I’m a fully qualified integrative therapist (registered with the Black and Asian Therapists Network) who specialises in racial trauma and the impact of systemic oppression. Holding a non-judgmental, compassionate space for clients is sacred work for me and I have over a decade of experience supporting marginalised groups in some capacity.
When so many are struggling with the daily realities of systemic oppression and racial stress, the exploration and celebration of culture, ethnicity and identity are essential parts of the healing process, so my core work centers around an empowerment triangle that explores the intersectional relationship with self, the family of origin and systems of oppression. My core qualification and additional training include:
Integrative Psychotherapy Diploma.
Working with trauma series: 4 part CPD
1.Safe & Effective Trauma Essentials.
2.Achieving Safety and Stabilisation in Stage 1 Trauma Therapy.
3.Understanding & Working with Dissociation, CPTSD & Shame.
4.Working with trauma: The impact on therapists.
Group Work Matters facilitation course.
Somatic Abolitionism Foundations with Resmaa Menakem.
Communal Consultations for Bodies of Culture with Resmaa Menakem.
Working with Sex in the Therapy room.
I started my healing journey back in 2009 within the rooms of 12-step recovery and therapy after finding myself repeatedly in relationships that were dysfunctional and abusive. Although I learned a lot from unpacking my pain and joining the dots at an individual level, there was no cultural context around it.
There weren't many black people in recovery at that time and the ones that were, were not having the conversations around the impact of being a black woman living inside oppressive systems and how this relates within the context of 12-step recovery. This frustration led me to an obsession around reading whatever I could get my hands on to answer these questions. The more I learned about chattel slavery, intergenerational trauma and patriarchy, the more empowered I felt understanding how the pain and patterns of the past were still being played out in the family and my behaviour.
My parents are part of the Windrush generation and came to Britain from Jamaica in the early 60s for a better life. Through my healing I learned that Jamaica used to be a slave farm that abused my ancestors for 240 years and I’m only 3 generations from this horror. On leaving those plantations, none of our ancestors went to therapy so it’s inevitable that our communities are still carrying so much brokenness.
I learned so much over the years and did a lot of service in recovery, sponsoring, setting up meetings, writing scripts and creating literature that spoke to the experience of people of colour under the system of racism. I share a lot of this journey in the early episodes of The Black Steps podcast.
Therapy provided a sacred space for me to explore, rage and dream of a life beyond racial pain. As I gained more self confidence and others trusted my voice, I knew that becoming a therapist was inevitable. This is sacred work. I’m always humbled by the courage I see in clients who bare their souls and do the work to piece their broken selves back together. If you take on this healing assignment, remember you are not alone and do not have to do this alone.
The deeper you dig, the higher you’ll rise!
If you’re looking for resources, click the area on my website menu that says ‘free,’ where there’s lots of tools you can download. I'm very active on social media @yardofgreatness so come look me up and say hi.
Now, here’s some quick, silly Q & A stuff about me.
I will run from….
Cockroaches! When I was 7, I went to Jamaica with my dad. At my grandma's house, there was an outdoor toilet in the yard. The seat was a plank of wood with a hole cut into it, but as I sat down to do my business, I felt something touching my bottom. When I stood up and looked to see what it was, the inside was crawling with cockroaches. I ran screaming from the toilet and from that day, I just can’t……
My funniest parenting moment is…..
On Sunday’s I like to do a Jamaican soul food roast dinner with rice and peas, plantain, apple crumble etc (yes, I know crumble is British before you message me!). Anyway, this one Sunday I wasn’t feeling well, so the dinner was basic and stripped of the cultural elements with the peas etc. When I served it up, my daughter gave me her disappointed screw face, and proceeded to tell me that the dinner was ‘white’. I’m still cracking up as I’m writing this!
A secret folks don’t know about me is…..
I’m actually an introvert! Before you tell me to shut up, yes I am an introvert. It’s still a struggle sometimes to be visible and connect with people, but I challenge myself daily to keep showing up. If you relate, just know that change is possible.
My 15 mins of fame is……
I worked as a professional model for 5 years and loved it! I had the opportunity to travel, do catwalk, magazines and music videos. It was an awesome experience, but what I also learned is that external validation is temporary and self esteem can only be built from the inside out. That said, it’s still really cool looking back at my 15 mins. Recognise anyone below?
I am most proud of……
My healing journey hands down. Most of my past relationships were codependent and very destructive, but as I worked through the layers of shame, denial and rage, I found and rebuilt my broken self. In finding the courage to accept myself, not only do I have more self esteem, but I am able to connect with my daughter and others in a way I never thought possible.
I got into this work because…….
As a third generation Jamaican descendant of the enslave (born and raised in the UK), I inherited an intergenerational pathology of unexpressed, recycled trauma that had to stop with me!!!. I’m so tired of seeing black folks being abuse under this system so anything I can do that nurtures our liberation is a must.
What drives me is…….
My daughter's delicious brown face reminds me of the hurt that needs to be healed and the legacies that need to be built. She deserves to live in a world that accepts her exactly as she is. What drives me is also seeing my clients win!
My s/hero’s are……
bell hooks. Everything about her work speaks to black women with power, compassion and grace. Resmaa Menakem’s work in ‘My Grandmothers hands’ is also a beautiful piece of work building a global movement around healing from racial trauma within community.
My vision is……
I hear a lot of people saying that the answer to our liberation is self knowledge through studying our history, some would say that it’s through economic empowerment. These are valid pieces to the puzzle, but I believe our freedom begins with doing the individual and collective therapy work around our traumatised history. We must find the courage and space to process our loss of self, culture, safety and communities. Black people have absorbed so much racial pain over the years, that our very blackness has become the trigger that disconnects us. My vision is to build something that will help us find each again and love fearlessly the way RA intended in the beginning.
Thank you for choosing to spend this time with me and I look forward to seeing you next time.
Your sista in service.