10 Culturally Responsive Mental Health Providers in Maryland You Should Know

10 Culturally Responsive Mental health Providers in Maryland
Better African American Mental Health

By Dr. Chioma Anah

Breaking the Stigma of Mental Illness

As we wind down Mental Health Awareness Month this May, I would be remiss if I did not post about the importance of people of color, particularly African Americans, seeking culturally responsive therapists when in need of mental health care, and ending the stigma associated with mental illness.

Efforts to understand the mental health of African Americans and many people of color requires complex, yet nuanced perspectives. On one hand, significant attention has been directed to examining the stigma associated with mental illness around the African American communities and communities of color; that is, the idea that there is shame around mental illness, leading to a culture of silence and/or praying the illness away. On the other hand, many researchers (Sue, 2015; Smith, Hung, & Franklin, 2011; Sue, 2010; Smith, Allen, & Danley, 2007) have found that there is a direct correlation between racial trauma, both historical and present daily microaggressions, that cause significant anxiety and stress that can manifest into mental illness. African Americans, especially, encounter a myriad of economic, academic, social, and racial barriers, which can expose them to traumatic experiences. In addition, young African Americans who are exposed to traumatic events are more likely to exhibit maladaptive behaviors, and may not have the necessary coping skills and tools to overcome traumatic events, without professional assistance. All these perspectives are important and have to be examined, and the mental health needs of those with mental illness has to be of primary concern in the African American community.

A 2016 Huffpost article by Senior Wellness Editor, Lindsay Holmes, highlighted the staggering statistics of the disparities surrounding mental health care among people of color: 20% of African Americans are more likely to experience mental health issues, however, only 2.3% of those people in desperate need of assistance seek therapy; 40% of Native Americans between the ages of 15-24 die by suicide; 10.3% of every 100,000 Hispanic men died by suicide, a number which has been consistent since 1999; and the list goes on.

We, as a nation, have to do better; we must acknowledge the importance of mental health care, and compassionately address the needs of those who seek assistance. In an effort to encourage mental health care, and provide some information and resources; PerceptA Therapeutic has compiled a 2018 List of 10 Mental Health Providers in Maryland whose work includes a focus on African American issues, racial identity issues, and cultural issues in therapy. Provider specialties, insurance information and payment options, location and contact information have also been included.

Your mental health matters, embrace getting the assistance you need.

Mental Health Providers in Maryland:

1. Dr. Linda D. Washington, PhD, LCPC, NCC
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor
Specialties: Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Divorce, Spirituality, Trauma & PTSD
Types of Services Provided: Individuals, couples therapy
Insurance: Accepts Most Insurance
Method of Payment: Cash/Check
Location: Pikesville, MD 21208
Phone: 410-484-8560

2. Dr. La Toya Bianca Smith, MS, EdS, PhD
Licensed Psychologist
Specialties: Racial Identity, Relationship Issues, Career Counseling, gay/lesbian issues, Veterans
Types of Services Provided: Individual therapy, family therapy, group therapy
Insurance: BlueCross & BlueShield, CareFirst, Johns Hopkins (EHP and USFHP), Magellan Behavior Health
Method of Payment: Cash/Check/Credit Card/PayPal/Health Savings Account
Location: Towson, MD 21204
Phone: 410-469-6946

3. Dr. Chioma Anah, ATR, LCPC-S, NCC, ACS
Registered Art Therapist, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Board Approved LCPC Supervisor
Specialties: Anger Management, Anxiety, Relationship Issues, Resiliency /Racial Identity & Oppression
Types of Services Provided: Individuals, family, couples, Supervision
Insurance: Out of Network, Private Pay-Sliding Scale payment options
Method of Payment: Cash/Check
Location: Towson, MD 21204
Email: perceptatherapeutic.anah@gmail.com
Phone: 443-992-1796

4. Dr. Rosemary Cook, PhD, LCSW-C
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Specialties: Depression, Trauma & PTSD, Anxiety
Types of Services Provided: Individuals, family therapy, couples therapy
Insurance: BlueCross & Blue Shield, Johns Hopkins Health, Magellan Behavioral Health, Medicaid
Method of Payment: Cash/Check/Credit Card/PayPal
Location: Towson, MD 21204
Phone: 410-346-2035

5. Lisa S. Hanks, LCPC, LCADC
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Licensed Clinical Alcohol & Drug Counselor
Specialties: Anxiety, Depression, Anger Management, Addictions, Substance Abuse
Types of Services Provided: Individual therapy, couples therapy, group.
Insurance: Medicaid, Out of Network
Method of Payment: Cash/Check/Credit Card/Savings Account
Location: Towson, MD 21204
Phone: 443-380-2587

6. Dr. LaShaunna Lipscomb, PhD, LCPC
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor
Specialties: Depression, Trauma & PTSD, Family Conflict
Types of Services Provided: Individuals, family, couples therapy
Insurance: AMERIGROUP, Beech Street, BlueCross & BlueShield, Medicaid, TRICARE
Method of Payment: Cash/Credit Card/ACH Bank transfer/PayPal
Location: Baltimore, MD 21218
Email: JourneytoWellness.Baltimore@gmail.com
Phone: 518-633-4236

7. Jocelyn Malone, LCSW-C
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Specialties: Depression, Anxiety, Relationship Issues, Racial Identity Issues
Types Of Services Provided: Individual therapy, family & couples therapy for teens and adults
Insurance: Medical Assistance (MA); and Blue Cross/Blue Shield
Location: Pikesville, MD
Email: jsmtherapeutic@gmail.com
Phone: 410-239-5737

8. Joyce L. Ashford, LCPC
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor
Specialties: Spirituality, Dual Diagnosis, Trauma & PTSD
Types Of Services Provided: Individual therapy, group therapy
Insurance: Private Pay –Sliding Scale payment options available
Method of Payment: Cash/Check/Credit Card/Health Savings Account
Location: Baltimore, MD 21217
Phone: 410-346-5351

9. Lakeshia Gilbert, LCPC
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor
Specialties: Divorce, Anxiety, Relationship Issues, Women’s Issues
Types of Services Provided: Individual s, family therapy, couples therapy
Insurance: Out of Network
Method of Payment: Cash/Check/Credit Card
Location: Perry Hall, MD 21128
Phone: 410-449-7411

10. Shonda Conyers, MSW, LCSW-C
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Specialties: Anxiety, Depression, Coping Skills
Types of Services Provided: Individuals, family therapy, couples therapy.
Insurance: Most Insurance
Method of Payment: Cash/Check/Credit Card/Health Savings Account/PayPal
Location: Pikesville, MD 21208
Phone: 410-981-9963


Smith, W. A., Allen, W. A., & Danley, L. (2007). Assume the position…you fit the description: Psychosocial experiences and racial battle fatigue among African American male college students. American Behavioral Scientists, 51, 551-578.

Smith, C., & Carlson, B. (1997). Stress, coping and resilience in children and youth. Social Service Review, 71(2) 231-256.

Smith, W. A., Hung, M., & Franklin, J. D. (2011). Racial battle fatigue and the miseducation of Black men: Racial microaggressions, societal problems, and environmental stress. The Journal of Negro Education, 80(1), 63-82.

Sue, D. W. (2015). Race talk and the conspiracy of silence: Understanding and facilitating difficult dialogues on race. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Sue, D. W. (2010). Microaggressions in everyday life: race, gender and sexual orientation. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

10 Culturally Responsive Mental Health Providers in Maryland-2018

List compiled by PerceptA Therapeutic Training Center, LLC (2018)
Article by Dr. Chioma Anah

The Relevance of Social Justice Advocacy for Counselors Today

The Relevance of Social Justice Advocacy for Counselors Today by Dr. Chioma Anah
The Relevance of Social Justice Advocacy for Counselors Today
by Chioma Anah, Ed.D., NCC, LCPC-S, ACS

“In these days of difficulty, we Americans everywhere must and shall choose the path of social justice…, the path of faith, the path of hope, and the path of love toward our fellow man.”- Franklin D. Roosevelt

Social Justice Advocacy is extremely relevant today, due to: The extraordinarily difficult political and social circumstances we live in today; the continued disenfranchisement of large segments of society based on class, race, sexual orientation, gender, nationality, immigration status, religion, mental health status, and socio-economic status; and the mental health issues caused by social marginalization. This article works to highlight the relevance of social justice advocacy today in counseling, and calls attention to additional ways counselors could become better advocates in their work with diverse, marginalized and oppressed clients, through a call to action.

Sadly, we are being subjected to a current administration, whose agenda, it seems, has been focused on unleashing a series of unjust legislations and policies that threaten the rights of women, older adults, LGBTQ members of society, immigrants, and many less powerful members of society. We cannot also forget that we continue to live in a society in which not all its members have equal rights, equal access and opportunities to freely achieve everything that they are capable of doing, and to be able to fulfill their dreams no matter their background. Furthermore, we have large segments of the population who are challenged with mental health issues and traumas, due to being subjected to many social conditions such as discrimination, poverty, powerlessness, oppression and disenfranchisement. The realities we live in today’s society makes social justice advocacy even more relevant for us as members of a human family, as well as part of the counseling profession.

Social justice advocacy issues has always been part of the counseling profession from the beginning of its inception, and building Multicultural Counseling Competency (MCC) and a social justice advocacy orientation among counseling trainees are fundamental goals across counseling programs (Pieterse, Evans, Risner-Butner, Collins, & Mason, 2009). For professional counselors today, the American Counseling Association’s (2014) ACA Code of Ethics and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs’ (CACREP) 2016 Standards clearly highlight the critical need for counselors to enhance cultural sensitivity and responsiveness when working with clients from diverse backgrounds. Specific ethical guidelines for counselors include to, “advocate at individual, group, institutional, and societal levels to address potential barriers and obstacles that inhibit access and/or the growth and development of clients” (ACA, 2014, p. 5). Similarly, CACREP (2016) inform counseling practitioners in providing services to diverse, marginalized and oppressed populations in multicultural and social justice competent ways. CACREP (2016) also complements the ACA Code of Ethics, by featuring curriculum standards for counseling trainees within the areas of knowledge, skills, and clinical practice when working with culturally diverse populations. Furthermore, the Multicultural and Social Justice Counseling Competencies (MSJCC) provides a more detailed theoretical culturally contextual framework, and recommend interventions from both individual and systemic levels (Ratts, Singh, Nassar-McMillian, Butler, & McCullough, 2016). From all these guidelines, it is clear that competent counselors are expected to approach their clients as cultural beings who exist within contexts and systems, as well as incorporate social justice advocacy into their counseling practice. All counselors want the best for their clients, and should understand the important forces of oppression, inequality, and marginalization at play in their lives.

The relevance of social justice advocacy cannot be denied in today’s society. It is clear that, the current ethos of the world has significantly spiked the anxiety levels of many clients, and counselors. It is also important to be aware that, the most vulnerable members of society, and those that are disenfranchised and subjected to social traumas, are often afflicted with mental health issues; there is clearly a relationship between people subjected to social trauma and psychological distress and human dysfunction. Counselors are needed, to respond to this important work of social justice advocacy. Albert Einstein said it best when he stated, “Striving for social justice is the most valuable thing to do in life.” With this in mind, here is A Call to Action to all counselors:

1. To better meet the needs of our clients and create a healthier society, it is important for counselors to actively contemplate social issues, become better informed with not just domestic or local issues, but be better global citizens. Counselors should expand their knowledge base, in order to challenge injustice, and ultimately empower and provide resources for their clients to challenge the inequality and injustices in their lives.
2. Issues of social justice are important in counseling because our clients inherently exist within social and cultural systems and contexts. As counselors, to be “neutral” or “value-free” about one’s political views, is inherently an endorsement for the status quo; a stance for being apolitical within your counseling process, is not necessary a view that is helpful to clients, particularly when that client is a member of a historically marginalized group. Counselors are in positions of power and privilege to be the voice for those historically marginalized, and have to strive to work from a social justice advocacy and empowerment perspective in order to work with their clients in these times of uncertainty and high anxiety. As counselors, we must address the client’s experiences of oppression, powerlessness, and marginalization, as well as ways they can cope and strive towards healing.
3. Within the counseling relationship, working towards a successful therapeutic outcome for your marginalized and oppressed client through empowerment and active social justice advocacy is not “divisive” nor partisan, and counselors have to establish and maintain successful counseling relationships with clients from diverse backgrounds and cultural context, by being aware of the social justice needs of their clients, which are critical to their dignity and their therapeutic change.
4. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is a very important document for everyone, especially counselors, to read.
5. Lastly, counselors should be more active, vocal, and join organizations that focus on human rights and social justice advocacy causes. The Maryland Counseling Association is currently working on an initiative to start a Social Justice Division; Maryland Counselors for Social Justice (MCSJ). All those interesting in joining for membership can contact: Dr. Anah @ Email: drchiomaanah@gmail.com

“To be just, it is not enough to refrain from injustice. One must go further and refuse to play its game, substituting love for self-interest as the driving force of society.”- Pedro Arrupe, S. J.

American Counseling Association. (2014). ACA code of ethics. Alexandria, VA: Author.

Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. (2016). Accreditation manual. Alexandria, V

Pieterse, A. L., Evans, S. A., Risner-Butner, A., Collins, N. M., & Mason, L. B. (2009). Multicultural competence
and social justice training in counseling psychology and counselor education: A review and analysis of a sample of multicultural course syllabi. The Counseling Psychologist, 37, 93-115. Doi:10.1177/0011000008319986

Ratts, M.J., Singh, A.A., Butler, S.K., Nassar-McMillian, S., & McCullough, J, R. (2016) Multicultural and social
justice counseling competencies: Practice applications in counseling. Counseling Today retrieved https://ct.counseling.org/2016/01/multicultural-and-social-justice-counseling-competencies-practical-applications-in-counseling/

**This article was originally posted in the Fall 2017 issue of the Maryland Counseling Association (MCA) Quarterly Newsletter, Compass Points. MCA Quarterly Newsletter, Fall 2017

Dr. Chioma Anah


Top 10 Reasons to Seek Counseling

Top 10 Reasons to Seek Therapy with PerceptA Therapeutic Counseling Services-PerceptA Therapeutic Blog

January 31, 2017

There are many barriers associated with people resisting the need to seek counseling that includes; stigma associated with seeking therapy, the perception of weakness and failure associated with needing assistance to manage one’s life, and resistance to self-disclose due to emotional vulnerability.

It takes courage to seek counseling, and you are not alone. Here are 10 of the most common reasons people seek counseling:

  1. For self-regulation, and emotional homeostasis
  2. To create balance in your life, and journey toward a purpose driven life
  3. To improve interpersonal relationships. Specifically to unlock your potential for meaningful and fulfilling relationships
  4. To improve communication skills, and develop healthier ways of communicating with others
  5. To explore and process life transitions (death, divorce, job loss, college, empty-nest…)
  6. To improve self-esteem, self-worth and confidence through self-exploration
  7. To improve coping skills and strategies to better deal with stress, anxiety, and depression
  8. To better manage and control emotions of anger
  9. To process unresolved psychological distress and experiences after exposure to major trauma
  10. To process race/ethnic-related issues and stressors, and work to explore resiliency as it pertains to race/ethnic-related issues

Whatever your circumstances, we here at PerceptA Therapeutic will work closely with you to develop an appropriate plan that meets your needs and accomplishes your goals.

Break free of the barriers, begin a better life today, and call PerceptA Therapeutic Counseling Services~

Happy Wellness!

The PerceptA Therapeutic Team

PerceptA Therapeutic & Training Center, LLC is located in Towson, Maryland. We offer counseling services to adults, adolescents, and children. We can be contacted via email: perceptatherapeutic@gmail.com website: www.perceptatherapeutic.com

6 Tips: Surviving Post-Election Thanksgiving Dinner

6 Tips: Surviving Post-Election Thanksgiving Dinner  -PerceptA Therapeutic Blog                               

By Dr. Chioma Anah, LCPC

Survival Guide to Post-Election Thanksgiving Dinner-2016-PerceptA Therapeutic Blog by Dr. Chioma Anah
6 Tips: Surviving Post-Election Thanksgiving Dinner by Chioma Anah. PerceptA Therapeutic Blog, November 21, 2016

Thanksgiving can be an awesome holiday filled with family, food and fun! However, it can also be a difficult time for many, due to the stress and anxiety it sometimes evokes. We have just come through a very polarizing election campaign, and for most, this Thanksgiving dinner may probably be the first family get together since the election results. Many dread the inevitable Thanksgiving dinner political/post-election banter, as they know they are probably going to encounter angry and/or gloating relatives, which may trigger powerful emotions leading to irrational, uncomfortable and acrimonious discourse. These emotionally charged political discussions could inevitably ruin Thanksgiving with the family. So, what do we do, and how do we survive? Here are a few tips to help you navigate the uncharted waters of this unique post-election Thanksgiving dinner, and ways to make the conversations and experience more comfortable and less unpleasant for all involved.

  1. Don’t go to Thanksgiving dinner. Emotions of sadness, anger and fear are still raw for many this post-election time. If you know in your heart that the wounds of the election are still present, and you cannot emotionally regulate yourself in a room full of passionate Trump or Hillary supporters, depending on your political affiliations, then you may need to stay home. It would be a shame to miss an opportunity to celebrate with the family, but, if you are a Hillary supporter, for example, and you find that one wrong statement from a relative who is a Trump supporter might just set you off and trigger an explosive situation in an already tense family environment, then, just stay home. So, be honest with yourself about what you can handle emotionally, and if you think Thanksgiving dinner might be too much for you, make an excuse to the host, and avoid saying something you might later regret; your mental health is important. If you are the host of the Thanksgiving celebration, this first tip will probably not be an option.

 **The Holiday Season can be a difficult time for many. If you are alone during this Thanksgiving, not by choice, please reach out to family, friends, and people you trust. If you are in a fragile mental state, please contact your therapist or seek the assistance of one immediately. Call 911 for an emergency.

  1. Respectfully avoid any political conversation. Post-election conversations can be potentially threatening because of the heightened emotions attached to the rhetoric. If you decide to attend Thanksgiving dinner with the family, you can avoid the conversation all together, and respectfully decline to engage, stating that because you know how incredibly divisive the rhetoric can be, you’re respectfully deciding not to engage. As a guest, you can decline to engage in political banter, and say, “These things can get acrimonious and intense fast, so I’m just going to respectfully decline to participate.” If people insist on discussing politics around you, and you are uncomfortable, you can politely leave the room. As the host, you can set the tone for not engaging in the topic, and let your guest know, “I love you all, and we all love our country. I really just want us all to have a peaceful and joyful time, without any talk of politics. Anyone want more wine?” Ending further debate about the topic.
  2. Steer/Guide the conversation into positive topics. Engage in different topics like complimenting the host on the food, decorations and table settings. Discuss family successes, new jobs, and new family additions. Discuss interesting things you are working on and discuss in detail so that the family can engage with you constructively. There are so many things to be Thankful for, discuss the blessings in your life. Again, if you are the host, you can guide the topic of conversation in your home, and deflect any political rhetoric.
  3. Use humor. The Thanksgiving table is probably not a good place to unload your political thoughts, frustrations and anger. Nor is it a place to gloat, if you are a Trump supporter. It’s fair to say that we are all still trying to figure this stuff out, and the Thanksgiving dinner table is not the best place to explore these feelings. However, if you do decide to engage in political discussions, always use humor to lighten the mood. There have been many humorous moments during the campaign and post-election that can bring two opposing sides to common ground. Some funny moments include, many Saturday Night Live (SNL) skits with Alec Baldwin and Kate McKinnon, and Zach Galifianakis’ interview with Hillary Clinton on his comedy show ‘Between Two Ferns’. Funny stuff!
  4. Listen, don’t bully or threaten each other. The beautiful thing about America is that it is a place where we are all free to express our thoughts no matter how different they are from each other’s. With that said, we all have to remember that not everyone is going to share our political ideology, no matter how much we think we are right. We have just lived through the worst election campaign in decades, where both sides of the campaign did not listen to each other, reacted, some bullied and threatened each other.

If engaged in political discourse with people whom do not share your worldview during Thanksgiving:

  • Listen to others who do not share your opinion, respectfully, validate feelings, and ask important questions to try to see the other person’s perspective, and maybe even find some common ground.
  • Yelling accusations of racism, sexism, fascism, or socialism has no place at the Thanksgiving dinner table, and only triggers uncomfortable misinterpreted emotions.
  • Avoid anger, blame and defensiveness during conversations. It only feeds the negative discourse.
  • However, expressing your feelings about what the election results mean to you, listening and exchanging ideas, creates safe spaces and conditions conducive to successful outcomes- it’s a great way to understand each other.
  • You can also disagree with others respectfully without threats. There’s been enough bullying and threats during the campaign season, let’s do less of this at the dinner table. Speak for yourself and don’t bully anyone into seeing things your own way. This conversation could be a great opportunity to learn from each other through insightful conversation, as we all have so much to learn from one another.
  1. Remember the meaning of Thanksgiving, and choose peace. Keeping the peace does not necessarily mean that you concede or agree with the other persons opinion. It just means you choose love and peace above being right. Chances are high that you are not going to change the mind or worldview of the other person in one conversation, nor should you try during the Thanksgiving dinner. Again, if you are the host, you set the tone for a loving and peaceful Thanksgiving. As a guest and/or a family member, always end the conversation with a family member with opposing views, with love and respect. Make sure you have heard everything the other person has said, and if you disagree with them, take the high road, “I still love you, and let’s just say we disagree on this topic.” Or, “It’s awesome that we live in a country where we can freely express opposing opinions, and we did it here together today, respectfully, with love.” Always end with a hand shake or a hug. After all, they are still your family. Remember the spirit behind family togetherness and the celebration of Thanksgiving. Not every day is promised to us, so, enjoy your family!

**Find a therapist in your location Here

Dr. Chioma Anah is the owner of PerceptA Therapeutic and Training Center, LLC in Towson, Maryland. She sees clients with issues dealing with anger, anxiety, stress and depression. You can contact Dr. Anah via email at perceptatherapeutic.anah@gmail.com                                           Website: www.perceptatherapeutic.com

drCAnah_6TipsSurvivingPost-ElectionThanksgivingDinner_PDF Version

PerceptA Interview with Beth Gonzalez-Dolginko, EdD, LCAT, LP

The following is the first of a new interview series; “PerceptAInterviews.” PerceptA will be conducting a series of interviews with professionals from a variety of backgrounds, for the benefit of all students in need of guidance regarding their own professional path.

 Our first interview is with Dr. Beth Gonzalez-Dolginko.
Dr. Beth Gonzalez-Dolginko
Dr. Beth Gonzalez-Dolginko

Beth Gonzalez-Dolginko, EdD, LCAT, LP has worked clinically as an art therapist for 40 years, in academia for 28 years and in private practice for 36 years. Beth has worked with children and adults in the areas of psychiatry, addictions, aging, PTSD, chronic illness, special education, developmental disabilities and child development. Beth currently serves on the New York State Office of the Professions for Mental Health Practitioners Board.

1.       What drew you to become an art therapist and how did you become interested in the profession? Share some of your background.

When I was a teenager, I was interested in art and psychology, so I used to say I wanted to be an art therapist, even before I actually knew it was a profession. I have been working clinically for 40 years, both in private practice and institutions, in: in-patient psychiatry, with PTSD, with developmental disabilities, with the medically ill, in special education, in child development, with aging and with addictions issues. I have also taught art therapy on both the undergraduate and graduate levels for 28 years.

2.       Where did you earn your PhD/EdD? What made you pick that school and what was your experience like.

My EdD is in Foundations, Leadership and Policy Studies in Education Administration.  Honestly, I needed only my Master’s in art therapy for my NYS license.  I earned a doctorate because I was a professor on a full-time tenure track at Hofstra University and was required to get my doctorate. I earned it at Hofstra because I got tuition remission, and I was right there.

3.       What is your area of expertise?

My areas of expertise as both an art therapist and psychoanalyst are psychiatry and child development.

4.       How did your education get you where you are now?

Again, I needed only my Master’s in art therapy for my NYS license. My Master’s in Art Therapy, getting my ATR-BC and my license are what has served my professional path. 

5.       What benefits have you had since earning your PhD?

None, really. I am on a NYS Board for Mental Health Practitioners, and there is some recognition from them but not really in terms of my practice. The knowledge of how to engage in meaningful research and write professionally is probably the best outcome of earning my doctorate. 

6.       What advice would you give the future generation of art therapists about what is important in the field?

It is important to stay current with trends in the field of psychotherapeutic treatment and engage in research related to these fields. The more research and publications that exist related to art therapy, the more credibility our profession will have. It is also important to work towards licensure in your home state. We finally got it in NYS. It has not necessarily increased our salaries, but it has given us more credibility and visibility.

7.       In regards to picking a graduate school and choosing a program to suit their needs, what advice would you give to art therapists?

It is important to do your homework and pick a program that matches your philosophy and personality. Look at where their internship placements are. Definitely, do a face-to-face interview with the program director or other faculty members, and ask plenty of questions. You should interview them, too. The location might be an important consideration, as well.

Read the entire interview with Dr. Gonzalez-Dolginko here…


If you want to be part of the PerceptAInterviews series, please send your request to dr.c.anah@gmail.com

Rest In Peace, Dr. Maya Angelou

Farewell, Dr. Maya Angelou…

“Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God.”- Maya Angelou (May 23, 2014)


SYMPATHY (From the 3rd and Final Stanza)

I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,

When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore, –

When he beats his bars and would be free;

It is not a carol of joy or glee,

But a prayer that he sends from his heart’s deep core,

But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings-

I know why the caged bird sings!

Poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906)



Thank you, Dr. Maya Angelou. Rest In Peace.


Helping Children During Traumatic Events

In the wake of the recent school tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, how do we help children cope during such a traumatic event?

Our children need reassurance, comfort, and emotional support. Here are some resources to help children deal with fear, anxiety, grief, and other feelings following such a traumatic event:


We here at PerceptA Therapeutic & Training Center, LLC, send out our deepest thoughts and prayers for all those affected by this tragic event.

~Chioma Anah

Staving off the Isolation of Private Practice

After spending a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family and friends, I found that I was dreading coming back to my fairly new, and relatively isolated private practice. I knew that I had to find a way to tap into my resources, and add richness and value to this awesome field and career choice I had worked so hard to achieve. In addition, I wanted to find opportunities to grow my business. So, today, I made a list of things that I needed to do. Here they are:

  1. Create or join a support group for mental health professionals who are in private practice. Specifically, start a meet-up group of mental health professionals in private practice, for support and resources.
  2. Get in touch with former classmates, professors, and mentors, who provided such valuable support to me in the past, and who could certainly provide a source of strength and empowerment, during these beginning stages of private practice and the inevitable uncertainty that goes along with such a time.
  3. Keep attending continuing education courses, but also look to network with other mental health professionals during those times, and talk about the services I offer, and discuss any opportunities for collaborations in any area.
  4. Be more actively involved in my professional associations. Contribute to professional journals, offer own expertise and professional experiences through presenting at seminars and trainings.
  5. Start preparing for the opportunity to present at one or more of the annual professional conferences. All to help stimulate my intellect, contribute to the field of mental health, and provide exposure to my business.
  6. Exposure, Exposure, Exposure! Use every opportunity to tell the community about what my business is about, including offering free trainings at local churches and community centers.

Wow! I have lots to do! I hope this list is helpful to others in private practice. If you are in the Baltimore area and would like to join a meet-up group for mental health counselors in private practice, please contact me @ 443-992-1796. Also, if anyone has any other ideas, let me know. Thanks.

~Chioma Anah

First Blog Post


Hello everyone, and welcome to the PerceptA Blog. The mission of this blog, is to provide a resource for mental health professionals to receive information regarding important topics in the field, and invite a community of professional peers to join me in sharing their thoughts, feelings, and experiences regarding a broad spectrum of presenting issues across various clinical populations. Topics discussed will include: mental health disorders and effective evidence-based treatment approaches; art therapy; clinical supervision and training of supervisees; professional development; clinical consultation and examination preparation tips; and topics related to social justices, advocacy and multicultural issues as it relates to different sections in the field of counseling, art therapy, and psychology. I look forward to our collaborative efforts as we embark on this journey of collective professional growth and development, awareness and creativity, and ongoing learning and self-evaluation

~Chioma Anah