Mass Trauma in the African American Community: Using Multiculturalism to Build Resilient Systems

B. Range, D. Gutierrez, C. Gamboni, N. A. Hough, A. Wojciak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Within the last 4 years, there has been an increasing awareness of traumatic shootings of Black Americans in our society, more specifically Black American males who are likely descendants of slaves and or low socioeconomic status. This increase in media coverage of these shootings has highlighted not only the plight of Black Americans in America but also the real threat of death Black American’s live with. Americans in general have expressed outrage against these fatal shootings, which has been traumatic for many people, especially Black Americans and their community. These shootings severely impact Black American families and communities causing them to become trauma organized; losing basic sense of physical and psychological safety as well as family and community functionality. Understanding the effects these shootings have on the Black American community can help clinicians work more effectively work with this population. This article presents the Multi-Phase Model of Psychotherapy, Counseling, Human Rights and Social Justice (MPM) as a vital and necessary perspective in the treatment of traumatized Black Americans, specifically those effected by mass traumatic events, as well as a case study that applies the MPM using the fatal shooting of Philando Castile.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)284-298
Number of pages15
JournalContemporary Family Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Black American
  • Community
  • Mass trauma
  • Multiculturalism
  • Resilience
  • Shooting
  • Trauma


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