Discussing Racial Trauma in Therapy with African American Clients and Families | Nancy Boyd-Franklin



This lecture is part of the Ackerman Distinguished Family Therapy Lecture Series, designed to contribute to conversations on advancements and opportunities in family therapy training.

The killing of George Floyd, a Black man, by a White police officer in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020, has exposed the realities of systemic racism and has led to “Black Lives Matter” demonstrations throughout this country. This presentation will address the issues of racial trauma and race-based traumatic stress experienced by many African Americans in response to this and other traumatic incidents. It will explore the vicarious racial trauma experienced by countless African Americans who have repeatedly watched videos of these events on social media and the news. These incidents are a part of the racism pandemic. The numerous shootings/killings of Black men and women have created profound mental health issues and trauma for many African Americans, and have stirred up intense feelings of anger, rage, outrage, sadness, depression, hopelessness, anxiety, and fear for those whom they love.

Historically many African American families, in response to these feelings and fears, have utilized “The Talk” to prepare their children, particularly their sons, for experiences of racism by the police and others. This presentation will discuss this racial socialization intervention. It will also explore this and other ways in which therapists can address issues of race, racism, and racial trauma in therapy with individual African American clients and families and can utilize cultural strengths to promote resilience.

Source: Youtube