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Letter from the President - February 2023

February is Black History Month and WAMFT would like to honor all of the black family therapists who have shaped our field and our clinical practice. One of the most significant contributions of Black family therapists has been their work in decolonizing family therapy. Historically, the field of psychotherapy have been dominated by white individuals using Western models of psychology, which do not always consider the cultural and social contexts of diverse populations. Black family therapists have challenged this approach by integrating the values, beliefs, and practices of Black communities into therapy and centered their ways of life and thoughts on wellness. Black family therapists have created culturally attuned interventions and practices that recognize and honor the experiences of Black families.

One black family therapist we would like to highlight is Marlene Watson, PhD. She is currently the Director of Training at the Ackerman Institute in New York City and the former Chair of the Couple and Family Therapy department at Drexel University. Dr. Watson has contributed a great deal of scholarly work towards centering black voices and black families in the therapy world inspiring a number of family therapist to think critically about race. Dr. Watson also assisted in the proliferation of the Person of the Therapist (POTT) model in the graduate school environment alongside Dr. Harry Aponte. Dr. Watson continues to be a force of change in our field as she continues to write about black families, black sexuality and black wellness. If you would like to learn more about Dr. Watson, check out her website

Lastly, on the topic of Black History Month, if you would like more to know more information about treating black families or ways to give back, check out these resources:

In addition to acknowledging Black History Month, we also would like to remind you of our upcoming events. Please find information on some of our events and save the dates in this month's member eNews.

Anthony Pennant, PhD, LMFT

WAMFT President

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