Worthiness, Womanness, Blackness: Counselling Black Women Conference, which took place July 21 and 22, drew more than 100 participants from countries all around the world, including Canada, the United States, Africa, and the United Kingdom.
“I must say, (this conference) was one of the most thorough and insightful trainings I’ve ever experienced in a very long time. To center folx who are never centered. Just wow,” raved one conference goer.
“Interestingly, a lot of the language today was about empowering, and affirming our clients. And that’s exactly what y’all did. Y’all empowered, affirmed and equipped us to do even richer work.”
The conference featured four workshops, each of which was led by award-winning mental health professionals, including: Culturally Competent Case Conceptualization; Liberating Queer and Trans Black Women in Therapy; Decolonizing Therapy with Strong Black Women; and a Collective Healing Experience for Black Womxn Healers.
Touted as an “empowerment-based” event, the conference addressed psychological and emotional concerns, as well as environmental and systemic structures that impact the mental well-being of Black women. Speakers included Dr. Mahlet Endale, Dr. Michelle Lyn, Dr. Candice Hargons, Dr. Danielle Simmons, and Leah Frazier, Esq.
The Worthiness, Womanness, Blackness conference also featured a surprise guest appearance from ‘The Mother of Black Hollywood’ – Jenifer Lewis.
“Ms. Lewis shared her journey with bipolar disorder and shared that ‘therapy saved [her] life,’” Shelton said of Lewis, a recent recipient of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and actor who has starred in more than 300 movies and TV shows, including the hit series Black-ish.
“She inspired therapists to keep doing the important work we are doing.”
Following the conference, Shelton hosted an in-person celebration for Atlanta-based participants, during which she signed copies of her recent book, A Handbook on Counselling African American Women: Psychological Symptoms, Treatments, and Case Studies.