“If you have Black clients, you can assume they have stress or trauma around their experience of race,” explains Monnica Williams, associate professor at the University of Ottawa. For white therapists, then, it’s important to broach the topic appropriately.

That asking about race-based trauma requires such a delicate approach says S. Kent Butler, president-elect of the American Counseling Association, is testament to the fact that, regrettably, conversations about race are considered taboo. “Let’s have that difficult dialogue,” he says. “If we don’t deal with our own understanding of what that is, we can’t find our way to asking those types of questions.”

Read more from this panel in our September/October 2020 issue, here.

Monnica Williams

Monnica T. Williams, PhD, is a board-certified licensed clinical psychologist who was named one of the top 25 thought leaders in PTSD by PTSD Journal. Her work has been featured in several major media outlets, including NPR, Huffington Post, CNN, and the New York Times. Dr. Williams has published over 100 book chapters and peer-reviewed articles focused on trauma and other anxiety-related disorders and cultural differences. She is an associate editor of the Behavior Therapist and New Ideas in Psychology, and serves on the editorial board of several scientific journals.


S. Kent Butler

S. Kent Butler, PhD, is president-elect of the American Counseling Association and the interim chief of equity, inclusion, and diversity officer at University of Central Florida.


Gail Parker

Gail Parker, PhD, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500, is a psychologist and a certified yoga therapist.  She is a nationally and internationally renowned media personality, educator, author, and thought leader.  Dr. Parker is the current president of the Black Yoga Teachers Alliance (BYTA) and the author of Restorative Yoga for Ethnic and Race-Based Stress and Trauma (2020).  Her broad expertise in behavioral health and wellness includes forty years as a practicing psychotherapist.  Dr. Parker is a lifelong practitioner of yoga and is well known for her pioneering efforts to blend psychology, yoga, and meditation as effective self-care strategies that can enhance emotional balance and contribute to the overall health and well-being of practitioners.  She has a special interest in utilizing and teaching Restorative Yoga and meditation as self-care practices for managing ethnic and race based traumatic stress.  She is a faculty member in the Beaumont School of Yoga Therapy in the department of Integrative Medicine and William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak Michigan, where she teaches mind/body strategies for reducing stress and healing emotional trauma to aspiring yoga therapists.

Zachary Taylor

Zach Taylor, MA, LPC, is the Director of Psychotherapy Networker. He oversees the award-winning magazine—frequently interviewing the field’s top experts—and stepped up to be among the hosts of the annual Psychotherapy Networker Symposium, which is the largest and longest running annual gathering of psychotherapists in the world. In addition, he manages CE trainings and programs for PESI, Inc., Networker’s parent company. Prior to joining Psychotherapy Networker, he spent 10 years in practice specializing in anxiety and panic disorders. His mission is to support psychotherapy professionals and develop future trainers and trainings to improve outcomes for their clients. He currently lives in Eau Claire, WI.