiv With his encouraging and non-shaming approach, Lambers Fisher will challenge you to learn more about other cultures, accept what you do not yet know in the process, and utilize strategies that can help you become an increasingly culturally competent professional. Beyond ethnicity, you will explore issues of age, gender, sexuality, religion, acculturation, and social justice.
Transforming Ethnic and Race-Based Traumatic Stress with Yoga
Gail Parker, PhD, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500 Ethnic and race-based traumatic stress is a worldwide phenomenon. Regardless of race and ethnicity, we are all impacted by its damaging effects, from those who are wounded to those who do the wounding. This workbook offers a range of self-care practices that strengthen the psychological immune system, increase resilience, and support post-traumatic growth.
The Enduring, Invisible, and Ubiquitous Centrality of Whitenes
Kenneth V. Hardy, PhD An up-front, close, and fresh examination of the impact of whiteness and how it contributes to our troubled race relationships, this book posits that whiteness is a pervasive ideology that is rarely overtly identified or examined, although it has profound effects on race relationships in therapy and beyond. Contributors to the volume are from different backgrounds in the field of mental health and activism.
Eliminating Race-Based Mental Health Disparities: Promoting Equity and Culturally Responsive Care across Settings
Monnica T. Williams, PhD, Daniel C. Rosen, PhD, and Jonathan W. Kanter, PhD This edited volume explores the urgent problem of racial inequities and biases, which often prevent people of color from seeking mental health services. In this much-needed resource, you’ll find evidence-based recommendations for addressing problems at multiple levels, and best practices for compassionately and effectively helping clients across a range of cultural groups and settings.
The Race Conversation: An Essential Guide to Creating Life-Changing Dialogue
Eugene Ellis, MA The Race Conversation explores how the damage and distress caused by racism lives not just in our minds, but principally in the body. This guide supports people of color and white people alike to emerge from the tight grip of race discomfort through a trauma-informed, neurophysiological approach that emphasizes resourcing, body awareness, mindfulness, and healing.
Black Therapists Rock: A Glimpse Through the Eyes of Experts
Deran Young, LCSW Mental health and psychosocial wellness underpin many of the challenges experienced by Black people. The professional perspectives shared in this book strive to inspire hope. With our #villagementality, we can offer an honest and true source of healing—with compassion, forgiveness, and genuine connection for ourselves and others.
You Are Your Best Thing: Vulnerability, Shame Resilience, and the Black Experience: An Anthology
Tarana Burke and Brené Brown, PhD, LMSW This stark, potent collection of essays on Black shame and healing brings together a dynamic group of Black writers, organizers, artists, academics, and cultural figures. Together, they create a space to recognize and process the trauma of white supremacy, a space to be vulnerable and affirm the fullness of Black love and Black life.