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Juliann “Julie” King, Counselor
I was born in Norwood, Massachusetts and raised in Mansfield, Massachusetts. Both of my parents are African American – my mom is from Boston, and my dad is from the Bronx. I am Black American with familial roots from Alabama, South Carolina and Florida. I attended St. Johns University for my Bachelors degree and graduated as part of the class of 2014. I studied Mental Health Counseling at Fordham University and graduated with a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling with the class of 2016. I am currently studying at Pace University, where I am a doctoral candidate in the Mental Health Counseling PhD program.
Throughout my life, I have always had a passion for helping others and standing up for what I believe. As an adolescent, I remember asking my younger cousin what she wanted to be when she grew up. To my surprise she replied, “When I grow up, I want to be light skinned like you.” In this moment, I was not sure how to react to such a statement, but my heart ached for my cousin, knowing that she wanted to be different from who she was. As I got older, I came to understand the concept of colorism better. This was the first time I became aware of the many issues encountered by Black society and thus, I felt motivated to help be an advocate for the Black community in hopes of addressing the various issues we face everyday. Giving back to my community and making a difference has always been a transformational and rewarding experience for me. I find myself joining the conversations happening in my community to work towards making necessary improvements.
During my undergraduate career, I was inducted into the McNair Scholars Program and was able to work in Dr. Scyatta Wallace’s research lab, y-HEART (Youth Health Empowerment and Action Research Team). Under Dr. Wallace’s mentorship, I had the opportunity to assist with the APA BET Campaign Partnership, along with a variety of other health psychology-related qualitative studies. I am a co-author of the poster Children's reactions to death of a close family member, presented at the Eastern Psychological Association Conference. I was also able to conduct an independent research project, Personnel Training and Child Bereavement Services, and present it at the annual McNair Scholar’s Conference.
As a Master’s student, I worked for Covenant House of New York – Mother & Child as a Case Manager (Residential Advisor), as well as interning at Purchase College, SUNY in the Career Development Center and the Autism Spectrum Program. Upon obtaining my Master’s degree, I have held a variety of counseling and counseling-related positions at Fairfield University, South Bay Community Services, Bay State Community Services, and Northeastern University. Currently, I currently work in private practice serving a predominantly Black population. I am also an adjunct psychology professor at Pace University. In addition to counseling and teaching, I am also working as a research coordinator to Dr. Scyatta Wallace on Covid-19 related research.
I’m a Black woman. Why wouldn’t I care about Black people? I want to provide safe spaces for Black people to feel comfortable about meeting with me and healing with me. I want to see my people and my community win and heal and thrive. I grew up in a predominantly white town. I’ve been the only Black person in many of the spaces I’ve occupied throughout my life. I’ve been dealing with racism and microaggressions before I even had the language to verbalize my experiences. Looking back on a lot of these experiences, I wish I would have had the language and the courage to speak up for myself. Oftentimes, I would not know how to react to these experiences and would freeze. I wish younger me had an older me to empower and walk me through these experiences.
I practice from a person-centered perspective with elements of cognitive-behavioral and solution-focused therapies, taking cultural concerns into consideration as well.
In previous role in higher education, several Black students have reported to me comments like, “I’m so glad you’re here” or “I’ve never had the chance to work with a Black counselor while going to school here.” In my professional career, this is a regular occurrence for me. Working as a family therapist, I often worked with clients of color who frequently expressed their gratitude about working with a counselor from a similar background who has an understanding of their lived experiences. My clients would often express signs of relief when they could jump right into processing their experiences because I already understood the cultural nuances they were conveying to me. I believe, not only do clients feel more comfortable working with a clinician whom they can relate to, but I can connect with them on a deeper level and make strides with them through their progress. Taking the time to recognize my client’s needs through a cultural lens has helped strengthen the therapeutic alliance, leading to more successful, healing work. Clients often respond to me saying, “I’ve never shared this with anyone before but I feel comfortable with you so…”
I’m a cat mom to a 4 year old dark tortoiseshell cat. In my free time I enjoy working out, yoga, baking and I’m obsessed with fuzzy blankets and pillows, candles and other smell goods.