Out of the Fire: Healing Black Trauma Caused by Systemic Racism Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

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Product Details

$18.95  $17.62
New Harbinger Publications
Publish Date
6.0 X 8.9 X 0.6 inches | 0.48 pounds

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About the Author

Jennifer Shepard Payne, PhD, LCSW, is founder and owner of DTG Counseling and Consulting, a private practice where she provides acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) counseling and coaching primarily to African Americans of faith suffering from anxiety or trauma. For several years, Payne has been working on culturally tailoring ACT for African American communities, both clinically and via research. She is research faculty with the Kennedy Krieger Center for Child and Family Traumatic Stress, and assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. For more information, visit her website at: www.poof-pullingoutoffire.com. She lives in Baltimore, MD.

Afterword writer Robyn D. Walser, PhD, is director of TL Consultation and Psychological Services, and codirector of Bay Area Trauma Recovery Clinical Services. As a licensed clinical psychologist, she maintains an international training, consulting, and therapy practice. Walser has authored and coauthored several books, including The Heart of ACT and Learning ACT.


"In Out of the Fire, Jennifer Shepard Payne provides practical and thoughtfully described tools for developing the skills to thrive after we deal with the trauma of structural and systemic racism. Out of the Fire includes a wealth of stories and examples that helps humanize the challenges we face. Despite being a book about dealing with trauma, Out of the Fire provides asset-based and positive tools to promote healing and well-being."
--Derek M. Griffith, PhD, founder and codirector of the Racial Justice Institute, and professor of health management and policy at Georgetown University

--Derek M. Griffith, PhD
"Jennifer Shepard Payne provided a rich and detailed explanation of racialized trauma and the strategy for mitigating the effects through acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). This book makes the case for why ACT is a therapy that would appeal to the Black community. Through analogies and stories grounded in research, Out of the Fire will be a game changer for those that care about mental health and well-being, especially in the Black community."
--Tahira Reid Smith, PhD, cofounder of Black in Engineering--Tahira Reid Smith, PhD
"All suffering is not created equal. A powerful and much-needed resource that speaks directly to the unique experiences of Black Americans. Sharing a combination of compelling personal stories, case vignettes, and experiential practices, Jennifer Shepard Payne guides readers to develop the skills necessary to rise from the ashes of systemic oppression, intergenerational trauma, and pain. Out of the Fire is THE guide for learning to thrive with meaning and purpose."
--Jill Stoddard, PhD, author of Be Mighty, and coauthor of The Big Book of ACT Metaphors--Jill Stoddard, PhD
"With Out of the Fire, Jennifer Shepard Payne provides a timely, empirically and spiritually based, and much-needed approach toward understanding and addressing the mental health issues experienced by Black Americans daily. Each chapter provides clarity in understanding through culturally responsive empathy. This research-based text rebukes old paradigms, shares practical and clever points of reflection, while offering nuanced strategies toward healing."
--Cheryl Fields-Smith, PhD, professor of elementary education at the University of Georgia--Cheryl Fields-Smith, PhD
"It is the rare scholar and practitioner that integrates research, empathy, warmth, and care together to help communities transform and heal. Jennifer Shepard Payne's Out of the Fire exemplifies such characteristics. Every therapist, counselor, and counselee should read and learn from Shepard Payne's skillful guidance in this book to help support healing in the Black community and diaspora. This is a much-needed work."
--Regina Chow Trammel, PhD, LCSW, professor of social work at Azusa Pacific University, psychotherapist, and author of A Counselor's Guide to Christian Mindfulness--Regina Chow Trammel, PhD, LCSW
"In Out of the Fire, Jennifer Shepard Payne provides a culturally informed, evidence-based, and highly practical guide to thriving that will be life-changing for generations of African Americans and the mental health professionals who support their healing. She has brilliantly tailored ACT to speak the language and reflect the lived experiences of the African American community!"
--Robyn L. Gobin, PhD, licensed psychologist, associate professor at University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, and coauthor of The Black Woman's Guide to Overcoming Domestic Violence--Robyn L. Gobin, PhD