Research Talks and Lectures

From Microaggresions to Race-Based Trauma: Using Psychology to Eradicate Racism

Invited Presidential Keynote Address, Division 35: The Society of the Psychology of Women

APA Convention, Washington DC, Aug 5, 2017

Racal tensions in America have been elevated by police violence in social media, unrest on campuses across the nation, and a contentious presidential election. This presentation will provide an overview of the mental health impact of contemporary racism, from microaggressions to race-based trauma, that contribute to stress and unwellness in people of color. Constructs that perpetuate race-based stress and trauma will be reviewed, including White privilege, stereotypes, and racial discrimination. Dr. Williams will describe the various causes and facets of race-based trauma, including the experience of historical, cultural, community, and individual trauma, and how these may or may not fit into our current psychological understanding of PTSD. She will also discuss how we as women (feminists) and psychologists can use our knowledge and training to combat racism in our communities, workplaces, social circles, and intimate relationships.  

More information: APA Convention 2017

Awareness and Connection Across Race in Clinical Encounters

No More Martyrs Minority Mental Health Awareness Summit

Birmingham, AL, Jul 13, 2017

Given the increasing diversity of clients seeking mental health care, there is a growing need to enhance the cultural sensitivity of therapeutic interventions with ethnoracial minority populations. Dr. Williams will discuss various forms of racism that contribute to stress and unwellness in people of color. Constructs that perpetuate race-based stress and trauma will be reviewed, including White privilege, stereotypes, and racial discrimination. One critical form of contemporary racism is the experience of microaggressions. Microaggressions in mental health settings are a cause of poor therapeutic alliance and drop-out, representing a barrier to treatment for people of color. Increasing awareness of microaggressions, and how to address the problem, is a critical target of clinical training and therapeutic intervention.  Dr. Williams will review assessment strategies for uncovering the effects of race-related stress and trauma in clients, including self-report measures and clinical interviews. She will also discuss new research surrounding the impact of racial discrimination and microaggressions on mental health. The training will include cultural case examples and discussion, experiential exercises, and opportunities will be provided for participants to ask questions.

More information: No More Martyrs

Microaggressions and Racial Trauma During Childbirth

GOLD Perinatal 2017 Online Confernce, 10/3/17 - 11/7/17

This presentation will provide an overview of relevant cultural factors for African Americans and other stigmatized minority groups, with an emphasis on understanding race-based trauma and its impact on childbirth experiences.  Dr. Williams will discuss various forms of racism that occur in medical settings that contribute to health disparities in people of color, including racial microaggressions. She will describe the various facets of race-based trauma, including the experience of historical, cultural, community, and individual trauma, and how these may or may not fit into our current psychiatric nomenclature. She will provide examples of patient-provider interactions that are helpful versus harmful in the context of childbirth and women of color’s reproductive issues.

More information: www.goldperinatal.com

Race-Based Trauma: Police Violence on Social Media as Modern-Day Lynchings

Date/Time: Monday 2/20/17

Presented by Monnica Williams, Ph.D. - Margaret Clark Morgan Scholar

Racal tensions in American have been elevated by police violence in social media and a contentious presidential election. This presentation will provide overview of relevant cultural factors for African Americans and other stigmatized minority groups, with an emphasis on understanding race-based trauma. I will discuss various forms of racism, including racial microaggressions, that contribute to stress and unwellness in people of color. Constructs that perpetuate race-based stress and trauma will be reviewed, including White privilege, stereotypes, and racial discrimination. I will describe the various facets of race-based trauma, including the experience of historical, cultural, community, and individual trauma, and how these may or may not fit into our current psychological nomenclature. I will compare the experience of seeing police violence against people of color in the media with lynching postcards that were popular one hundred years ago, and parallels in the experience of oppression and terror. The presentation will also describe sociocultural constructs that promote resilience, such as ethnic identity, religious coping, and community. I will include case examples and opportunities will be provided for participants to ask questions. I will describe my own research in this area and projects underway.

Location: Kennedy Center Ballroom, Hiram College, OH, 7 p.m.

Promoting Awareness and Connection with Ethnically & Racially Diverse Clients

Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI

Presented by Monnica Williams, Ph.D. & Jonathan Kanter, Ph.D.

March 18-19, 2016 - Therapists and therapist-trainees, many of whom share values related to social justice, equality, and respect for individual cultural differences, increasingly recognize the importance of cultural sensitivity and competence in psychotherapy. In parallel with this growing recognition, there is increasing awareness of the difficulties addressing issues of unconscious bias, privilege, defensiveness and shame that function as obstacles to sensitivity, competence and effectiveness with diverse clients. This workshop will review the major issues of cultural competence in therapy, and present a clinical behavioral approach to cultural sensitivity and competence that integrates the major findings in the field with the methods of Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP), a behavioral psychotherapy approach that fosters a genuine and personal therapeutic relationship in the service of client growth. Topics will include: How to address inter-racial anxiety, connect intimately, and build a strong therapeutic alliance with ethnoracially diverse clients; explicitly and courageously including the role of racism and discrimination in your case conceptualizations; identifying your own ethnoracial biases and how they impact you as a therapist; and improving your ability to identify and prevent committing inadvertent microaggressions against your clients which can rupture the therapeutic alliance (and how to repair them if you do). This workshop will include demonstrations and experiential exercises that will explore personally vulnerable areas with opportunities to share experiences in a safe, group format.

  1. How to address inter-racial anxiety, connect intimately, and build a strong therapeutic alliance with clients who are ethnoracially different than the therapist.
  2. How to address and integrate cultural issues in therapy.
  3. How to identify and avoid microaggressions against clients.

This workshop will also include 2 colloquia:

Donwload slides: Understanding Racism-Related Trauma 3/18/16

Understanding LGBT Mental Health Concerns

October 12-1pm, Med School Room B215

Please join us for an in-depth exploration of the mental health concerns of people identifying within in the LGBT community. This talk will provide a targeted analysis of which mental health concerns are most prevalent within the LGBT population, causes, and how health providers can effectively provide culturally competent care. This event as well as the LGBT Health Certificate is free and open to the UofL community as well as the community at large.

Speakers: Ghazel Tellawi and Melissa Ellsworth of the UofL Center for Mental Health Disparities; Dr. Quinn Chipley, HSC Campus Counselor

CMHD Speakers at OCD Conference

July 31 - August 2, 2015

International OCD Foundation Annual Conference, Boston, MA

Williams, M. T. Minority participation in a large residential and intensive outpatient program for obsessive compulsive disorder. Presented as part of a larger symposium.

Sawyer, B. A. Obsessive-compulsive disorder in ethnic minority populations. Oral presentation.

Hershfield, J., Bell, E., Williams, M. T., & Bell, J. Mind washing: Understanding the experience of living with and treating mental rituals. Panel discussion.

Wetterneck, C. T., Williams, M. T., & Bruce, S. L. Support group for sexual and violent obsessions. Clinical service.

More Info

Awareness and Connection in Ethnoracially Diverse Therapist-Client Dyads

ABCT Workshop

by Drs. Monnica Williams & Chad Wetterneck

Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Philadelphia, PA & Chicago, IL

Given the increasing diversity of clients seeking cognitive behavioral treatments (CBT), there is a growing need to enhance the cultural sensitivity of therapeutic interventions with ethnoracial minority populations. This workshop will provide clinical perspectives on how to incorporate cultural factors into CBT. The presenters will discuss strategies for making treatment more relevant when working with underserved and marginalized populations. An assessment of functional and non-functional behaviors of both therapists and clients will be examined from the behaviorally-based Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP) perspective. Additionally, they will address how certain therapies can be adapted when working with clients with diverse backgrounds, particularly as many empirically supported interventions were developed among relatively homogeneous research populations. Topics will include: strategies to build alliances across difference; modifications to psychoeducation to include the role of racism and discrimination; identifying ethnoracial biases in the therapist; and how to identify and prevent committing microaggressions against clients, which can rupture the therapeutic alliance. Additionally, a large part of this workshop will be for audience members to ask questions and discuss cases.

Microaggressions: Covert Racism and Its Impact on You

Cultural Competency workshop

by Dr. Monnica Williams

University of Louisville, KY, Cultural Center

September 10, 2014 at Noon in the Cultural Center — Drop in at noon for an hour and lunch will be provided by the Cultural Center! Faculty, staff, and students are welcome. Learn about racism in the form of microaggressions and the impact of this on individuals, campus and society. Where: Multipurpose Room, Contact: Tierney Bates, Contact Phone: 852-0229.

OCD and Addiction (Dual Diagnosis): Maintaining Recovery and Managing OCD

with Darlene M. Davis, M.A.

IOCDF Panel Discussion in Los Angeles, CA

Saturday, July 19, 2:00pm - 3:45pm. Attend this panel discussion about substance use and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). In addition to the CMHD's Darlene Davis, panelists included James Claiborn, PhD, ABPP, Michael Jenike, MD, Jordan Pearlman, Bradley C. Riemann, PhD and Riley Sisson.

Women of Color Transformation Tea

April 16, 2014 with Dr. Williams as featured speaker

Theme for 2014: Stepping Out: The Journey to Mental, Physical and Social Well-Being

The Tea is sponsored by the Commission on the Status of Women (COSW), U of L Commission on Diversity & Racial Equality (CODRE), U of L Women’s Center and the Department of Communications.) The Tea began in 1997 as an open forum for the diverse population of women to have an opportunity to share concerns, issues and positive suggestions.

Intersections of Race and Culture and Health and Mental Health

October 18-19, 2013 with Dr. Chapman as a featured speaker

2013 Diversity Challenge, Boston, MA

The Institute for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture is pleased to present the 13th annual Diversity Challenge, two days of presentations and workshops for teacher educators, researchers, mental health professionals, community members, and students interested in broadening the dialogue about race, culture, and health or mental health.

Sponsored by the Institute for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture, Dr. Janet E. Helms, Director. For queries, including registration and other administrative issues, please email isprc@bc.edu. For up-to-date information about the Challenge, visit our website http://www.bc.edu/isprc. Boston College, ISPRC, Campion Hall 318, 140 Commonwealth Avenue, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467 .

Mental Health in Underserved Populations

December 3, 2013 with Dr. Chapman as a featured speaker

NIH Academy for Health Disparities, Bethesda, MD

Dr. Chapman will discuss mental health disparities, particularly his work with anxiety and related disorders in African American populations. Dr. Chapman will explore nascent findings and how this may relate to uncovering ingredients for culturally sensitive therapy.

Enhancing the Cultural Sensitivity of Interventions for Anxiety with Diverse Populations

April 6, 2013, Panel Discussion including Dr. M.T. Williams

Anxiety Disorders Association of America 33rd Annual Conference , San Diego, CA

Given the diverse and complex backgrounds of clients seeking treatment for anxiety, there is a need to enhance the cultural sensitivity of therapeutic interventions with diverse populations. This roundtable discussion will highlight clinical perspectives on how to incorporate cultural factors into cognitive behavioral therapies for anxiety. The panelists will discuss strategies for making treatment more relevant for work with underserved and marginalized populations. Additionally, they will address how certain therapies can be adapted when working with clients with diverse backgrounds, particularly since many empirically supported interventions were developed among relatively homogeneous research populations. Panelists include clinicians, supervisors, and researchers engaged in clinical work and research with diverse populations.

The talk will be Session#: 152C, 4/6/2013 1:30:00 PM.

Cross-Cultural OCD: A World of Intrusive Thoughts and Bizarre Behaviors

December 6, 2012, led by Dr. M.T. Williams

Nova Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Through circumnavigation of the globe, this talk details differences in OCD between Western, Middle Eastern, Jewish, Hispanic, Asian, and other cultures. There are many differences between cultures in terms of symptom expression, obsessive cognitions, cultural influences on behavior, ritualistic beliefs, and other issues. Studies conducted in highly religious cultures emphasize purity, cleanliness, and religion as well as thought control, morality, and sexuality. We also compare the culture-bound syndrome, koro, to sexual-orientation obsessions in OCD.

The talk was on Thursday at 4:30 pm.