See my February article in the SVPA newsletter:
Ryan A. Cheperka, Ph.D.
SVPA Diversity Chair
February marks the salient time of the year when people in the United States focus on African American or Black history. Although history inclusive of all groups is relevant all months of the year, this is a time when intentional efforts to discuss African Americans within the United States history are most public. It is an important month, as racism and a Black-white dichotomy still strongly exist in the U.S., and much of the country still teaches a less-than-inclusive version of “history.”
Black History Month is also a necessary reminder of how much our country’s harsh history and realities, as well as the contributions of historical figures, are relevant to the field of psychology. Both diversity within the psychological community and amongst the clients/patients we serve are huge factors in the work we do and the societies we build. As a white woman myself, I believe in the “not about us, without us” philosophy of not talking about a particular group without voices from that group. Thus, this article will feature the voices of two psychologists in the Sacramento area, Dr. Tiffany Mimms and Dr. Tameka Jackson, who have focused parts of their practices on the needs of the African American/Black communities.
When asked about why serving the African American community was important to her, Dr. Tameka Jackson responded,
“Despite the continual browning of America and the rising mental health needs of African Americans, only 2% of the nation’s psychologists are Black. This statistic, coupled with the stigma associated with mental illness in the Black community, fuel my passion and commitment for serving the needs of this group. While there a number of reasons that Blacks may be reluctant to make use of psychological solutions to emotional hurdles, one is a fear that the counselor may not be fully aware of the social and economic realities of their lives. As a Black female psychologist, my mere presence, for many Black clients provides a sense of comfort and connection and can often demystify the process of mental health treatment.”
The information Dr. Jackson described highlights the need for increased accessibility to treatment and the importance of “mere presence” in various health professions. With a similar spirit in mind, Dr. Tiffany Mimms established the Rosetta Center for Counseling and Wellness: A Place for Health, Healing, and Hope. Dr. Mimms described the center’s services,
“The Rosetta Center offers psychological services such as individual and group psychotherapy, wellness services such as yoga and massage, community outreach events such as mental health screening days and an annual wellness conference, training opportunities for interns, and an ongoing research program. Although the Rosetta Center is welcoming of all people, it has a specific focus on reaching African American women.”
More specifically, Dr. Mimms highlighted the mission of the Rosetta Center that will help guide the growth of the center and meet a specific community need:
“The mission of the Rosetta Center is to identify and meet the psychological needs of women and their families with a focus on African American women by creating a place of holistic healing and rejuvenation. It is the goal of the Rosetta Center to empower, educate, and affirm women of color to thrive and live their true calling. The Rosetta Center also seeks to build relationships and collaborate with supportive others (allies, men, other people of color) to build a stronger community and world.”
Dr. Jackson holds her individual private practice within the Rosetta Center as well. Collaboration among professionals is crucial to the center’s goals and allows for a broader shared mission. When asked about her specific interests and passions, Dr. Jackson shared,
“I am especially interested in working with Black women and providing a safe space that incorporates culturally congruent techniques. I strive to empower Black women across their intersecting identities, help them connect to their authentic voices, which are often silenced, and to facilitate a belief that strength is ever present in the practice of vulnerability.
For generations, many black women have internalized messages that they must be strong at all times and be everything for everyone, leaving no space for self-care. It is such a blessed moment each time a Black woman comes into my space and gives herself permission to ‘just be.’”
Some examples of therapy groups held at the Rosetta Center for Counseling and Wellness include an Adolescent Girls Group, Professional Black Women’s Support Group, and Healing from Sexual Trauma Group. The psychological and wellness services, community outreach, and opportunities for research and training provide for a quality holistic approach that is an asset to the Sacramento community. The center’s growth is quite exciting, as Dr. Mimms intends to continue to increase the types of services provided that allow for empowerment and well-being.
For more information about Dr. Tiffany Mimms and the Rosetta Center for Counseling and Wellness, visit:http://www.therosettacenter.com/
For more information about Dr. Tameka Jackson, visit: http://www.drtamekajackson.com/