Updated: Mar 7, 2021
When did you know you had the passion to help people in crisis? Age 6 years old, I knew I wanted to "help" people just like my parents. My dad is a pastor and my mother is a school principal. My parents have worked in the West Englewood community in Chicago serving community members through their church outreach ministries (youth sports/aftershool programs, food ministry and prison ministry) for over 40 years. As a child, volunteerism, giving back and social justice was an essential part of my life; I'd say about 80% of my time was spent serving others as a youth and as a family. My brother also is in the service/helping field.
How long have you been a licensed eligible psychologist? over 15 years as a mental health therapist.
Is this something you’ve always wanted to do? I have always wanted to help others, especially Black and Brown people, within low income communities (those who at times may need the most help when impacted with multiple stressors and traumas but may receive less intense help, less resources and are in a crisis before receiving the help needed). So to answer your question, no, this was not what I've always wanted to do; as a child, I wanted to become a lawyer, President of the United States or a teacher/principal like my parents.
Growing up was this your major in college? Yes, in college at Fisk University I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology and a Doctorate of Psychology in Clinical Psychology. However, when I attended college I did not start off as a psychology major. I entered Fisk University as a Computer Science major; then changed my major to Psychology my junior year in college when I took a class with Dr. Sheila Peters, a Black female psychologist and a preacher's kid (just like me) and I saw how she was combining her work in psychology with family centered community work (hosting programs to improve healthier families within the inner city and helping foster children transition successfully to become adults with jobs, housing and social-emotional skills to live well).
Do you feel you are making a difference in your patients lives? Well, you will have to ask them. Yes! I believe so. I believe patients/clients have to find the right-fit therapist for them. I am not always the right therapist for every client. There are many reasons people seek me as a therapist; it could be because I am a Black woman, the fact that I specialize in healing from trauma (physical/sexual/emotional abuse), or my approach to therapy/theoretical orientation. I am a culturally-affirmative, spiritually-affirmativve, solution-oriented therapist and I educate my clients that there are no "bad" feelings, all feelings are good but it is what you do after you experience that feeling. Also, I teach my clients about the symptoms/what they should look for/triggers and treatment for their diagnosis (depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, trauma, and other conditions).
What is one of your important roles as Psychologist? As a Licensed Eligible Psychologist, I have two main roles to provide therapy for individuals, couples, families and groups within communities. Secondly, I provide psychological testing for children and adults. I administer IQ /intelligence tests, achievement tests, ADHD tests, autism tests, psychosexual evaluations, and social security evaluations.
Where do you see yourself in five years? By 2026, I will own an office building and supervise 10 therapists who work within my private practice.
Are you happy with your career choices? Yes, I a very happy with my career choice. I love providing therapy with clients and lately, I have learned to love speaking (doing LIVE videos on Facebook LIVE and Zoom trainings) and teaching the wider community about mental health, stress reduction and coping skills during Covid 19.
How would you encourage someone who wants to get into the field of psychology? I would encourage them to be prepared for lots of schooling (4 years undergrad, 2 years masters, 7 years doctorate=13 years of school). I would encourage them to apply for scholarships, internships and fellowships to reduce the student loan debt. I would encourage them to volunteer at hospitals, mental health clinics, schools, jails, counseling centers, private practices now so they have some idea of what their day-to-day work will look like. I would encourage them to find a mentor or at least talk to a licensed mental health therapist or psychologist to ask them questions related to their job duties (what they like/don't like about their job), what are the best schools and what are the differences between the various psychology majors/specialties (counseling psychology, school psychology, clinical psychology, forensic psychology, industrial organizational psychology; licensed mental health therapist, licensed social worker, licensed marriage and family therapist, or licensed psychologist).
10.) What were your greatest accomplishments? My greatest accomplishment in the field of psychology is becoming a licensed eligible psychologist; achieving my dreams after so many bumps in the road that could have hindered me from reaching my goal. I am looking forward to the grand opening of Dr. Truth and Associates, LLC private practice office building and hiring/supervising 10 therapists so we can provide excellent service to our clients who trust us to help them through the most difficult times in their lives. I appreciate and thank my clients for trusting me and allowing me to assist them. My greatest accomplishment is achieving my dream career and how this intersects with my clients' achieving their dreams in therapy and in life. I love to see my clients reach their treatment goals and life goals.