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Torian Yancey, Licensed Counselor
I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. Growing up, my parents were a good mix of firm and understanding, I definitely learned my drive and compassion from them. I am a Black American woman with southern roots, my extended family is mostly in West Virginia and North Carolina. I received my undergraduate degree from SUNY Purchase in May 2010 and my graduate degree in School Counseling in May 2016. I earned an Advanced Certificate in Mental Health Counseling, from Alfred University.
I tend to say that counseling found me, not the other way around. In college, I started neglecting my Journalism classes to volunteer at local after-school programs, supporting adolescents. I found myself wanting to help people directly, rather than write about them. I found more opportunities for direct service, and counseling is where I thrived. I have had several different jobs in youth development and education:
AmeriCorps VISTA in Baltimore, MD
Counselor in Training Coordinator- Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation, Brooklyn, NY
School Assistant- University Prep Charter High School, Bronx, NY
School Counselor- New Visions Charter High School for the Humanities III, Brooklyn, NY
Counseling Supervisor- Goddard Riverside Community Center, New York, NY (Current)
I want to center Black people in my practice because we are consistently left out of the conversation when it comes to mental health. In this current socio-political climate, black people are either being exposed to or forced to relive trauma. There is a lot to process, and in my own experience, it is safer to do so with someone who looks like me. I have experienced my fair share of microaggressions in my life. From the "You're so articulate" to colleagues mistaking passion and assertion for downright aggression. When I was younger, I didn't understand what a microaggression was or its connection to racism, so sadly, I let it go unaddressed out of fear of being seen as the "Angry Black Woman," Now that I'm older and wiser, I wish I would have let that fear go and checked the behavior.
I like to think that my clients feel a great deal of comfort with me. They feel safe enough to trust me with their journey. I want them to bring their most authentic selves to the space and I have to lead by example. I'm awkward and corny but witty and funny, I believe that allows clients to let their guards down gradually.
Outside of work, I enjoy cooking and playing games. I have a steady growing collection of card and board games, making any get together I host a fun one.