Dr. Sherra' Watkins, LCMHC-S, LCAS, CCS, CRC
Director of Wellness Counseling and Assistant Professor
American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine
Dr. Sherrá Watkins (she/her/hers), grew up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She is a Clinical Psychotherapist and serves as the Director of Wellness Counseling and Assistant Professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences at American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine. A leader in the mental health and substance use field, her passion is to transform systems that perpetuate decreased access and utilization of counseling services to BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color). Watkins’ research focuses on decreasing the stigma of mental health and substance use disorders, chronic pain and chronic diseases among African Americans, and the intersection of racism and racial bias within chronic pain and substance use treatment.
Dr. Watkins earned four degrees from East Carolina University, a Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Counseling & Administration, a Master of Science in Clinical Counseling & Substance Abuse Counseling, a Master of Arts in Education in Health Education, and Bachelor of Science in School Health Education. She is also the CEO and co-owner of Sister WELLS, Counseling, Coaching & Consulting, PLLC and proud member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated. Dr. Watkins currently resides in Sint Maarten with her husband (Lorinza) and two boys, William and Bryson.
Invisible People With Invisible Pain: Discussing the Intersection of Race, Chronic Illness and Chronic Pain
For people who experience social and health inequities and structural violence, chronic illnesses, pain and related care are inexorably linked to experiences of injustice and stigma. For many African Americans, pain is entangled with and shaped by: social locations, cultural identity, experiences of violence, trauma, mental health issues, experiences of discrimination, stigma and dismissal, and experiences of inadequate and ineffective health care.
The impacts of these intersecting experiences have led many African Americans to face widespread stigma and public misunderstanding of the difference between tolerance, physical dependence, and addiction when treating a chronic illness. Therefore, how does race and culture play a role in prescribing practices, pain reporting and treatment, mental health treatment and psychological outcomes? Because chronic pain can affect one's mental health, counseling can be an integral key in treatment. As mental health professionals it is important to understand what our role is in helping to manage chronic pain management for African Americans.
Understand the difference between chronic and acute pain.
Examine how race & culture impacts prescribing practices, patient reporting and treatment and psychological outcomes.
Discuss treatment recommendations on decreasing the stigma of mental health, chronic pain and chronic diseases among African Americans.
This workshop is approved for 1-hour Renewal Credit/CEU for: IC&RC/NJ-AP Certification Board | NAADAC