Understanding Trauma and Families of Color

Mr. Marshall Bryant, LCSW is an experienced psychotherapist, supervisor, clinical administrator and staff trainer in a variety of outpatient mental health settings, including Rikers Island Prison. He does staff training at a number of social service agencies and trains social work interns.

Dr. Derek Suite, MD is a Board certified psychiatrist who is the Founder & Chief Executive Officer (1999-present) of a community based comprehensive behavioral health clinic in the Bronx where he oversees all aspects of their various programs. The agency provides organizational consultation, assessment of training needs and staff training to a number of social service and mental health agencies in NYC. Dr. Suite also provides direct clinical services including comprehensive psychiatric evaluations, psychological evaluation and testing, neuropsychological evaluations, psychotropic medication management and a variety of culturally-competent individual and group psychotherapies.

Course Description:

Session amounts may vary based on the individual needs of the organization.

For individuals, please contact us for more information.

Using a “delivery service model” this review course is designed to amplify the knowledge and skills of clinical practitioners working with adolescents and their families of color. Special emphasis is given to the role of trauma as it affects the mental health, behaviors and presentation the unique cohort of clients served by many social workers, around these issues: teen pregnancy, homelessness, family dysfunction, poverty, and mental illness.

Course Objectives:

The therapist is one who is interested how people think about others, influence and are influenced by others, and how they interact with others. This review course is designed to give participants a detailed overview of the major topics currently important in the delivery of mental health services to adolescents and their families of color as well as some of the history and methodology that form the basis of our present understanding in the delivery of mental health services to this population. This course has as its cornerstone building a foundational and working knowledge of relevant mental health conditions as outlined the DSM IV-TR and the use of practical clinical experience as well empirical research and relevant studies as the means of increasing participant understanding of the common mental health and behavioral issues that affect urban adolescents and their families.

Course Aims:


Participants will learn key aspects of assessment and treatment using relevant psychological, behavioral and pharmacological therapies as the relate to the population with a focus of the role of trauma and its effects


Participants amplify their clinical interviewing, assessment and differential diagnostic formulations in addition to delivering crisis intervention and trauma-sensitive counseling


In addition to appreciating the complexities inherent in designing an effective model for the treatment of adolescents of color, participants will develop an appreciation and sensitivity to their own reactions and responses associated with the treatment and care of adolescents facing mental illness and trauma.

Course Content:

This review course covers a wide range of psychiatric and psychological theories, concepts and methods and demonstrates how they are typically applied in various contexts with a particular focus on adolescence. The course explores the scope of the role played by very diverse perspectives, including culture, on understanding adolescent behavior and experience. The review course is divided into several teaching modules that vary in length:

Course Methods:

This intensive review course uses didactic lectures, including power point presentations, video and live guest participation. The course is designed to be interactive-using Q & A format. Case studies and relevant literature will be employed to supplement and illustrate key concepts. Content knowledge will be assessed via weekly quizzes or direct
Q & A review by instructors.

Course Materials:

All participants are encouraged to obtain a pocket DSM IV that should be brought to each class. Laptops and note taking encouraged. Reading assignments will be distributed within the class.

Course activity:

Enhancement of social work practice, skills and knowledge