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Digital Seminar

Microtraumas and the African American Client

Candice Richardson Dickens, MAC, LCPC, LCADC, CCTP
2 Hours 04 Minutes
Mar 22, 2019
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Seminar
Never expires.


African Americans regularly receive societal messages about their lack of value, powerlessness, and inability to ensure their personal safety. Perpetuated through media stories as well as common, everyday interactions, these microtraumas cause African Americans to experience a heightened sense of cortisol arousal, a pervasive feeling of doom, and a lack of trust in relation to their environment. The result is hypervigilance and intrusive exaggerated flight, fight, and freeze responses.


- PESI Australia, in collaboration with PESI in the USA, offers quality online continuing professional development events from the leaders in the field at a standard recognized by professional associations including psychology, social work, occupational therapy, alcohol and drug professionals, counselling and psychotherapy. On completion of the training, a Professional Development Certificate is issued after the individual has answered and submitted a quiz and course evaluation. This online program is worth 2 hours CPD for points calculation by your association.



Candice Richardson Dickens, MAC, LCPC, LCADC, CCTP's Profile

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Candace R. Dickens is a PESI Faculty Member and Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Maryland as well as the District of Columbia. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision at Saybrook University. She is a strong advocator for creating culturally sensitive counter spaces that promote racial/ethnic healing, identity formation and group resiliency. Her proudest accomplishments as an advocator for racial healing are found in her creating the BIPOC Provider Directory Color of Trauma and Healing, and founding Kujichagulia, a BIPOC therapeutic counseling group for African American female students attending Bowling Green State University. She is a popular speaker and has been featured at major conferences such as NAADAC National Conference, the Maryland Tuerk Conference, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselors of Maryland Conference, Black Mental Health Alliance Conference, the Psychotherapy Networker, and Boston University School of Social Work.  


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Candice Richardson Dickens has employment relationships with CRA Counseling & Consulting Agency and Life Care Bridge. She receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from Psychotherapy Networker and PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Candice Richardson Dickens an executive board member for The Night of Peace Shelter. She is a member of the Maryland Association of Imago Therapists and the American Counseling Association.



  1. Identify triggers and symptoms of microtrauma, as well as how it’s processed in the brain.
  2. Use mindfulness, faith-based rituals, deep breathing exercises, grounding techniques, and memory-processing activities to decrease frequency of reactivity.
  3. Apply mood-regulation skills, self-talk safety scripts, and sensory techniques to enhance clients’ feelings of being in control and empowered in the presence of real or perceived danger.
  4. Develop behavioural choices in dealing with anxiety over past microtraumas and current situations.


Understanding Cultural Trauma

  • Fight or Flight Responses
  • Learned Helplessness
  • Micro- vs. Macro-traumas

DSM-5 Trauma and PTSD

  • Defining and Assessing Trauma
  • Witnessed or Experienced Trauma

Talking about Race

  • Talking to Children about Race
  • Addressing Ethnic Differences Between Therapist & Client
  • Empowering through Experience Validation

Techniques for Treating Physiological Responses to Trauma

  • Mindfulness
  • Grounding & Tapping
  • Deep Breathing Techniques
  • Visualizations & Hypnosis
  • Reducing Shame & Increasing Self-Affirmations

Understanding Long-Term Memory

  • Implicit Memory
  • Explicit Memory
    • Episodic
    • Semantic

Trauma & Neuroscience

  • Polyvagal Theory
  • Sympathetic and Parasympathetic responses
Physiological Impact of Trauma on African Americans

Target Audience

  • Psychologists
  • Physicians
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Nurses
  • Other Behavioral Health Professionals

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