Identifying and Addressing Racial Trauma in Couple Therapy

Effective therapeutic strategies are needed to address the complexities and effects of racial stressors and oppressions on Black coupling relationships as well as ways to strengthen these relationships. Dr. Awosan will facilitate an in-depth exploration of the cultural contexts and unique difficulties that Black men and women face in their efforts to nurture their romantic relationships and sustain enduring romantic unions. A major segment of this workshop will focus on the historical, social, emotional and relational challenges that Black men and women encounter in their coupling experiences and relationships.

Specific attention will be devoted to the ways in which daily experiences with sociocultural trauma of racism generate destructive relational and communication patterns that block healthy emotional and relational support as well as connection between Black men and women. Using trauma-informed Multicultural Relational Perspective approaches to treatment, clinical strategies on ways to unmask racial trauma, strengthen emotional and relational bonds as well as help Black couples communicate effectively by moving past the emotion of shame connected to racial trauma and assaults will be provided. Identification and acknowledgment of the unique emotional and relational strengths of Black couples will also be addressed and relevant Self of the Therapist issues that may facilitate or impede effective clinical engagement and treatment will be discussed.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe and demonstrate the use of trauma-informed clinical skills from a Multicultural Relational Perspective in working with Black couples
  • Define the historical and cultural contexts as well as unique difficulties that Black men and women face in their efforts to develop and maintain enduring romantic relationships
  • Describe the process by which sociocultural trauma of racism prevents Black men and women from building relational emotional bonds


Dr. Christiana Ibilola Awosan, PhD., LMFT, is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). She earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology (pre-med) and Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) degrees from Syracuse University and a doctoral degree in Couple and Family Therapy (CFT) at Drexel University. Dr. Awosan is currently an Assistant Professor of Marriage and Family at Seton Hall University, Associate Faculty at the Eikenberg Academy for Social Justice and the Director and therapist at Ibisanmi Relational Health.

Date / Time:

Friday, November 1, 2019
10:00 am–4:00 pm

Continuing Education:

5 CE Contact Hours

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