December 1, 2020

207 - Racial Trauma and the Polyvagal Response

Mind-Body Healing for African American Clients

Not only are African Americans disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 due to rampant socioeconomic disparities, but other brutal reminders of systemic racism continue to erupt across the country and in the news. Daily microtraumas and a feeling of not being physically safe or valued in our society lead to a state of stress, anger, hypervigilance, mistrust, shame, and fear. This workshop explores how neuroceptions and Polyvagal pathways shape the adaptive reactions of African Americas to race-based stress and trauma—and what clinicians can do to address them and the related emotional burdens we all carry. Discover how to: 

  • Create a safe, healing space for African American clients 
  • Identify triggers and symptoms of racial trauma, and learn how it’s processed in the brain 
  • Use mind-body techniques to deregulate the stress response and promote feelings of empowerment and safety 
  • Explore how therapy is affected by the emotional reactivity of both Black and non-Black clinicians when treating Black clients 

Candice Richardson Dickens, LCPC-S, LCADC-S, CCTP, MAC, has been in clinical practice and addiction counseling for more than 26 years. She’s the owner of CRA Counseling and Consulting Agency. 

Note: This workshop is available as self-study credit. It also fulfils many state board requirements for training in cultural competency


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