Althea Simpson, founder of Brighter Day Therapeutic Solutions, Unicorn Life Training and the Black Play Therapy Society, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker specializing in Trauma Recovery, a Registered Play Therapist, and a Certified Lego Serious Play Facilitator.
Althea shares that she would like for listeners to learn that play therapy is not just for children, but that it is a trauma-informed treatment. She was drawn to play therapy early in her career, which is a therapeutic modality that supports clients to express themselves in ways other than just verbal communication. She discusses a play therapy intervention that is aligned with NARM, which is using inquiry in the play therapy process.
“It’s not for us [as therapists] to give meaning to [the client’s experience], that's for the client,” she says. Similar to the NARM approach, Althea invites curiosity which supports clients to connect more deeply to themselves.
Althea reflects on the importance of deconstructing the stigma around mental health with black families. She explains that many black families believe that the answer to their mental health problems is through church. She challenges this notion through addressing the intersectionality of spirituality, religion, and mental health. She also started the Black Play Therapy Society to address the disparities for black therapists not being able to showcase their work, as well as the inconsistencies and information that was being talked about in the black communities.
Althea details many important aspects that therapists need to understand in order to work with black families. She states, “We need more black therapists.” She also asks an important question for non-black therapists who are working with black families, which is, “Are black clients allowed to show up in their authentic self with all their pain, and can they express what they need to express?”
Althea acknowledges that utilizing play therapy helped her to also address her own healing. Althea’s lived experiences of trauma, as well as healing from her trauma, has supported her in her capacity to help her clients. She explains, “I’m a great therapist because I understand [the work] both personally and professionally.”
Althea is the founder of Brighter Day Therapeutic Solutions and Unicorn Life Training. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker specialized in trauma recovery, Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor, and Certified LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Facilitator. She has an active psychotherapy private practice in Northern, VA and has experience treating children, adolescents, and adults with diverse backgrounds and ranges of concerns, including anger, substance use/abuse, domestic violence, anxiety, and depression. Her approach to treatment is tailored to the unique needs of her clients and she brings a range of educational, professional and life experiences to her work as a therapist, clinical supervisor, and mental health consultant.
To read the full show notes and discover more resources visit http://www.narmtraining.com/podcast
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