LaWanda Riddick, LMHC
I was born in Jamaica, Queens to a Southern Gentleman and a Northern Beauty! They exemplify hard-work and the love of community. I identify as African-American. I attended the first all female college – Bennett College and graduated in 1999.I attained three Master degrees: Brooklyn College (2003), New Brunswick Theological Seminary (2009), and Nyack College (2019).
Mental Health Counseling is a calling I answered after witnessing/experiencing a lot of “church folk” in crisis. I believe that GOD and therapy works so I wanted to offer that which was offered to me over the years.
I have been an educator with NYC Department of Education for 20 years. I also worked at KIND Counseling as a Mental Health Counselor.
It’s important for me to work with Black people for many reasons. There is a stigma attached to Mental illness. It is very prevalent amongst BIPOC and we are suffering. Mental illness, particularly during this pandemic, is increasing and being exposed particularly because of isolation. It is a socioeconomic issue requiring resources inclusive of funding, culturally sensitive therapist, and education. I want to be a resource and champion again erasing the stigma. And finally- I’m Black! Working with Black people is a form of self-love.
I have dealt with racism at school, work, and at social engagements. I dealt with it in various ways but my most proud moment was calling it out, educating the offender, grounding myself, and practicing self-care/love.
Much of my training focused on Cognitive Behavioral therapy. I am also trained in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and I often find myself utilizing Person-centered.
I have been told I am easy to talk to, forgiving, and accommodating. I am fully present, engaging, and encourage authenticity.
Something you may not expect about me is that I am an avid fisher and gardener.