Title

Has Minority Become a Risk Factor? Client-Centered Approaches Towards Empowering Black Male Youth

Location

Harborside Center East and West

Strand #1

Family & Community

Strand #2

Mental & Physical Health

Relevance

This topic relates to the strands of Mental & Physical Health in the sense that it promotes a high quality of mental health services to an underserved population. It also support Family & Community by stressing the need for continuous cultural competence from providers, as well as receptivity from African American families.

Brief Program Description

Recently, in an era of Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown, African American families have begun questioning levels of equality within their communities. Naturally, the target on male youth has raised awareness from both cultural and systemic perspectives. For mental health professionals, sensitivity to these disparities may increase effectiveness of treatment. What efforts can be made to decrease barriers towards success?

Summary

An exploration of strength-based interventions with black male youth is presented. Informed by intensive in-home therapy as well as solution-focused techniques, this presentation will focus on clinical efficacy. In the past couple of months, the media has focused its attention on the over representation of black males with disruptive social conduct. Often regarded as aggressors, these young men are in need of support, mentorship, and positive reinforcement. As the unrest is expanding from coast to coast, there stands an opportunity for reframing and rebuilding. Community based programs have not been received well by African American families due to lack of trust, and misinterpretation. Perhaps, if the externalized behaviors of black boys were reevaluated from a multisystemic lens the recidivism, drug usage and poor educational growth would not prevail. When observing from the child, academic, family, and socioeconomic domains, it is clear that stressors in any of these areas impact the functioning of black boys. As skilled providers, mental health professionals play an important role in the collaborative efforts towards cultural competency and quality of service. The journey of therapy should allow black male youth to find inner strength, highlight potential, and develop an increased awareness of their behavioral responses. There is minimal focus on the services rendered to African American boys, or the lack thereof. The presenter will facilitate discussion on evidence-based treatment specific to underrepresented populations, and describe ways of engaging with at-risk youth. In addition, she will analyze how African American boys are assessed in treatment, guided by the following questions: Which factors may contribute to disproportionality in mental health services? Do biases of clinical professionals hinder the outcomes of therapy? Is minority considered a risk factor? How can clinical knowledge be devoted to social justice? Finally, how can a more client-centered approach decrease recursive cycles of delinquency?

Evidence

Society is currently moving towards nonconventional ideas and means of conducting treatment. As a means of enforcing family values and inclusiveness when it comes to therapy, in home based programs are increasing on a yearly basis. These not only provide clients with a unique opportunity to focus on issues within the home, but also create the groundwork for more growth from clients. Research has shown that African American at-risk youth have benefited from Multisystemic Therapy (MST) as well as the Yale based program Intensive In-Home Child & Adolescent Psychiatric Services (IICAPS). A vast majority of youth have been given a chance to redeem themselves through evidence-based programs. Parents are being empowered to enhance their approach, while developing alternative skills of engagement. The utilization of intensive, in-home, and solution focused based models ensure that families build resilience together, while decreasing out of home placement and hospitalization. This innovative path to transition advances healthier family dynamics and self-awareness.

Format

Poster Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Danielle R. Moye is a pre-licensed professional who received her Master of Science degree in Marriage & Family Therapy from Central Connecticut State University, and has been working in the mental health field for over 6 years, with 3 years of clinical experience. Her recent treatment approaches have been through intensive in-home programs, geared towards challenged youth. Danielle has provided psychotherapeutic care for children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbances, where symptomatic behaviors are impacting their functioning in multiple domains. Her primary group consists of those at risk for placement outside their home within a higher level of psychiatric care (psychiatric hospitalization, residential treatment, detention, etc). She has also facilitated brief therapeutic interventions as a means of behavior modification, crisis intervention, couples therapy, and family therapy. As a clinical leader she has managed to go above the expectations of productivity to ensure accuracy and quality of services, by using a client centered approach to empower families through their own healing process. She finds it extremely rewarding to collaborate with various systems of the community, in order to impact change. Her passion to advance in the field of marriage and family therapy propels an undying desire to provide support for those working towards personal restoration. Currently, Danielle R. Moye is pursuing her PhD in Family Therapy at Nova Southeastern University, with a desire to focus her research on disparities amongst minority populations, in mental health. Some of the topics in which she’d like to direct her research are “Family Dynamics of Black Religious Systems: Conflicts & Constraints of Faith Based Lifestyles”, and “Introducing Our Soul Mate to a Parent They Never Had: A Study of Relational Patterns Amongst Those with Attachment Issues”. Danielle resides in Davie, FL with her beloved husband Chris, and they are PREPARE/ENRICH certified facilitators for premarital mentorship.

Keyword Descriptors

family therapy, mental health, at risk youth, african american

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-3-2015 4:00 PM

End Date

3-3-2015 5:30 PM

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Mar 3rd, 4:00 PM Mar 3rd, 5:30 PM

Has Minority Become a Risk Factor? Client-Centered Approaches Towards Empowering Black Male Youth

Harborside Center East and West

Recently, in an era of Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown, African American families have begun questioning levels of equality within their communities. Naturally, the target on male youth has raised awareness from both cultural and systemic perspectives. For mental health professionals, sensitivity to these disparities may increase effectiveness of treatment. What efforts can be made to decrease barriers towards success?