Trauma can follow people for generations—unless it gets solved. You need to start facing that trauma and accept it for what it is, so you can move on. Trauma affects people physically, emotionally, behaviorally, and psychologically. You have to heal all aspects of your body. Join Timothy J. Hayes, Psy.D as he talks to the Founder of Infinity LINC International, Karen Brown, Ph.D. about transgenerational trauma and how it can be healed. Listen in to understand how Karen helps heal people’s trauma. Know that your life is worth living today!
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Healing Transgenerational Trauma With Karen Brown, Ph.D.
Dr. Karen Brown grew up around the world as a Military dependent. She followed in her father’s footsteps by joining the United States Army where she spent 26 years as a Combat Medic, honing her understanding, awareness, love for culture, inclusion and international engagement. Dr. Brown is an adjunct professor at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She teaches courses at the Master’s and Doctoral levels and is a dissertation chairperson, providing mentorship and guidance to ten doctoral students and candidates.
Dr. Brown, thank you so much for joining us here.
Thank you for having me.
I was hoping you could start us off by telling us a little bit about how you got into the work you’re doing and what drives your passion for it.
Honestly, I fell into a lot of what I’m doing. I was a Military brat. My father was in the Military and that allowed me to travel as a child and develop this love of culture and people. I graduated from college and joined the Army. I was a Combat Medic and I enjoyed it. I found that Military medicine is amazing and we can fix pretty much anything. We can give you new legs, new arms, new eyes and a new heart but we were having a little bit of difficulty with mental health.
I pivoted from physical medicine and got a Master’s in forensic psychology, which I love because it talks about the ideology of mental health, why people do the things that they do and what is the impetus for behavioral patterns in the way that people think. I got a Doctorate in International Psychology, which talks about cultures, how cultures interact and how they work with one another. That meshed with everything that I was doing.
What is my passion? My passion is people and seeing people be healed physically, emotionally, behaviorally, psychologically and spiritually. It’s all of the above. Whatever it is that I can do to facilitate that, I jump right in. A lot of the things that I’ve been doing have fallen into my lap. People talk to me and I come up with a solution or a way forward and it ends up being something that happens continuously.
I moved here to Crestview, Florida several years ago and there was nothing for the young people to do here to have any movies or anything. For simple things like that, you’d have to drive about 30 miles to a different city. I went to the high school and conducted a survey. The question simply was, “What would you like to do outside of school activities?” I got 285 responses and I took that to the city department. I said, “Here’s what the kids want to do outside of school activities. How can I help you do this?” They said, “We don’t have time but how about you do it and we’ll help you to facilitate these?”
They gave me the money to put on activities and events for our young people that turned into what we call the Crestview Youth Coalition. I work with young people, not just with activities and events but mentoring, tutoring and also in mental health aspects. It’s not within the school system but outside of the school system where they are allowed to come and talk, not to myself but we do have some licensed clinical social workers. They volunteer their time after hours to come and talk to these young people about the pressures that are happening in our schools and our young people. We know that social media is huge and it has a huge impact. That’s one thing.
The other thing that I am working with is our seniors. We talk to them because, during COVID, they were secluded and isolated. My mother is living in an assisted facility so I was able to go in, read with our seniors, talk to them and have some light exercises. I was able to talk with some of our local retirees in the area to come and join me. That program is up and running.
My passion is to help people to heal and feel that life is worth living. We push that. Life matters. Life is worth living. Don’t think about what’s happening now. Think 2 weeks, 2 months or 2 years in the future. Is what you’re dealing with going to matter in two weeks? If it does matter, then you have to make it to the next two weeks. If it doesn’t matter, let’s see what we can do. How can we convince you that the next two weeks are going to matter? I hope that makes sense.
I understand that you’re also an adjunct professor at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
That fell in my lap. Some students were assigned to a particular course and they had too many students and not enough teachers. I got a call from the dean. He said, “Would you help us out and teach this course? We have too many students.” I said, “Yes.” It was a course on violence and mass terrorism, which I knew a bit about from being in the Military and being a forensic psychologist. I started teaching that course. I thought it was going to be a one-time thing but I teach every term. They’re mostly courses on genocide, violence, mass violence, terrorism and things of that sort.
I’m also a dissertation chair. I have 13 students, 2 of whom graduated with Doctoral degrees. Most of them are dealing with topics that deal with trauma. I call myself an indigenous psychologist because I look outside of Western psychology. I embrace the indigenous psychologies that talk about the holistic nature of life and well-being, which not only includes the body but it talks about the individual. It talks about how the individual connects with the community and how the family connects with the community. The community connects with the land and then the land connects with the cosmos. There’s a holistic circle.
What the indigenous psychologies believe is that if one of those things is removed from that circle, then that’s when you have what we, in Western medicine, call a mental health defect or mental health breakdown. They focus on ensuring that all pieces of that circular puzzle are in the right standing. I love that. It’s something that we should look more closely at in Western medicine. It speaks to how family and community work together in understanding their connection to where they are and how that all connects with the greater cosmos. That is the greater spiritual beings that we are.
What would you like to focus on in this conversation? I made it somewhat clear that even though I was on the board of the Integrated Mental Health Summit in 2022, I wasn’t as involved in the planning and the list of speakers as I was in 2021. My interest in having you on the interview came from your comments when you were an audience. I didn’t even know you were presenting with these other fabulous people the next day.
There’s a broad range of things we could talk about with the focus of the show to try and help people understand there’s a lot more than just, “Here’s a list of symptoms and medications. That’s what we do in mental health.” What aspect of your life experience and your work, either past, current or maybe a future project you’re starting would you like to highlight?
I look at it holistically. I deal with a lot of trauma. Some of that trauma manifests behaviorally but sometimes, emotionally and psychologically. We have to deal with the whole gamut of emotions, behaviors and thought patterns. I did a project in Australia with the Australian Aboriginals in Perth. It’s the Noongar family kinship group. We found that they were suffering from transgenerational trauma so we developed a transgenerational trauma healing model that takes into account the historical, sociopolitical and behavioral aspects of transgenerational trauma.Trauma manifests behaviorally, emotionally, and psychologically. Click To Tweet
From that, we also developed what we call the C.O.U.R.S.E training model. It’s not only to help those who are suffering from these types of historical and long-term traumas but also to provide assistance to those who are working with them and then the general population to change the culture of how we see one another.
A lot of times, when we’re talking about depression, anxiety and what Western medicine would call mental health defects, the rest of the world and the indigenous population look at it as if there’s something out of wack in the holistic outlook of life. What we found is that a lot of indigenous population groups see health or well-being as being not disconnected. The body is not disconnected from the mind and vice versa.
I was a Combat Medic for a long time. It was for 26 years. We would always have our Military members that if they needed some physical medicine, they would come and see us. If they needed some type of behavioral health or mental situation, we had to refer them to a specialist. There was a separation. We figured out that as a man thinks so is he. We tried to start combining those thought patterns. For those who have been severely injured, we look at how they feel about life, their mental health and their thought patterns. If they’re happy, they get better faster. We’re working on that in Military medicine. However, we have a long way to go. There’s not a lot of impetus to delve into that and make it happen on a consistent basis.
It’s 360VA. There’s a general and a colonel that I interviewed who had met over in Germany and he was responsible for this base over there of 40,000 people with the enlisted people plus their families. The suicide rate was going through the roof. He said, “We can’t have this,” so he enlisted this colonel. She had all kinds of expertise and training but was science-based. They put together a program to try and cap that and decrease that suicide rate. It was so successful and it was science-based, that after they retired, they formed a company.
They did an interview here. They’re very focused on trying to make sure that we take care of our active duty and veterans primarily with this whole approach. There are things like yoga, EFT tapping and mindfulness-based exercises. They put all the stuff that’s research-verified into a program. They had a four-week program and were making it available to all these people for free. They’re trying to get more people enlisted.
The other thing I thought of was you were talking about the transgenerational stuff. After I got my Doctorate, my business partner and I decided to go to an advanced family therapy seminar or whatever you want to call it. It ran for a year. It was nine separate sessions. We had three months off in the summer and were given some homework to do.
What would happen is we would sit with a woman. She was an MD psychiatrist but back then, the psychiatrist didn’t just do meds. They were trained in therapies, analysis and all that stuff. She sat and did a genogram with each of us where she would sit in front of a board. It was a great, big whiteboard of paper with a pallet. She would start asking us questions and taking notes. Men were squares and women were circles. Are you familiar with that genogram model? She would map that out going up, as far back as we could remember and then would come back down and make little squiggly lines of red as she talked about the relationships between the people.
Here’s a room full of therapists. We’re talking about Master’s and Doctorate-level therapists. There were probably thirteen of us. The least experienced had fifteen years of experience doing therapy. As we sat in the chair telling Dr. Kramer what to write on the board, people around us were gasping and going, “What? I don’t get it.” Nobody saw the patterns that they were describing. We were saying, “This person was this age and she was married to him.” Everybody in the room who saw the patterns would gasp and say, “Isn’t that interesting? You can’t do that. Look at that.” We were blind to the patterns we were living in and told the genogram therapist about it.
The most powerful was a woman who had every one of us convinced, including me. I was the one who said, “Keep the family together. Go the extra mile. Don’t get divorced.” By the time we were 5 or 6 months into this, even I had rolled over and said, “Maybe you have to send your twelve-year-old daughter to a residential facility because she’s that disruptive and she’s causing that much violence in the home.”
When she got in the hot seat and did her genogram, as she was coming halfway back down the page, we all said almost in unison, “You cannot send your daughter away.” She goes, “What do you mean?” This is a Master’s-level therapist social worker with at least 15 or maybe 20 years of experience doing therapy. If she would send her daughter away, it would’ve been the 5th generation in which the 2nd oldest daughter had been sent from the house between the ages of 10 and 12.
She said, “It has got nothing to do with it. We lived in the South on a farm.” They would send the second oldest daughter away because she was another mouth to feed. After you have the first daughter and she can change the diapers and help with the cooking, she can’t work in the field. You’d send her over to a family or a county away. That’s what I was thinking of when you were talking about the indigenous and the cross-generational trauma. It’s the lack of awareness of that and the complete blindness to those issues that keep them in the power position. Whatever the strongest resonant energy is within my system that I’m not aware of is going to drive my behavior in the next moment.
That’s why I’m interested in what they’re doing with this epigenetic study. I’m not convinced about that because I’m a biologist by nature and training. As an undergrad, I was a Biology major so I do understand the chemicals that can change DNA and things like that. I look at the epigenetics that Dr. Manson is talking about. It has to make sense in my mind. I do realize that the way that we look at life informs how we treat each other and raise our children. Sometimes, we are not even realizing we will exhibit behaviors that will cause our children, our siblings and those that are around us to react a certain way based on our actions, reactions or interactions. You continue that trauma. It can go indefinitely.
What we do in our C.O.U.R.S.E model is we have this family tree. We talk about your parents, grandparents, siblings and great-uncle. With all of this, we build this whole tree. We then talk about how this informs how you view the world. It informs your global worldview. When you can understand why you see the world and the way you see the world, then you can take steps to start trying to tweak that.
We’re not asking people to change their personality because, pretty much, their personality is set but those behaviors can be modified. If you can modify behavior for a certain amount of time, then it changes. We try to influence those things with their stories and our understanding of transgenerational trauma.
Let me ask you to back up and say this. What is it that you’re not buying into about epigenetics?
With the trauma, Dr. Manson and I have had this discussion on many occasions. The actual trauma can be passed along to our kids. My thought process as someone who deals with understanding biology, I do understand someone is traumatized and there’s some type of hormone or chemical that’s released. In a pregnant woman, that hormone or chemical can be passed along to the child and then that child turns on that trigger. I got that. If I’m already here, I’m already alive.
First, let me say this. Transgenerational trauma is not a psychological issue. It’s a behavioral issue, which then turns into a physical issue because the behaviors inform the way that they act. They have a higher prevalence of substance use and abuse. Diabetes, high blood pressure and things of that sort are prevalent. They have a higher instance of not just substance use and abuse but also domestic violence. Also, they have a higher number of our population group that is incarcerated. A lot of it is behavioral, which then informs their physical disease process.Transgenerational trauma is not a psychological issue. It's a behavioral issue that can turn into a physical issue. Click To Tweet
Those that suffer from transgenerational trauma have a shorter lifespan. A lot of it has to deal with the way that they see the world, others and themselves. They’re almost caught in a circular pattern. What we’ve down is I asked the question, “What do you think you need to heal?” They came up with a series of things that they want to do to regain their understanding of their history and heritage which was taken away from them.
They have started re-learning the language. They had a reconnection with their history and culture which was destroyed. We call it cultural genocide. We’re restoring that and going back to the basics of talking. They didn’t have a written history so they re-integrated and re-energized their oral and are passing that along. They also go out into the outback. They take young people to the outback and teach them the power of healing that comes from the flowers, the plants and things that they have learned over time that some of them have forgotten.
A reconnection, relearning and trying to have some pride in being an Aboriginal is helping. We’re in year four. We got sidetracked during 2020 and 2021 by the pandemic and we couldn’t work on that. They’re opening up a healing center in Perth and they’ll be doing a lot more of those things. We are looking at a five-year study to see how well it works. Some preliminary data says that it’s working because the people there are understanding that there is a way out.
What are the outcome measures you’re saying that are indicating that it’s working?
There is less domestic violence being reported. There are lesser substance use and abuse incidents. They go to the outback. More people are signing up to go. More people are being involved in community activities where, in the beginning, it was a free fall. It’s behavioral. They’re also sharing their knowledge of indigenous medical practices with mainstream Australians.
In terms of medical healing, they’re being invited to hospitals to work with those population groups that enter into that. First, they were disallowed from entering the hospitals so if they had something wrong with them, they had to stay outside. They were not on the balcony but on the porch. They were being treated out there on the porch. With the shamans that come in, they weren’t allowed into the hospitals. There were a lot of elders that didn’t trust the medical system. That’s changing based on understanding and also with the mainstream population in Australia accepting some of those things that, initially, they were not accepting.
As you look at transgenerational trauma and individual trauma, what kinds of offerings for resolution of the effects of trauma do you find that you’re using most often or promoting either in your projects or coursework?
One is resilience. We do resilience training and let them know that with individual trauma, a lot of it is temporary trauma. It’s not an ongoing trauma. With those temporary traumas, we talk to them and allow them to understand to look at the trauma, see where they were prior to the trauma and see where they can still go after the trauma. The trauma doesn’t define you.
We talk a lot about spirituality, whatever that may mean to the individual. What does that mean? It’s looking outside of yourself for a purpose and also understanding that the trauma doesn’t define you. What is it that you enjoy? A lot of times, it’s music or some type of art. We engage them in those art practices, whether it be drawing, writing, singing, rapping or dancing.
Since I deal with a lot of Military members, prior Military members and police officers, there is physical exercise. They’re challenging themselves. Here, locally, there’s a 7th Special Forces group. They don’t call it an obstacle course anymore. It’s confidence. It is getting out there, working as a team and having to rely on someone other than yourself. It’s to also have the opportunity to help someone else and draw them out of that space of, “This happened to me. I can’t move forward.”
We give them those opportunities to work with young kids. We give them opportunities to go out to the schools here, read books to the kids, have lunch with them and also go to senior citizens’ homes. They walk through and talk to our seniors, read stories to them and play checkers with them. They do something that doesn’t cause them to think too heavily about what’s happening. They also relax. Yoga is a great way to do that. They do physical exercise. They’re challenging themselves to think outside of where they are and then to look at what happened.
What I find is a lot of our behavioral health specialists don’t want to talk about the issue. They want to talk about the aftermath, how it makes them feel and how they don’t like to be around crowds and things of that sort. We look at the actual of what happened. We’re like, “What could you have done to mitigate that?” If you couldn’t, we try to talk about how you can’t take on that fault or that guilt.
I have to speak for myself as well. I did it within myself as well to think, “What could I have done differently? If I could not have done anything differently, then I have to understand that I was trained to handle a situation but not every situation can be handled. I have to live with that, deal with it and then let it go.” It’s not an easy thing to do because we always want to think that we could have done it better or, “Maybe it was my fault. If I went a little bit further or a little bit harder.” We come up with all of these things. We try to stop catastrophizing. We try to stop wondering what ifs because what ifs will take us down this long spiral.
Deal with what happened. Say, “If I know that I did my absolute best, I have to accept it and move on.” It’s a difficult thing to do but we’ve done enough where not everybody comes along at the same pace but with the group, it works better. We can hear each other’s stories. A lot of times, in our silos, we think, “I’m the worst person. It’s happening to nobody but me.” We put them in groups so when they hear the next person’s story, it is, “That happened to you. I looked at you as being this amazing person and you’re telling me that you’re still having struggles.”
It works. It helps us all realize that life is going to continue to happen. How do we deal with life? We have to have resilience. We have to recognize that we can’t control everything and that when bad things do happen, we can bounce back from them. It may take a minute but we have to allow ourselves to heal. We don’t want to heal because we feel guilt. We’re like, “I made it and someone else didn’t.” We have to release that guilt and recognize that.
That’s where the spirituality comes in, whatever you believe. Most of them are Christians so we go that route. We let them know, “God is in control. He says that he will never put more on you than you can bear.” You’re like, “It feels like I cannot bear this,” but every day that you wake up, you have to say, “I’m still here.” That means you can bear it.
When you’re talking about this and putting people in groups, what’s the context? Are you working with these people as in veterans groups? Where are you working with them?
I’m not in the DoD system. It happened very organically. I was doing a critical thinking skills class with a group of 7th-group soldiers or active duty soldiers. During the breaks, we would talk. They started talking and I got on my spiel. Afterward, we kept talking. We meet at different places outside of the post, chit-chat and talk. Then, more people started coming.
It’s not something that I get paid to do. That’s not what I’m in it for. I’m in it to help. It’s not something that is in the DoD system because what they recognize and what we all recognize is that when they see behavioral health within the DoD system, it is recorded. These are guys who are concerned about future promotions, advancements, unit placements and things of that sort.
We’ve gotten to the point where we’ll meet maybe once every couple of weeks. We’ll meet somewhere or they’ll text me and say, “We got a new guy. Can we meet?” We’ll go to one of the local parks, sit around and talk. Sometimes, they will do it themselves. They’ll talk, call me and say, “We got this guy. Here’s what’s going on. Here’s what we did. We want to make sure that we’re clear.” It happened very organically.
That’s an ongoing thing but it’s not your primary focus. It’s this volunteer thing. You’re taking some of the expertise you’re learning in your studies and the work with the indigenous and the cross-generational trauma and bringing it to bear with veterans and active duty people. I wonder if you can take a moment here and think about the various things that we’ve discussed. If we look at being somewhat low on time, what’s something you’ve already discussed that you want to go back and highlight or something about you and your work that we haven’t even touched on yet?
I do want to touch on a training model that we came up with. I started a company called Infinity LINC International. It’s a consultation company. One of the big things that we teach is called the C.O.U.R.S.E training model. The C.O.U.R.S.E stands for Cultural honesty, Operating in context, Understanding biases, Recognition of others, Self-reflection and then Educational emulation of others.
What that C.O.U.R.S.E model does is it allows people to understand the impact of their inherent biases on themselves and others. It allows them to recognize why they see the world the way that they see the world. It provides a time of self-reflection and personal development to increase cross-cultural connections and communication. It also allows them to understand what cultural context is.
When we teach that model, we teach it in several stages. We like to take about six months to do it so it gives the participants an opportunity to reflect on each module. It can be done in separate modules but we like to do it as a complete course. In the end, when we talk about educating emulation, what we would like for our participants to do is to take those first sets of modules and then emulate that so that others can see that behavior.
We believe that by using that model, we change perspectives. We don’t want to try to change people’s character. We just want to allow them or give them an opportunity to entertain alternative perspectives. If you can get someone to consider entertaining an alternative perspective, then it opens their minds up to different things and different ways to behave and see the world.
We ask them to first have an open mind and be willing to interact with others with a positive mindset and see that alternative perspective. Whether they believe it or not, if they would entertain that there is an alternative perspective, we call that a win. We then ask them to be willing to self-reflect and positively exchange with one another whether they have the same understanding or even if it’s something that they are wanting to debate.
There’s an adage that says you don’t know the next person until you walk 1 mile in his or her shoes. At the end of the day, that’s what we’re asking people to do. Consider walking 1 mile in someone else’s shoes and then make a decision about who they are, why they do what they do and most importantly, why those things that they say, do or the way that they act trigger something in you, whether it’s negative or positive. When we talk about cultural honesty, it’s about understanding yourself so that you’re able to better understand others. That’s our C.O.U.R.S.E training model. I’m so excited about this training model. We’ve only done two iterations of this. It is patented but we want to get that training model out there.Cultural honesty is about understanding yourself so that you can better understand others. Click To Tweet
Where have you done it? Are you doing it in schools or businesses? Where are you doing it?
We did it at a church in Los Angeles. I have a business partner who lives in Los Angeles. We conducted one iteration at a church in Los Angeles which were having disruptions. We conducted it there and it was great. They’re still working on some of the modules that we gave them in terms of stepping back and going back to, “Why does that bother me? Why am I having this particular reaction?” That’s a huge step forward for us that we can have people stop and think, “I reacted to this. It’s not the person. What was in that that caused me to react?”
We are getting emails and phone calls saying, “I did this and I thought about it.” We are a product of our experiences so they’re like, “It was something that happened to my parents and I picked that up.” That’s where we talk about transgenerational trauma. They’re like, “I picked it up from their attitude or how they reacted so I reacted.” We did it there in Los Angeles.
We’ve also done it in a small portion here in the city of Crestview, Florida with the city manager. We had a few of the people from city hall that went very quickly through the course. It didn’t take six months. It was more like six days. We briefly went over the concepts. Even in that small timeframe, we got some positive reactions and interactions.
Our city manager is great. He encouraged that for his leaders. We did it quickly. We were not getting into too much depth with them but the responses were extremely positive. They’re still looking at those concepts and saying, “It helped me to think about why I reacted this way or I insisted upon doing things this way. When people come up with different ideas, why do I balk at those different ideas? It’s because of my experiences.” It has helped them. I would hope that we’re able to expand on whom we’re working with. I’m trying to put this into our school district as well for our principals and vice principals.
Can you give us the name of the company and what C.O.U.R.S.E stands for?
The company is Infinity LINC International. It’s an LLC. It’s the C.O.U.R.S.E training model. The C is for Cultural honesty. The O is for Operating in context. The U is for Understanding biases. The R is for Recognition of others. The S is Self-reflection and the E is Education and emulation.
If people wanted to find out more about that, where would we direct them?
Thank you so much for joining us. It’s been a delight to hear more about what you’re doing. I hope you keep us posted about how this project goes as you launch the C.O.U.R.S.E program.
Thank you so much for having me.
Dr. Karen Brown grew up around the world as a Military dependent. She followed in her father’s footsteps by joining the United States Army where she spent 26 years as a Combat Medic, honing her understanding, awareness, love for culture, inclusion and international engagement. Dr. Brown is an adjunct professor at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She teaches courses at the Master’s and doctoral levels and is a dissertation chairperson, providing mentorship and guidance to ten doctoral students and candidates.
She is a published author and has written several articles for indigenous newsletters circulated in Australia. She is the Owner and Founder of Infinity LINC International, a training and consulting company. She is the Founder and Chief Facilitator for the Crestview Youth Coalition, a grassroots organization that focuses on supporting the youth in Crestview, Florida and its surrounding areas.
She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Life Sciences from Kansas State University, a Master’s in Forensic Psychology and a PhD in International Psychology both from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Dr. Brown’s dissertation research IS focused on transgenerational trauma, its effects and ways to mitigate those effects. She is an all-around performer who has demonstrated focused leadership and an unwavering commitment to integrity at the highest levels of academia and her career choices.
About Dr. Karen Brown Ph.D
Dr. Karen Brown grew up around the world as a military dependent. She followed in her father’s footsteps by joining the United States Army where she spent 26 years as a Combat Medic honing her understanding, awareness, and love for culture, inclusion, and international engagement. She is an allaround performer who has demonstrated focused leadership and unwavering commitment to integrity at the highest levels of academia and her career choices. She holds a B.S. in Biology/Life Sciences from Kansas State University, an M.A. in Forensic Psychology, and a PhD in International Psychology, both from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Dr. Brown’s dissertation research focused on transgenerational trauma, its resulting effects, and ways to mitigate those effects.
Currently, Dr. Brown is an adjunct professor at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology where she teaches courses at the master’s and doctoral level and is a dissertation chair providing mentorship and guidance to ten doctoral students and candidates. She is a published author and has written several articles for indigenous newsletters circulated in Australia. She is the owner and founder of Infinity LINC International, a training and consulting company. She is the founder and chief facilitator for the Crestview Youth Coalition, a grassroots organization that focuses on supporting the youth in Crestview, Florida, and its surrounding areas.
She is the past President of her local Toastmaster’s Club, volunteers as a mentor at two Okaloosa County (FL) Schools, is a member of Ladies of Eminence, a non-profit organization providing moral support, mentorship, and career advice to young ladies, is a member of the American Psychological Association (APA); Division 52, (International Psychology), Division 56 (Trauma Psychology), Division 48 (Peace Psychology), the International Association of Cross-Cultural Psychology (IACCP), and the Okaloosa County (FL) NAACP.