Healing Raced Based Trauma: A Strengths-Based, Culturally – Informed Integrative Approach – Phara Gladden


The study of race-based traumatic stress is unrecognized in Trauma research and clinical treatment. Racial /ethnic communities experience racial trauma much more than any other group. Research indicates that racial discrimination and unfair treatment of persons of color are associated with adverse mental and physical health outcomes. However, race-based trauma is defined as a mental and emotional injury caused by encounters with racial bias and ethnic discrimination. The COVID-19 pandemic unveiled the stark disparities in access to services and health inequities in communities of color based on race and socioeconomic status. Because of the limitation in the literature on race-based trauma, no empirical evidence supports an intervention to address internalized racism and oppression. This study provides a literature review on trauma-informed interventions and evaluates the effectiveness and applications of practice in BIPOC communities. This review will also define race-based trauma, the prevalence of institutional racism, and a summary of existing evidence-based practice interventions with the hope that future research will advance knowledge in this area.

Keywords: racial trauma or raced based traumatic stress, racism, mental health, discrimination, ethnicity, and trauma-informed care

Short bio:

Phara Gladden, LCSW-R, is a licensed clinical social worker who holds an MSW from Fordham University School of Social Work and is a DSW candidate at NYU School of Social Work. She has been working as a clinician in the mental health field for the past 20 years. Her professional career encompasses a multitude of experiences both in the private and public sectors. Phara is currently employed by the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) and has worked in various clinical and supervisory roles, both inpatient and outpatient.

Phara completed her postgraduate psychoanalytic training at the William Alanson White Institute. Phara has a private practice and provides counseling to individuals, couples, and families. She is dedicated, and passionate, and her research focuses on racial inequities and disparities in mental health and adverse health outcomes in communities of color. Her goal is to provide awareness about culturally responsive and trauma-informed practice interventions that may be used to promote health equity and wellness in BIPOC communities.