SEBI Diversity Fellowship Program
The Southeast Brainspotting Institute (SEBI) is entering our
second year of the SEBI Diversity Fellowship Program for Behavioral Health
Professionals. Due to overwhelming success and support during our
inaugural year, the program is able to administer ten (10) Fellowships in 2022
valued at $1000.00 each for Behavioral Health Professionals who commit to
learning and expanding the understanding of Brainspotting and supporting people
toward making life-changing breakthroughs in underserved
a non-profit organization dedicated to developing a professional community to
help expand the understanding of Brainspotting and supporting therapists that work with underserved populations. SEBI is committed to the
behavioral health needs of all Americans, regardless of language or
culture. The aim of the SEBI Diversity Fellowship is to increase
community access to Brainspotting professionals in underserved communities and
reduce mental health treatment disparities for underserved communities.
SEBI Diversity Fellows demonstrate an active commitment to diverse
and underserved populations, an interest in providing diversity-informed
trauma-informed care, and an expressed desire to learn Brainspotting techniques
to assist in serving diverse and specific underserved high-need groups.
These groups include but are not limited to racial, ethnic, cultural, gender,
sexual orientation or gender groups, emergency first responders, or military
personnel and their families. The Fellowship increases the number of
trained Brainspotting professionals who provide direct services to diverse and
Congratulates SECOND Cohort of Fellows
congratulate our second cohort of Fellows and are excited to introduce
them to you! We
welcome Alvely Alcantara, Grace Duarte de Baker, Nasir Bayan, Stacey
Bessard, Miranda Deebrah, Madison Evans, Michele Hairston, William Aaron
Hanlin, DerShawn Jefferson, Irang Kim, and Linda Zheng. Our Fellows
are completing their Brainspotting training and already beginning to
bring Brainspotting to their communities. They will be sharing updates
with you as they continue this journey. Please see their bios for more
information on them and the communities they serve.
Alvely Alcántara, LCSW
Alvely Alcántara is a Latinx, bilingual therapist with ten years of experience providing mental health therapy to the Latinx community. She was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New York City. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of North Carolina specializing in the treatment of anxiety, trauma (including intergenerational trauma), immigration/acculturation adjustments, first generation experiences, and family dynamics (particularly relationship dynamics between mothers and daughters). Alvely utilizes a holistic, somatic based approach to treating mental health, focusing on what each client needs. She has training in EMDR, Brainspotting Phase 1, Internal Family Systems and has taken a 200 hour yoga teacher certification. She is the owner of a private practice in Raleigh, NC, called Rooted Healing Therapy where she provides therapy to women and non-binary adults and works as a supervisor/consultant to colleagues working with the Latinx community as well as providing presentations/speaking engagements on mental health in the Latinx community to companies and organizations. Alvely also has a coaching business, Rooted Madrehood Wellness & Coaching, providing support via coaching, groups, and book clubs, to mothers who are reparenting themselves/doing inner child work as they parent their own children, and to adult daughters of emotionally immature parents.
Alvely is the founder of the Latinx Healing Collective, composed of ten local Latinx therapists providing mental health treatment to the Latinx community. She is the co-host of a podcast, Therapy Talks Con Las Primas, for Latinx listeners in which topics are discussed to deconstruct the stigma of mental and emotional wellness. Alvely has created two programs for Latinx youth focused on yoga, self-compassion, destigmatizing mental health in their community and first generation experiences in academic settings. As a human, she shows up in every role rooted in a practice of self-compassion, intuition, empathy, spiritual practices/self-care, and with constant awareness of the role of relationships, childhood experiences, social issues and trauma on the ways humans function in the world. Her purpose is to help all of those that choose to work with her to cultivate self-compassion, self-awareness, boundary setting and a deeper connection between their mind, body and spirit.
For fun, Alvely spends time with her husband and one year old twin boys, and enjoys yoga/workout classes, being in nature, reading/writing, listening to podcasts and Latin music. She hopes to continue utilizing brainspotting in the Latinx community to continue helping individuals find the healing and support they need and deserve so that it can impact future generations.
Nasir Bayan, LPC, NCC, CCTP
Nasir Bayan is a corporate mental health & wellness expert, leadership trainer/facilitator, licensed psychotherapist and speaker. Born and raised in the Midwest, he worked in corporate America for 20 years as a business leader, trainer and consultant before shifting his professional focus toward what he now calls the 3 W’s: Wellness, Wealth & Wisdom.
During his career he has worked and served in a variety of settings, including inpatient behavioral health facilities, outpatient community mental health agencies, college & university counseling clinics, private practice and Fortune 500 businesses & organizations.
His work adopts an integrative approach and explores the present-day intersections of leadership, mindfulness, personal development, brain-body healing, conscious business/entrepreneurship and inner transformation.
Nasir is passionate about helping both individual and organizational clients who are on the journey inward by providing them with concrete, practical tools to aid & accelerate their growth and development. Simply stated, his mission is to serve the greater good by helping people and organizations doing the inner work that leads to outer transformation.
Stacey Bessard, LMFT- GA/ IMFT- OH
Stacey Bessard is a 1st generation Haitian American seeking to bring all of who she is into the counseling room. Ms. Bessard understands people live their lives oftentimes in the shadow of others desperately wanting to be seen and heard. She states, “somewhere along the way we have forgotten to notice ourselves within the families/workplace/friendships/relationships that we find ourselves part of.
Ms. Bessard’s passion is to build healthier relationships—and yes, that also means rebuilding the damage relationships we have with ourselves. She believes we all have either experienced firsthand and/or witnessed how damaging and heart wrenching a toxic relationship can be. We even know how traumatizing these relationships are to a seemingly new and healthy relationship. It's not the most pleasant experience and it keeps us stuck in this hamster wheel cycle.
Stacey Bessard is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has worked in the Mental Health field for 7 years. Ms. Bessard is trained in Brain Spotting, Phase 1 and Emotion Focused Therapy. With experience in Acute Psychiatric Hospitals and Private Practice, Ms. Bessard has worked with severely mentally ill patients with a focus on adult males, has participated innumerous panel discussions, and facilitated workshops.
Ms. Bessard took a bold step to form and operate her own private practice, Color Me Therapy. Her practice specializes in helping adult women with pre-marital and couples counseling. Through her Color Me Therapy sessions, Ms. Bessard utilizes abstract art to help her clients uncover emotional blockage experienced in the therapy room. Her expertise paved the path for her to accept the position of Director of Clinical Services at a large mental health corporation in Ohio. In that role, Ms. Bessard created and successfully implemented an internship program that recruited, supervised, and trained university-level clinician students to learn and apply the role of a therapist in a hospital setting.
After two years as Director, Ms. Bessard had a deep desire to help women through her private practice and decided to give her full attention to Color Me Therapy. She is a self-taught abstract artist and avid journal writer. She believes in being a lifelong learner and makes it a priority to stay updated on new trainings to better serve her clients. She is now licensed in Ohio, Georgia and provides Tele-health therapy in Florida.
Miranda R. Deebrah, LMSW
Miranda is a graduate of Columbia University’s School of Social Work and works as a therapist for children, teens, and families in New York City. She provides counseling and therapeutic services to address mental health issues ranging from depression, anxiety, PTSD, suicidal ideation, and self-harm, and guides her clients in learning and developing tools and skills to help them navigate life stressors and challenges. Miranda also serves as the Direct Services Manager for Jahajee Sisters, a survivor-led organization serving low-income immigrants and survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse within the Indo-Caribbean diaspora in NYC. She is experienced in working with undocumented immigrants, DV survivors, LGBTQ+ individuals, youth in foster care, neurodivergent youth, intellectually and developmentally delayed adults, and communities of color across NYC. Her work has included destigmatizing and normalizing mental health care, hosting workshops that center and prioritize people of color, and holding healing and processing spaces for communities with limited mental health support. She hopes to specialize in ancestral and intergenerational trauma healing for the global diaspora of Descendants of Indian Indenture to which she belongs.
Grace Duarte de Baker, MSW, LCSW, CCTS-I
Grace Duarte de Baker is an integrative and bilingual clinical social worker with specialized training in mental health. She partners with institutional, community and individual systems to address the variables associated with human, linguistic and cultural diversity, social justice, anti-racism, empowerment, equity and inclusion. For the last fifteen years, as a life-long learner of understanding and building community resilience in the areas of community-based child, adult, family and community mental health, Grace believes that driving change—especially for the marginalized does not just involve mastering the latest therapy technique. It’s how well you connect with the lived experiences of your community, so that this understanding can be mirrored back in the community as seeds of success and self-actualization. Grace grew up bi-culturally in Southern California but maintained geographical, linguistic, family and cultural roots through her adolescence, in Michoacan, Mexico. She spent time in Massachusetts and Connecticut raising two kids and finishing her education and completing professional training. In 2018 she moved to Memphis with her husband (native Memphian) and has transitioned into a happy intergenerational household with her adult son, daughter in-law and grandson and her mother-in-law living together. She spends time teaching at the University of Memphis School of Social Work, supervising trainees and pre-licensees in Tennessee and California, and seeing clients in her bilingual private practice in Memphis. For fun, she enjoys reading and spending as much unstructured time as possible doing nothing. Grace holds a Bachelor of Social Work with a minor in Latino Community Practice from Saint Joseph University in West Hartford, Connecticut and a Master of Social Work from the University of Connecticut. She holds a certification as a Certified Clinical Trauma Specialist – Individual from Trauma Institute International which is the premier organization for trauma treatment and restorative care.
Madison Evans, MS, LPC, NCC
Born and raised in Canada, Madison moved to the United States in 2012 to pursue her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Early in her counseling journey, she began working with children and parents referred from the Department of Children and Family Services and with Disability Services on a University campus. Since then, she uses her counseling and advocacy skills to focus on making services accessible and inclusive for all populations. Madison currently works as a counselor at Stepping Stones Counseling Center, LLC in Hammond LA, and serves a diverse population with a focus on reunification, family systems, recovery maintenance and trauma counseling. Her belief is that mental health is a holistic process that focuses on the relationship between mind and body and culture, attempting to uncover and address the ways issues in one aspect of a person are connected to other areas.
Aaron Hanlin, LCSW
Aaron is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker who graduated from the University of Alabama in 2018 with an MSW. Aaron lives in Birmingham, Alabama and is a Clinical Therapist at the Living Well Outpatient Center, the mental health clinic of the non-profit organization AIDS Alabama. Living Well Outpatient Center provides free mental health services, both therapy and psychiatric treatment, to individuals who have barriers to accessing this treatment elsewhere.
Aaron has a diverse caseload which is composed of individuals who are low income, HIV positive, LGBTQ, African-American, Latinx, and non-English speaking among other underserved groups. Some of Aaron’s clients have struggled with substance use, and many have experienced trauma. Because he is fluent in both Spanish and English, about half of his clients are Latinx individuals who have limited English proficiency. Aaron is passionate about working with the Latinx community, and is a part of the Alabama Latino AIDS Coalition, working to connect Latinx individuals living with HIV to healthcare and other services in order to overcome barriers to care.
Aaron believes in providing a consistently high-quality service with compassion, respect, and empathy. He is excited about incorporating Brainspotting into his practice and to have another tool to use to help his clients. In his free time, Aaron enjoys spending time with his family, fishing and being in the outdoors, cooking, traveling, reading, scuba diving, and music.
Michele Hairston, LCMHC, CTP, ICST
I am a therapist at Faith First Christian Counseling. For over 25 years, I have been volunteering as a mentor for adolescents and their families through various community based organizations. My passion is to aid in the healing and restoration of families through the love of Christ.
I am a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC) in North Carolina. I am licensed as a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor [LCMHC # 12063] approved by the North Carolina Board of Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselors [NCBLCMHC]. I received a Masters of Arts in Marriage and Family from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia in May of 2015. I am certified in the Duluth Model, a psychoeducational domestic violence program for offenders and victims and certified to administer the SASSI, a self-report screening instrument for substance dependency. I am an Internationally Certified Sandtray Therapist (ICST) and a Certified Child & Adolescent Trauma Professional (CATP). I have experience with facilitating the Nurturing Parenting Program, specialized treatment program designed for caregivers and their young children experiencing behavioral and/or emotional difficulties. While earning my master’s degree, I volunteered as a Crisis Responder for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault victims through a local organization.
As a counselor, I believe that true and lasting change comes from looking at the whole person. I work with patients to bring about transformation through an understanding of the body, emotional healing, behavioral change and a spiritual foundation. I enjoy working with adolescents and families who have been affected by violence, trauma, family changes, drugs and major life changes. I also work with individuals who suffer from depression, anxiety, life changes, addictions as a result of trauma, self-regulation, stress and conflict. I desire to help strengthen and deepen your personal relationship with Jesus Christ as you heal.
I specialize in children who have problems being obedient and foster children. Additionally, I work with blended families, battered women and marital issues. I use a variety of modalities from child-centered play therapy techniques to cognitive behavioral therapy. It is my desire to help you live your best life!
DerShawn Jefferson, BS, LCSW
DerShawn graduated from Old Dominion University with a Bachelor of Science in Sociology minor in Dance and Virginia Commonwealth University with a Master’s Degree in Social Work. In 2019, she completed the Clinical Program on Psychotherapy Practice at The Washington School of Psychiatry. She has worked in various settings which include the non-profit, for-profit, community-based, and school settings. DerShawn is the Clinical Team at a domestic and sexual violence agency where she provides clinical supervision to staff and individual and group therapy to clients.
As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), DerShawn approaches psychotherapy by helping individuals learn how to reduce stress, regulate trauma symptoms, and identify healthy relationship patterns with themselves and others. Much of her work focuses on the impacts of interpersonal violence on individuals throughout their life span. She has worked with individuals dealing with depression, anxiety, grief and loss, codependency, interpersonal conflicts, and domestic and sexual violence. Her years of experience in therapy are rooted in a psychodynamic foundation with an integrative approach, which includes cognitive based therapy and mindfulness-based therapy. Her approach has been described as open and honest with humility and creativity.
DerShawn is excited to learn more about brainspotting and how it can be utilized with clients in her work, especially with individuals impacted by trauma.
Irang Kim, LCSWA, LCASA
Irang is a clinical social worker at Counseling Professionals PLLC in North Carolina. She earned her Bachelor of Social Science in Social Welfare (BSW) from Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, and her Master of Social Work (MSW) from North Carolina State University. As a first generation immigrant from South Korea, Irang Kim has been through the international students and immigrant women experiences from the diverse parts of the United States. Irang has been predominantly serving Asian American or multiracial clients with immigrant heritage at a college counseling and a private practice setting. Irang has a passion for supporting racially and ethnically diverse populations with immigration trauma, adjustment issues, generational conflicts, addictive behavioral concerns, anxiety & depression issues, and loneliness. Irang is specialized in Brainspotting, and SMART Recovery interventions. Her clinical practice utilizes a client-centered and strengths-based approach with a cultural humility perspective. She believes the therapeutic process starts and ends with the client's self-determination with the support of a therapist who honors each individual’s diverse cultural backgrounds and values.
Linda Zheng, BS, MS
Linda obtained her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Minnesota State University, Mankato and master’s degree at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. Throughout her career, Linda has worked with adolescents and adults in individual and group psychotherapy settings, carried out behavioral management care plans, and taught psychoeducational courses. She currently provides in-person and virtual psychotherapy to adolescents and adults at Collaboration for Psychological Wellness, as she works toward becoming a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. Her practice attracts clients who are navigating adoption traumas, interpersonal and intergenerational traumas, mood disorders, intimate relationship challenges, codependency, and self-esteem difficulties. Linda is also passionate about improving mental health literacy in marginalized communities, addressing mental health stigma, and integrating the mind and body. Outside of service, she enjoys spending time outdoors, drawing, music, cooking, yoga, and reading.