“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer.”—Maya Angelou.  

What’s happening at BTR?

The Embody Lab – A cohort of BTR members began the Embody Lab’s 3-month online Integrative Somatic Trauma Therapy Certificate and we are hearing great feedback about the breadth of the program and the somatic skills and strategies that clinicians are applying to their practices. This program is running from September through December and offers the flexibility of attending live or recorded sessions.

Relational Life Therapy – Relationship Skills Bootcamp in DC – 20 BTR Rock Stars gathered for a special in-person workshop full of connection, community, and learning. On day one, they were immersed in the concepts of RLT’s transformative therapeutic methodology. The next day they experienced in-person role play, small groups exercises and had time for some deep personal work. The opportunity to be together, sharing meals and hugs was a highlight!

BTR Board of Directors – BTR is seeking leaders to apply to be on the BTR Board of Directors. Are you a leader called to serve the Black Therapists Rock community? We would love to get to know you. Please apply here

Looking forward…

Learning in CommunityWe are excited to launch this new program in January!  We have received a great response from BTR members who will be presenting complimentary webinars throughout 2024. These webinars will be an opportunity for members to share their work on the BTR platform and the community will receive the benefit of new ideas and education to enhance their own practices and work.  Here’s a sneak peak of the topics: Sex and ADHD, Psychodrama Methodology, Intergenerational Trauma, Calming Financial FireFighters. Details coming soon.

Proposals to Present Your Work –  Proposals are being reviewed on a rolling basis. If you are a licensed clinician and BTR Rock Star (annual member), you are welcome to submit a proposal to give a presentation to our audience. Members can apply to speak here. 

Relational Life Foundation Community Conversation – Dec. 5th 1-3pm ET -Stages of Change – This is the final of four conversations Deran Young hosted with Relational Life Foundation. Reserve your spot here for this free event!

Annual Psychotherapy Networker Symposium – March 21-24, 2024 – For 47 years, the Networker Symposium has been a gathering of connection, creativity, and rejuvenation for therapists dedicated to creating meaningful change for clients, communities, and themselves. BTR is offering scholarships to members! We have a limited number of in-person 50% scholarships, 40% virtual scholarships and a number of specially-priced student in-person tickets! Apply for a scholarship here.

Compassionate Inquiry Professional Online Certification – Created by Dr. Gabor Maté and Sat Dharam Kaur, ND – Compassionate Inquiry is a 240 hour, year-long training taught at a graduate level. This trauma-informed psychotherapeutic approach is intended to be added on to an already existing clinical and mental health practice. Our 2023 BTR cohort launched in September with a large number of members! To learn more about this training, please visit the CI BTR partner page here and to be added to the 2024/2025 CI waitlist, visit here.

Dare to Lead™ – BTR plans to offer a  Dare to Lead™ training with Deran in 2024 and BTR members will be offered a significant scholarship. Please let us know if you are interested and if you prefer an in-person or online training here.  Thanks for your patiences as we develop plans for this program.

Become a Rockstar Today!

A BTR Rockstar is a member that has an active paid annual membership. This membership allows us to continue to form dynamic partnerships with organizations such as Brene Brown, Fluence, MAPS and Therapy Wisdom (visit our partnership page for more info). Your membership also awards you exclusive access to scholarships and discount opportunities to courses and events. Among other benefits; a private community of over 30,000 therapists, exclusive BTR member meetups, and much more.  Explore membership here.

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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.