Krystal Miller, LMSW
I am New York born and bred, first generation American fully grounded in my Blackness thanks to both my parents and my community. I identify as Afro-Jamaican. But Black is fine too, as is Afrikan descended. I got my undergrad degree at SUNY New Paltz and graduated with my BA in Psych with a minor in Black Studies in 2012. I went to Adelphi University for my MSW and graduated in 2014. I am not currently in school but who knows what will happen in a few years!
I went into this field because I enjoyed helping others whether it was community work or peer counseling. Coupled with my background in Black Studies, it quickly became my life's passion to create healing spaces for our community and break these stigmas around mental health. Some things you just know, this was it for me.
In grad school I interned at a facility working with substance abuse and sexual offenders as a counselor/ facilitator. Then I interned at Excelsior prep, a high school in Queens. But my first adult job was as a Case manager at one of the largest foster care agencies in NYC. I survived a year and a half, ha!! I transitioned once I was able to jump into a school counseling type of position within the Department of Education (back to that thought of "some things you just know") and I've been working there going on five years. As I prepare for my next transition, I was able to connect with Amira and I've been a therapist with Therapists for Black Girls for two years!
I care about working with Black people for a few reasons. I am because we are. We are connected. We are able to truly change our narrative and build to whole, carefree, magical existence in a world that tries to deny it daily. So if I could support us in this journey (mine as well!) why not?
Yep, like many, I have dealt with racism, more so once I went away to college (comes with going to a Private White Institution or PWI, I guess). It doesn't shake me (much) because I know who and whose I am. And with that, I wouldn't have changed a thing.
I was trained primarily in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT (including Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or TF-CBT) and person centered therapy. As I journey towards more holistic and traditional approaches, this will continue to grow and become perfected.
What do clients say about working with me?
Good question! Some of the feedback that I've heard was that I'm down to earth, "always on point," "you be knowing." I keep my sessions very conversational (while still professional). There's never a need for a mask when we're together.
I'm sure by now you've seen a theme with me creating healing spaces for melanin dipped humans so feel free to follow me on my Instagram @melanated_masks-- real, raw, melanin 24/7. The focus is on amplifying our personal stories around mental health. And if you're interested in contributing, we could definitely chat some more!