Healing communities from racial trauma | with Dr. Isha Metzger

Psych Mic

Jan 13 2022 • 1 hr 22 mins

Isha Metzger, PhD is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Founder and Director of The EMPOWER Lab, Owner of Cultural Concepts, LLC, a Certified Therapist in Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT), and she is the Mental Health expert for Salone Health, an organization dedicated to improving the health of Sierra Leoneans at home and abroad. The overarching goal of Dr. Metzger’s career is to take a strengths based, anti-deficit approach to prevention for youth of color. Dr. Metzger stands against anti-Black racism and oppression through "Engaging Minorities in Prevention, Outreach, Wellness, Education, & Research" through community-based participatory methods and advocacy.

Dr. Metzger’s research is aimed at preventing engagement in risky behaviors (e.g., sexual activity, alcohol use, delinquency) as well as understanding risk and resilience factors (e.g., trauma experiences, racial socialization and racial discrimination, family and peer relationships) that impact the relation between trauma exposure and problematic outcomes (e.g., STI/HIV exposure, unintended pregnancies). Dr. Metzger is also engaged in translational research including the conceptualization, implementation, dissemination, and evaluation of prevention programming aimed at reducing mental health and health disparities among African American youth.

Dr. Metzger earned her Bachelor’s in psychology from Georgia State University and her PhD in clinical-community psychology from the University of South Carolina.  Learn more about her projects at www.drishametzger.com.

Black and EMPOWERED podcast

In this interview, we cover:

  • When did you realize you wanted to devote your career to healing black babies?
  • How did you figure out you wanted to do therapy and not medicine?
  • Why was research a powerful way for you to address racial trauma?
  • Dealing with vicarious trauma as a clinician
  • Why did you choose to do your PhD in Clinical-Community Psychology
  • Becoming a competitive applicant
  • Networking before grad school: why it’s important and how to do it
  • What do you wish you knew before grad school?
  • Is it important to know exactly what you want to research before going to grad school?
  • What is your research at the EMPOWER Lab? How do you involve the community?
  • What is one skill, quality, or general factor that has served you no matter where you went in life?

Visit psychmic.com to sign up for the newsletter, where you'll get career tips, grad school resources, and job opportunities straight to your inbox! Follow @psych_mic on Instagram to submit questions for speakers and stay in the loop.

Music by: Adam Fine