ABCT Services

Isha Metzger Recorded Webinar: Culturally Affirming Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Heal Interpersonal and Racial Trauma: The Importance of Racial Socialization for Black Youth


The negative consequences of interpersonal trauma (e.g., physical abuse) take a disproportionate toll on Black youth due to the compounding stress of experiencing unique race related stressors both directly (e.g., microaggressions) and vicariously (e.g., witnessing police brutality in the media). Community based mental health services exist to provide child and family treatment for trauma to help prevent and treat negative sequelae. However, these services are often underutilized as they do not systematically consider racial stress and trauma in their intakes, assessment, or treatments. To increase their utility in responding to and treating trauma, cognitive-behavioral treatments and services should address cultural factors (e.g., system mistrust) that are likely to influence Black families' willingness to engage in treatment. In addition, Black youth rely on particular assets and strengths in their families and communities to reduce negative mental and behavioral health outcomes from interpersonal and race-related stressors. Racial socialization is the protective process of transmitting cultural behaviors, attitudes, and values to prepare youth to cope with racial stressors, and is associated with positive outcomes including increased resilience, coping abilities, and decreased problem behaviors and anxiety in Black youth. This webinar will provide an overview of the impact of interpersonal and racial stress and trauma on mental health and behavioral outcomes for Black youth. This webinar will also present findings from research on organizational barriers and facilitators to service utilization and engagement for ethnic minority caregivers referred for treatment at a nationally accredited community mental health center for children. Last, a focus of this webinar will be on providing participants an overview of groundbreaking strategies and resources for utilizing racial socialization to deliver cognitive-behavioral therapy in a culturally affirming and validating manner for Black youth and families who are healing from interpersonal and racial trauma.

Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify ways that interpersonal and racial stress and trauma impact Black youth development;
  2. Understand research on barriers and facilitators to mental health service utilization for ethnic minority youth and families;
  3. Define racial socialization including evidence-based themes that the messages convey, benefits of racial socialization for Black youth, and common modes for transmitting racial socialization messages and practices; and
  4. Utilize 2-3 strategies for integrating racial socialization as a culturally specific cognitive-behavioral treatment strategy for Black clients.


About the Presenter:

Dr. Isha Metzger is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Georgia, and Visiting Research Faculty at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS’ at Yale University. Dr. Metzger earned her PhD in Clinical-Community Psychology from the University of South Carolina, she completed her pre-doctoral internship at the Medical University of South Carolina, and she received postdoctoral training both at the National Crime Victims Center and at Yale University. As Director of The EMPOWER Lab at UGA, Dr. Metzger focuses on reducing mental health disparities through "Engaging Minorities in Prevention, Outreach, Wellness, Education, & Research.” Dr. Metzger’s systematic research program is aimed at elucidating the role of culturally specific risk (e.g., racial discrimination) and protective (e.g., racial socialization) factors to better inform cognitive-behavioral outcomes for Black youth receiving evidence-based services for interpersonal and racial stress and trauma in “real world” settings. Dr. Metzger is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who offers award-winning instruction, supervision, training, and consultation to students, professionals, and organizations across the nation on the delivery of evidence-based treatments for underserved individuals seeking mental health treatment for a range of problems. Additionally, Dr. Metzger is an advocate for Black youth and families in the local community, and she is both personally and professionally committed to illuminating and utilizing the individual and communal ability of Black Americans to heal from and thrive in spite of anti-Black racism.


Recommended Readings/Resources:

  1. Metzger, I., Anderson, R., Are, F., & Ritchwood, T (2020). Healing interpersonal and racial trauma: Integrating Racial Socialization into TF-CBT for African American Youth. Child Maltreatment. PMID: 32367729.
  2. Wang, M.-T., Henry, D. A., Smith, L. V., Huguley, J. P., & Guo, J. (2020). Parental ethnic-racial socialization practices and children of color’s psychosocial and behavioral adjustment: A systematic review and meta-analysis. American Psychologist, 75(1), 1–22.
  3. Anderson, R., Metzger, I., Applewhite, K., Sawyer, B., Jackson, W., Flores, S., McKenny, M., & Carter, R. (2020). Hands Up, Now What?: Participant Reactions to Family and School Racial Socialization Interventions to Reduce Racial Stress for Black Youth. Journal of Youth Development. 93-109.
  4. Coard, S. I., Wallace, S. A., Stevenson, H. C., & Brotman, L. M. (2004). Towards culturally relevant preventive interventions: The consideration of racial socialization in parent training with African American families. Journal of Child and Family Studies13(3), 277-293.
  5. Neblett, E. W., White, R. L., Ford, K. R., Philip, C. L., Nguyên, H. X., & Sellers, R. M. (2008). Patterns of racial socialization and psychological adjustment: Can parental communications about race reduce the impact of racial discrimination?. Journal of Research on Adolescence18(3), 477-515.



About the Moderator:  Brittany Hall-Clark Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Currently, she is working primarily in her private practice, InSight Psychology and Behavioral Health Services, where she clinically specializes in trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, nightmares, insomnia, sleep, and anxiety.


Member Price: $25.00
Non-Member Price: $35.00

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