“Heirloom Summit” hosted by Deran Young. February 23rd-26th, 2023 -> Register today!

Our Mission


Black Therapists Rock Team

Healing the Healers

Letter to BTR community

This has been a rewarding yet challenging year, but we have prevailed! When we started BTR we had no idea where this organization could and would go. We just knew that there was a need that had to be fulfilled for Black Therapists and the communities they serve, so here we are. I appreciate you all, and truly am honored to be here with you all. I am looking forward to all that we will accomplish together in 2023!

As we get ready for 2023, we are excited to announce that we are working on developing new partnerships with organizations so that we may expand training opportunities to our network of therapists. One of BTR’s main goals is to support black mental health professionals so they can take ACTION, with the hope that this leads to a decrease in the stigma and barriers to psychological and social well being among marginalized communities. As part of our ongoing efforts to reach this goal, we have worked hard to develop relationships with organizations that we believe can help us improve our skills, extend our reach, and encourage diversity in training programs we feel can benefit us and our clients.

We are pleased to announce new partnerships and continue previous partnerships with Internal Family Systems, Relational Life Therapy, Brene Brown, and Compassionate Inquiry. Each of these organizations offers intensive trainings that present unique perspectives and provide tools we can use in our work with clients. Learn more about our partnerships here.

These partnership programs are only available for BTR Rockstars. If you are not currently a BTR Rockstar, you can find out more here.

Deadlines to register for partnership events and trainings:

Compassionate Inquiry: March 1, 2023

If you’d like to learn more about the Compassionate Inquiry training, we encourage you to sign up here for the free informational session on January 23 at 1:30 pm ET with Deran Young, Dr. Gabor Mate, Sat Dharam Kaur, Vimalasara Mason-John.

Internal Family Systems: March 1, 2023

Dare to Lead: Registration Link will be provided soon!

Our annual Heirloom Summit will be held on February 24-26! Save the date! We are very excited about the lineup of presenters for this year’s summit! We look forward to seeing many of you there virtually.

We also just heard from the director of the 46th Annual Psychotherapy Networker Symposium event happening on March 16-19, 2023. They are pleased to offer the BTR community a discounted price to the conference. This year’s theme is Igniting Our Clinical Passion: The Art of Practice in a New Era. Please register here and use this code: SYM50 for a $50 savings. This year they are hosting Nedra Tawwab and Dr. Ken Hardy, among many other amazing presenters!

We are also thrilled to be developing a library of resources for our members. We are already pleased to offer a discounted price on several IFS courses, including IFS Immersion: Integrating Internal Family Systems (IFS) Across Clinical Applications!

We hope that this glimpse into 2023 gets you excited about what’s to come. Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to be the first to know about these and other amazing opportunities that we have in store!

Deran Young, LCSW

BTR Founder & CEO

Join us in fostering self compassion, confidence, and inner peace for 100,000 black healers

Tragedies such as the murders of Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, Philando Castile, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd have become more visible, and the implications for vicarious collective trauma and long-term mental health effects for marginalized people, has become more evident. Black Therapists Rock was established to provide culturally relevant mental health awareness for collective healing that addresses and resolves the lifelong impact of racial trauma.

Within the last 12 years research has just started to acknowledge a link between racism and psychological distress. Nationally representative polls and surveys have indicated that approx 87% of Black Americans “characterize racism as a very serious or serious problem”. Additionally, the PTSD prevalence rate in our community is 40% higher than whites and Hispanics. Despite the unique stressors and higher rates of trauma, Black people seek treatment at significantly lower rates, often due to lack of trust in white professionals and Eurocentric therapeutic styles.

Our Community

Join our 30,000+ Members

The psychological well-being of our community, and the society as a whole, is in a critical state. We are the first responders of social and emotional wellness for individuals, families and organizations. Black Therapists Rock works towards Community Development by supporting healers who are vital to our collective forward movement.

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Our Partners

We work to empower organizations and individuals who are aligned with BTR’s mission and values. With a commitment to dismantling barriers to equity at the forefront of our partnership relationships, we help organizations develop inclusivity initiatives and bring relevant programming to our members in collaboration with mental health organizations. Our leadership facilitates and advocates for meaningful change and is dedicated to the success and endurance of our collaborative pursuits.

In Conversation

These ongoing exchanges, observations, and dialogues inform BTR’s future investments in programming, collaborations, and resource development offered to our members. We welcome you to join the conversation and share your work and vision for how to grow your organization and community.
Black Therapists Rock Book

Our Story


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.

Carl Hart, PhD

Carl Hart

Dr. Carl Hart is the Chair of the Department of Psychology at Columbia University. He is also the Ziff Professor of Psychology in the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry. Professor Hart has published numerous scientific and popular articles in the area of neuropsychopharmacology and is co-author of the textbook Drugs, Society and Human Behavior (with Charles Ksir). His most recent book, High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society, was the 2014 winner of the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. Professor Hart has appeared on multiple podcasts, radio and television shows including Real Time with Bill Maher and The O’Reilly Factor. He has also appeared in several documentary films including the award-winning “The House I Live In.” His essays have been published in several popular publications including The New York Times, Scientific American, The Nation, Ebony, The Root, and O Globo (Brazil’s leading newspaper).

Paulette Simone Smith, LCSW

Paulette Simone Smith

Paulette Smith, LCSW-C, is a licensed clinical therapist specializing in cannabis therapeutics, adolescent development, and the establishment of productive, results-oriented teams in support of culturally competent treatment. Paulette has used creativity and innovation to build a knowledge base that offers her clients first-class care and consulting services. She also applies that knowledge and creativity in training and educational settings providing authentic, realistic, and easily applicable guidance on various topics. Her expertise has been cultivated over 15+ years in school-based, clinical, private practice, and dispensary settings to acquire a range of skills in traditional and non-traditional counseling practices that scientifically incorporate the integration of cannabis products. A trailblazer in her own right, Paulette is highly sought after to share her knowledge in the growing cannabis therapy field. She possesses an entrepreneurial spirit and has launched a platform for exploring cannabis therapeutics called Canna Heals, LLC, in addition to her counseling practice, Paulette Simone & Associates, Inc. In addition to the real-world experiences that refined her talents, Paulette obtained her bachelor’s in broadcast journalism from Bowie State University, a master’s in Social Work from Morgan State University, and a Master’s in Medical Cannabis Science Therapeutics from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. Ms. Smith is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Social Work at Simmons University.

Sa'ed Al Olimat

Sa'ed Al-Olimat

Dr. Sa’ed Al-Olimat, PharmD is a Taiwanese-Jordanian first generation American immigrant. He is a licensed pharmacist, community pharmacy manager, and educator of psychedelic medicine. He has worked with pharmaceutical companies, prescriber clinics, hospice and palliative care organizations, insurance groups, and other settings to enhance patient care. Dr. Sa’ed’s passion in advancing mental health outcomes led him to investigatie psilocybin and other classical psychedelic compounds as tools for mental, spiritual, and emotional support.

Dr. Sa’ed currently serves as a Co-Founder of the Psychedelic Pharmacists Association, Founder of PsiloHealth, advisor to a few psychedelic companies and organizations, as well as a Board Director for his local county pharmacists association. In his free time, he enjoys practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Mischa Dansby, RN

Mischa Dansby

Mischa Dansby, is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse specializing in Women’s Health who was raised in Huber Heights, Ohio. She received her Bachelor’s in Nursing from Wright State University. After her graduation, she joined the Air Force and has continued to serve for 22 years. During her Air Force career, she completed her Master’s in Nursing and became certified as a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner at The Ohio State University. She is currently studying at the University of Cincinnati pursuing certification as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Additionally, she is completing her training as an Internal Family Systems Therapist. Mischa is passionate about supporting women on their journey towards healing and wholeness.

Hanifa Nayo Washington

Hanifa Nayo Washington

Hanifa Nayo Washington, she/her/hers, is a social entrepreneur, sacred activist, digital designer, and healing justice practitioner. Hanifa is the co-founder and the Chief of Strategy of Fireside Project, the San Francisco based non-profit that operates the first national Psychedelic Peer Support Line with a mission to help people minimize the risks and fulfill the potential of their psychedelic experiences. The support line, featured in the Rolling Stone, Forbes, Esquire, and Tech Crunch, launched in April of 2021 and has already supported thousands of community members. Hanifa Nayo is also the Co-founder and Organizing Principal of One Village Healing, an online BIPOC centered healing, resilience, and psychedelic wellness space.

Victor Cabral, MSW

Victor Cabral

Victor Cabral, MSW, LSW, CCTP-I, (He/Him/His) is a collaborative and strategic leader who is making an impact on historical inequalities in his community and across the United States. Victor is the Founder of Dreamers of the Day, LLC, and serves as the Director of Policy and Regulatory Affairs for Fluence International Inc., a company that provides evidence-based training in psychedelic therapy and integration services to clinicians across the globe. Before joining Fluence, Victor served as Deputy Director for the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office of Advocacy and Reform where he co-led the implementation of the Trauma-Informed PA Plan, helped establish the first Racial Day of Healing in Pennsylvania history, and developed free trauma trainings for Pennsylvanians in collaboration with BIPOC mental health and trauma, and psychedelic medicine. He is a Licensed Social Worker and practicing psychotherapist in Pennsylvania with training in Internal Family Systems, Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy and Psychedelic Integration.

Deran Young

Deran Young,

Deran Young is a licensed therapist, CDWF, CDTL, co-author of New York Times Best Seller, You Are Your Best Thing, retired military officer, and the founder of Black Therapists Rock. Black Therapists Rock is a non profit organization that mobilizes over 30,000 mental health professionals committed to reducing the psychological impact of systemic oppression and intergenerational trauma. She obtained her social work degree from University of Texas, where she studied abroad in Ghana, West Africa for two semesters creating a high school counseling center for under-resourced students.

Deran’s passion for culture and people has led her to become a highly sought after diversity and inclusion consultant working with companies like BBERG, Facebook, Linked In, Field Trip Health, and YWCA. Deran’s advocacy expands over several online and offline platforms. With a current social media audience of over 100,000 followers on IG and Facebook, Deran has become a leading influencer and public figure committed to spreading mental health awareness and improving health equity.