For Black History Month I wanted to share this article HERE where Tanesha Forman talks about Black History Month being more than the several figures we learned about on rotation in school. Going beyond Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Ruby Bridges, Malcolm X, and George Washington Carver.
AND although these figures are SO important and essential to learn about Tanesha views Black History Month as a way to “share the past in relation to the present and future”.
In her article Tanesha offers a school curriculum for exploring the past, present, and ways to create the future. This got me thinking about how often do we think about Black History Month with the lens of our own field of Play Therapy and therapy with children. Well....now is the time! Let’s dive into the past!
Cara Gruhala Of Seeds of Change Counseling and Consulting shared this post HERE on her Facebook Page about Black history in the fields of psychology, counseling, mental health, and play therapy. She honors five Black pioneers including the following groundbreaking Black professionals in the field of Psychology!
Check out her full post for more details and the full list of Black therapists, psychologists, and researchers she is spotlighting!
Now what about the present and future?
I’m glad you asked! This is where I got really excited this Black History Month. I was inspired by this post HERE from Kadesha Adelakun of The Journey Counseling Services. Her post detailed 28 ways to celebrate Black History Month.
It made me stop and think about the amazing Black Play Therapists that are making history right now. I wanted to honor four Black Play Therapists who are the present and future!
Kadesha Adelakun in addition to being a Play Therapist also trains on topics of Play Therapy and Social Justice and has the The Journey of Cultural and Racial Diversity in Play Therapy Facebook group and if you are not a member you need to be - it is such a valuable resource!
Sabra Starnes is another Play Therapist that has amazing trainings on a wide array of topics for all things Play Therapy (check them out HERE!). She also has a Play Therapy book and Sand Tray Prompt Cards!
Althea Simpson is a Play Therapist who owns Unicorn Life Training. She not only puts on trainings about Play Therapy but has created the Black Play Therapy Symposium. She also has the Chronicles of a Play Therapist Podcast!
Carmen Jimenez-Pride is a Play Therapist who not only trains but and also developed the Diversity in Play Therapy Summit! She also has a number of books and Play Therapy materials you will want to check out HERE!
This is nowhere near a comprehensive list of the Black Play Therapists, psychologists, professors, researchers and trainers that are making such a difference in educating the Play Therapy community now and in the future.
Tanesha's article also talks about taking "an active approach during and beyond Black History Month", which is a wonderful and essential mindset shift to have. So with an active approach in mind I reflected on the list that Kadesha shared on to the 28 ways to celebrate Black History Month. I would encourage you to look at that list and choose one or more ways that you will intentionally and actively celebrate this month.
If supporting Black owned business is part of how you are celebrating Black History Month please consider supporting one of these excellent therapists and their businesses above!
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I'm Ann Meehan, an LPCC,