Black Background

Lived Experiences & Trauma: The Black Perspective

A 3-part presentation series for mental health professionals

Feb 17

Mar 2

Mar 9

The Event

$125 for 3 powerful sessions

CE Eligible

7PM - 930PM EST

Recordings available for 90 days

6PM - 830PM CST

4PM - 630PM PST

February 17: Ancestral Trauma

Learning Objectives

Psychotherapists generally acknowledge that a client may have a reaction to recent events that have roots in the past. When it comes to systemic racism, this can include unhealed intergenerational wounds such as psychological and social trauma passed down from previous generations. 

The Black community suffers from an increased rate of mental health concerns, including anxiety and depression. The increased incidence of psychological difficulties in the Black community is related to the lack of access to appropriate and culturally responsive mental health care, as well as prejudice and racism inherent in the daily environment of Black individuals. 

  • Describe how racial trauma affects the mental and physical health of the Black community

  • Demonstrate how racial discrimination can have a long-lasting effect on Black youth

  • Identify strategies to help clinicians and organizations better connect with their Black clients

  • Discuss how organizations can help all staff members understand their own implicit bias

  • List race-related stressors that can affect the mental health of socially disadvantaged racial and ethnic populations

March 2: Urban Trauma 101

Learning Objectives

Urban trauma is a term commonly heard but rarely discussed in formal settings. This form of trauma is probably the most misdiagnosed or undiagnosed trauma.  A study from the American Psychological Association showed how chronic stress is a long-term form of stress, derived from unending feelings of despair/hopelessness, as a result of factors such as poverty, family dysfunction, feelings of helplessness, and/or traumatic early childhood experiences. "Our goal with this workshop is to show how individuals who are directly impacted by urban trauma can be unaware.  We offer attendees an opportunity to learn how easily one can become numb to the violence, as if it’s just another day in the hood.  

  • Define the Urban Trauma experience

  • Connect Urban Trauma to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, while using real-life experiences and ACES study

  • Link Urban Trauma to intergenerational PTSD, addiction and Incarceration

  • Discuss long term physical, emotional and psychological impacts on individuals, families and communities

  • Discuss how to build relationships for clear communication about issues related to reentry, trauma, race, addiction, incarceration, and mental health

March 9: Why Race Matters When It Comes To Mental Health

Learning Objectives

Protests across the globe are taking its toll on the mental health of black people. The significant role that race and systemic racism play both historically and in today's world can, and is, affecting individuals psychologically.


As a psychotherapist, the impact is often felt in the consulting room with black clients who are experiencing anxiety, anger, exhaustion and a feeling of powerlessness in the face of racial inequalities and injustices. Black client’s experience can be misinterpreted by a white therapist and can lead to dangerous misdiagnoses. Psychotherapy for black people needs to be a safe space where they can talk about racial trauma, with an assurance their experiences will be heard and without fear it will be used as a weapon to subdue.


A somewhat naive attempt to promote equality in the consulting room has been implemented through “colour-blind racial ideology”, but sociologists have argued that when a white therapist states they “don’t see colour”, it denies the client’s race and exposes a lack of awareness regarding the therapist’s own power and privilege – aspects which collude, dangerously, to deny the lived experience of the black client.

  • Describe how race and systemic racism play both historically and in today's world can, and is, affecting individuals psychologically

  • Demonstrate how psychotherapy for black people needs to be a safe space

  • Discuss how Black client’s experience can be misinterpreted by a white therapist and can lead to dangerous misdiagnoses

  • Explain how “colour-blind racial ideology”, denies the client’s race and exposes a lack of awareness regarding the therapist’s own power and privilege

Your Speaker

Daryl McGraw, MS, CAC, CCJP

Daryl holds state certifications as an Addictions Counselor, Recovery Support Specialist, and a Criminal Justice Professional. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management and Leadership, both from Springfield College. Prior to entering the human service field, Mr. McGraw held several leadership positions in the hospitality field working for Fortune 500 companies.

As the former Program Director for the Yale University Department of Psychiatry, he was contracted to serve as the Director of the Office of Recovery Community Affairs for the State of Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. Daryl has experience in the areas of policy development, contract management and project coordination, as well as collaborating with grassroots peer-advocacy agencies and the CT Department of Corrections.


Mr. McGraw is a community organizer, activist and  philanthropist. He serves on several boards involving re-entry and criminal justice reform in the state of Connecticut. He consults with  law enforcement, universities, policy makers, behavioral health and addiction treatment facilities who are looking to expand their knowledge and expertise in the area of criminal justice reform.  He is an integral part of leadership decisions for these agencies and organizations. As a leadership consultant, Mr. McGraw inspires cultural competency and challenges organizations to move away from the status quo.

Additional Resources

Moving from Cultural Competence to Antiracism

Opinion: How Amy Cooper and George Floyd represent two versions of racism that black Americans face every day

"Either there’s a serious fear, or a serious disregard for black and brown lives": A CT activist’s path forward

Podcast: Brené with Ibram X. Kendi on How to Be an Antiracist

Browse a list of recommended books below. The proceeds from affiliate commissions made from purchases using any of our affiliate links below will be donated to a charity serving black people in consultation with Daryl McGraw.

Envision partners with a wide range of skilled and specialized presenters to bring you a variety of perspectives on issues surrounding mental health for individuals and communities. We encourage learning in any form, through a variety of interventions, modalities and understanding of social issues that may be relevant and crossover with the mental health field.