May 2023

Mental Health Q&A with

Ken Hebert, TBCC Clinician 

“[Therapy at TBCC] has helped me recognize my racial trauma and has pushed me to prioritize helping youth protect themselves.”

-BIPOC TBCC Youth Worker Client 

Trinity Boston Counseling Center (TBCC) provides individual and group therapy and mental health wellness workshops focused on youth workers. This includes individuals who are employed or volunteer in roles serving youth in Boston, particularly youth of color. 95% of TBCC clients report improvement or maintenance of positive coping skills. When they receive mental health support, they create better outcomes for youth. 

In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, we sat down with TBCC Clinician, Ken Hebert, for a mental health Q&A. 

What are some mental health basics you’d like everyone to understand?  

I have found personally that going to a therapist is very helpful, and it can become a normal part of life. I see it as something that's really positive and life giving. 

But the important thing is, are you ready for therapy? Because there needs to be a commitment. I think people need to realize that it's going to be a back and forth. For me personally, my direction [as a clinician] is that the client is in the driver's seat. I'm here to be a companion and to share my skills and what I've been trained for and everything, but the therapy is not for me. It's for the person who's coming in asking to work on some things. 

How can people make sure they’re getting the most out of therapy? 

When I'm working with somebody, I try to say, “Keep tabs on your goals and keep bringing them into the conversation. Do you feel you're getting the change that you hoped for? How can I better accompany you?” So, there's a dialogue going there. I think that's always important for positive outcomes.  

What do you think is unique about the services TBCC offers? 

We have clinicians of different cultural backgrounds, so we are engaged in that process of learning and really seeking to communicate well with one another and not just from a certain white perspective.  

At Trinity, folks have the opportunity to incorporate their spirituality into their therapy, which I think is an important piece also. Often, we think of spirituality, and it becomes more like religion. It's so different because spirituality is really at the heart of our search for meaning. There's a breadth to it that we don't often understand. We often neglect that spiritual part of who we are, and it can become a very important part of our therapy.  

One of TBC’s essential practices is restorative justice. Do you feel mental health plays a role in restorative justice? 

Oh, absolutely. When we look at restorative justice and conflict, there's a breakdown in communication and relationships. I think most of us come to therapy because we're feeling something is off in our relationships and we ask how we can restore and repair that. It takes a certain amount of deep honesty to look at what the issues are and work through them. A lot of times, we have to ask ourselves very challenging questions. 

For an in-depth look into the work TBCC does, listen to episode two of our podcast, Community Conversations, with Director of Clinical Services, Dr. Asha Ragin

Bostonians for Youth Gala 

Have you purchased your Bostonians for Youth Gala ticket yet? We’re looking forward to highlighting Trinity@McCormack, an embedded clinical program at the BCLA McCormack School that promotes positive mental health through direct clinical support, trauma-inclusive and restorative training, and a village of health and wellness services.  

Join Host Latoyia Edwards and our TBC community at the Fairmont Copley on June 8th to see Trinity@McCormack’s restorative practices in action, honor Imari Paris Jeffries, and celebrate beloved community.   

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Run to Remember 

TBC’s Young, Mid, and Old Soles in Sole Train are gearing up for their goal race this Sunday, May 28th: Boston’s Run to Remember. Our approximately 300 young people and 100 plus adults spend the entire school year training to run this five-mile race. The impact that training has had on their mental health and wellbeing is profound. In his book, Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, Dr. John Ratey notes that “when students…go for (even) a mile run in gym, they are more prepared to learn in their (other) classes: their senses are heightened; their focus and mood are improved; they’re less fidgety and tense; and they feel more motivated and invigorated.” 

If you want to support these amazing young people, Sole Train is still looking for volunteers to staff either bib pickup on Saturday, May 27th, from 11:30am-6pm at the Seaport Hotel or the Sole Train water stop on Sunday, May 28th, from 6:45am-10:30am at Post Office Square. Please fill out this form if you want to volunteer. If you’re unable to volunteer, we’d love to see you cheering on our crew at the race!  

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