Hello I’m Keenen Stevenson, and I am a psychotherapist with 8 years of experience dedicated to creating a safe space for BIPOC clients. I specialize in complex trauma, teacher mental health, workforce trauma, intimate relationships, racial identity development, and athlete mental health. My experiences as a Black man have shaped my approach on addressing issues that involve race and gender. As a therapist and researcher, I examine how systemic barriers impede the mental and spiritual advancement of BIPOC folx. My intersecting identities help me understand the culture, values, and experiences of my clients; especially those relating to oppression, racism, and intergenerational trauma. I personally understand what it’s like to live in a system where racism and gendered institutionalized practices keeps those in my community invisible/hyper-visible and oppressed. It is through my lived experiences that I can connect with my clients on a personal and authentic level.
Mindfulness is an important tenet of my practice. I define healing as a process that embodies both mind and body work. I believe our mind can take us in all sorts of directions (past, future etc.) but paying attention to the body is what keeps us in the present moment. In order to work towards healing and growth, we must be able to stay in the present to do so. Therefore, I help support clients in building a tolerance to stay in the present moment and to learn where emotions such as anxiety or fear live in our bodies to then learn ways to release these emotions through breath work, yoga, meditation, paying attention to physical activity such as cooking, awareness of nutrition, and other mindfulness-based approaches. How we move our bodies on the outside reflects how we feel emotionally on the inside and vice versa; therefore, paying attention to both mind and body is crucial.
My therapeutic approach is rooted in several theoretical frameworks that are focused on dismantling systemic inequity. I use ecological systems theory to examine how one’s environment impacts their development and decision making. For BIPOC folx, factors such as racial discrimination and economic inequality can contribute to their stories and shape their lived experience. Additionally, I use a solution focused approach to examine the root cause of presenting problems. This approach focuses on goal setting and future outcomes. I want clients to feel liberated in the therapeutic space.
Oftentimes BIPOC folx experience a power differential when interacting with dominant identities in their world. I work to dismantle these hierarchies by challenging systems that impede liberation and empowering clients to embrace their identity while navigating society. My mission is to provide an anti-racist environment and promote self-acceptance. I do this by validating a person’s lived experience and valuing their racial and gender identity. In sessions, clients do not have to code switch or operate with a double consciousness.
I believe that self-love is attainable to everyone. Everything I do is rooted in love. I want my clients to be authentic and open to the process of healing.
In my personal time, I work on dismantling systemic barriers in education through participatory action research. In addition to that, I am a gardener, nature enthusiast, and foodie that loves to cook dishes from other countries.