On Trauma Recovery and Reclaiming Yourself
Public Programs

On Trauma Recovery and Reclaiming Yourself

A Conversation With Dr. Thema Bryant and Rachel Bryant


  • Online Conversation 
  • Register to access the livestream and one week of ad-free replay access 
  • Books are available to add to your order at check-out for pick-up from Marcus Books in Oakland, California or delivery within the United States 


Dr. Thema Bryant is a psychologist and leading mental health expert with more than two decades of experience in clinical psychology and trauma recovery. As a trauma survivor herself, she knows that trauma and everyday challenges can cause us to disconnect and fall into survival mode. In her latest book, Reclaim Yourself, she shares accessible and practical steps toward creating the life you want while processing stress and trauma. 

Join CIIS Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Rachel Bryant for a conversation exploring Dr. Bryant’s life and work. Learn how Dr. Bryant’s approach helps trauma survivors understand how to process difficult emotions and identify how ordinary and traumatic stress may have led to harmful patterns, including unhealthy relationships, people-pleasing, control issues, and self-sabotage. In her book she offers a diverse array of psychotherapeutic techniques based on both Western science and Indigenous knowledge to help shift your thoughts, heal your emotions, and actively take steps toward growth.

Dr. Thema Bryant color portrait. Dr. Bryant is a Black woman with dark brown to lighter brown cornrows. She is smiling and wears large thin hoop earrings and a bright pink, turquoise printed top.

Dr. Thema Bryant is a clinical psychologist and the 2023 president of the American Psychological Association. She is also a professor of psychology at Pepperdine University and an ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Dr. Bryant earned her doctorate from Duke University and completed her postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School. She is also the author of Homecoming and raises awareness about mental health issues on The Homecoming Podcast and her social media platforms. 



Portrait photo of Rachel Bryant

Rachel Bryant, MA, is an educator, leader, and healer with more than two decades of experience in public and community mental health. She serves as Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), where she has helped teach, mentor, and launch the careers of hundreds of emerging mental health clinicians from diverse backgrounds. With a pedagogical and therapeutic orientation in Black, Indigenous, and Liberation Praxis, Rachel is dedicated to working alongside others to heal the soul wounds of poverty, violence, and addiction in our communities. 

After receiving her master of Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Community Mental Health from CIIS, Rachel became an adjunct instructor in the master of Counseling Psychology and Undergraduate Studies programs at her alma mater. From 2009 to 2017, she was the Director of the Mental Health Services Act Project at CIIS, a program funded by the City and County of San Francisco to recruit and retain graduate students underrepresented in the mental health workforce. In this role, Rachel was instrumental in seeding the Wellness, Resiliency, and Recovery model throughout the institution’s pedagogical framework. Skilled in group facilitation, strategic planning, program development, fundraising, and evaluation, Rachel has experience winning and managing six- and seven-figure grants from state, county, and private foundation partners. She has administered behavioral health services and programming at the Alameda County Public Health Department and the Mental Health Association of San Francisco, where she championed the peer provider model of behavioral healthcare. 

With roots in South Berkeley and East Oakland and a background in community-based radio broadcasting, Rachel self-identifies as Blaxican and believes in the innate wisdom and intelligence of all people to heal themselves and others. She serves as a board member of the Rafiki Coalition for Health and Wellness, which provides culturally responsive health and wellness services to San Francisco’s Black communities, and as a Core Member of the Healing Clinic Collective, which promotes ancestral ways of healing and healthcare for traumatized populations in the Bay Area and beyond.

We are grateful to our Bookstore Partner

Marcus Books is the nation’s oldest Black-owned independent bookstore celebrating its 60th year. Marcus Books’ mission is to provide opportunities for Black folks and their allies to celebrate and learn about Black people everywhere. Learn more about Marcus Books.



If you need to request accessibility accommodations, please email publicprograms@ciis.edu at least one week prior to the event. For more information, explore our Accessibility web page.

Important Event Information

Access to the livestream event is limited to registered guests. Registered ticket holders will receive the link to watch the livestream, will have access to chat and Q&A, and will have an ad-free watching experience.

Recording Policy

Ticket holders will have access to an ad-free replay of the event for one week after the live event. A replay with ads will be released on our YouTube channel one week after the livestream. Portions of the audio will also be released on our podcast. Only registered ticket holders who choose to watch live can participate in the chat and Q&A.

Refunding Policy

All tickets and donations for this event are nonrefundable.

Related Academic Program
Clinical Psychology