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Program Description:
This special program presents a collective viewing of a spoken-word recitation on healing trauma by Dr. Thema Bryant followed by a presentation and discussion with Dr. Bryant about a liberatory approach to behavioral health and trauma recovery. This lens centers sociopolitical and sociocultural factors that intertwine with the multiple layers of identity within each client, rather than an individual-level conceptualization of resilience, pathology, or thoughts-feelings-behaviors in treating racial-ethnic trauma. Dr. Bryant will spell out a liberatory treatment approach to internalized oppression and the impact of state-sanctioned violence and intergenerational trauma, that starts with naming and acknowledging various forms of oppression and the effects of a long history of brutality on community members. She will also share about the significance of culturally centered practices that tap into community solidarity and love, joy, resistance, and healing, with humility, empathy, and respect for client and culture.
Click on links to view her Tedx talks: You Can Heal Intergenerational TraumaWhy We Need to Decolonize Psychology

Trainer: Thema Bryant, Ph.D. – Dr. Thema Bryant is president of the American Psychological Association (APA) and Professor of Education and Psychology at Pepperdine University, where she directs the Culture and Trauma Research Laboratory. Her clinical and research focus on the intersection of cultural context and trauma recovery. She is a foundational scholar on the trauma of racism and has published journal articles and book chapters on the cultural context of trauma, particularly child abuse, partner abuse, sexual assault, and the societal trauma of racism. Books that she wrote and edited include Thriving in the Wake of Trauma: A Multicultural Guide; Home Coming: Overcome Fear and Trauma to Reclaim Your Whole Authentic Self; and Multicultural Feminist Therapy: Helping Adolescent Girls of Color to Thrive. Dr. Bryant has earned many awards for her distinguished career, leadership, international role, mentoring excellence, and documentary work. She has served in key roles, including APA representative to the United Nations, and president to numerous professional and service organizations. Dr. Bryant is a frequent keynote speaker and has raised awareness about mental health beyond the academy and therapy office through community programming and media engagement. She hosts The Homecoming Podcast and has been featured in various TV, newspaper, articles, and numerous media outlets.

Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion of this program, participants will be able to:

  1. Define liberation psychology and explain its significance for therapeutic healing and wellbeing.
  2. Describe the role of advocacy and intervention in a culturally responsive therapeutic approach.
  3. Explain the modification of Herman’s stage work for trauma recovery to include internalized oppression and resistance.


  • Bryant , T. (2019). The cultural context of trauma recovery: Considering the posttraumatic stress disorder practice guideline and intersectionality. Psychotherapy, 56(3), 400-408.
  • Bryant , T., Fasalojo, B., Arounian, A., Jackson, K. L., & Leithman, E. (2021). Resist and rise: A trauma-informed womanist model for group therapy. Women & Therapy,
  • Domínguez, D. (2022). Abolitionist feminism, liberation psychology, and Latinx migrant womxn. Women & Therapy, 45(2-3), 207-225.
  • Gebhard, K. T., Hargrove, S., Chaudhry, T., Buchwach, S. Y., & Cattaneo, L. B. (2022). Building strength for the long haul toward liberation: What psychology can contribute to the resilience of communities targeted by state‐sanctioned violence. American Journal of Community Psychology, 70(3-4), 475-492.
  • Singh, M. N., & Gudiño, O. G. (2023). Translating liberation psychology for children and adolescents from historically marginalized racial and ethnic backgrounds: A synthesis of the literature. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 26(1), 65-81.
  • Turner, E. A., Harrell, S. P., & Bryant , T. (2022). Black love, activism, and community (BLAC): The BLAC model of healing and resilience. Journal of Black Psychology, 48(3-4), 547-568.
  • Zerbe Enns, C., Díaz, L. C., & Bryant , T. (2021). Transnational feminist theory and practice: An introduction. Women & Therapy, 44(1-2), 1-16.


UNC Chapel Hill – Clinical Lecture Series Programs


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