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                                                 September 1, 2021
Welcome to DIRECTIONS the monthly online newsletter of the Delaware Valley              Association of Black Psychologists (DVABPsi). We look forward to providing our readers
with pertinent information to support, encourage, and uplift our community and those who
serve the community. The goal of DVABPsi is to make a positive impact on Black Mental
Health today and for the future.
    DeBorah Gilbert White, Ph.D.- Editor 

                                                      President's Message:  

                                                      Dr. Ayo Maria Gooden

                                                      Delaware Valley Association

                                                      of Black Psychologists






                                                ZOLA (LOVE) UP ON WE! SELF-CARE


       As you continue to face the pandemics of racism and COVID-19, you are told to prepare for another more aggressive virus than COVID-19, the delta variant.  After sheltering in for a year, job losses,

children staying home while learning/trying to learn, the loss of family and friends (from illnesses, murder, suicide, and drugs), interpersonal relationships have been strained more than ever.  There is a critical

need for self-care.  Self-care is essential for your survival, healing, and revitalization.  Self-care can heal current illnesses, prevent illnesses, or prevent them from becoming worse.  This is the time to

re-evaluate your choices.  The first step in self-care is self-analysis.  What do you need to change in your

life that will make you happier, healthier, and more comfortable financially?  Is this the time to end 

unhealthy friendships, love relationships, or jobs?  Are you taking care of your physical, mental, and

spiritual health?  DVABPsi and our parent organization, the Association of Black Psychologists ( recommend the following 40 self-care strategies:

  1. Take care of yourself first and then others

  2. Self-Monitor your stress

  3. Ask someone you trust to let you know if they see signs of stress

  4. Connect with your spiritual beliefs/strength

  5. Spiritual music (listen to it, sing it, play it)

  6. Meditation

  7. Deep relaxation

  8. Visualization

  9. Exercise/yoga/martial arts/boxing/running/biking/walking/stretching

  10. Music (play it, sing it, dance to it)

  11. Songs from happy times in your life, elementary school, tv shows, or commercial jingles

  12. Massage

  13. Soak in a tub

  14. Color therapy

  15. Aromatherapy

  16. Read

  17. Vacation

  18. Staycation (stay in and just relax doing you)

  19. Livet (eating fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts) vs diet (eating dead animals and processed foods)

  20. Healthy foods (watch the movie What the Health)

  21. Prioritize work

  22. Delegate work

  23. Ask for help

  24. Learn to say no

  25. Mindfulness

  26. Take a break from social media and the news

  27. Bubbles, buy a bottle at the Dollar Store

  28. Remove toxic people from your personal and professional life

  29. Avoid/minimize alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and excessive caffeine to cope.

  30. Weighted blanket (feels as if you are being hugged)

  31. Create a safe place for you and for others to destress

  32. Words of wisdom, proverbs

  33. Talk to elders get advice and words of wisdom

  34. Seek a Black therapist to help you with self-care (

  35. Hula hoop – (This is a great exercise to reduce your waist)

  36. Compliment others especially Black females, praise natural hair, dark skin, full lips and broad noses

  37. Bake or cook something you like

  38. Build something

  39. Sew something

  40. Repair something

                  Self-Care is Self-Love.  You deserve to be lovedZOLA (LOVE) UP ON WE!

               Harambee!  Harambee!  Harambee! (Let us all pull together).

            Hotep (Peace and Blessings)- Ayo Maria Gooden, Ph.D., ABPBC, LLC



















                      Guest Contributor: Faruq T.N. Iman, Ph.D., C.H.P.

                                 Natural Supplements vs. Psychotropic Drugs


      For more than 20 years the American Psychological Association (APA) and various state divisions have suggested, debated, and advocated prescription writing privileges for

qualified psychologists. At the present time, there are two states and one U.S. territory that allow psychologists to write prescriptions (i.e. New Mexico, Louisiana, and Guam). The 

debate between psychiatrists and psychologists has, generally, boiled down to training

and money. Psychiatrists contend that they have the necessary medical knowledge and training to write prescriptions and psychologists do not. Psychologists state that they can

get the necessary training without four years of medical school.


    Psychiatrists state that psychologists who write prescriptions will reduce their income

because clients/patients will have more options to obtain their pharmaceutical drugs. Psychologists retort by saying that there is enough business for everyone especially with governmental initiatives to psychologically test and possibly treat all school children.  The debates and legal battles continue to rage on in every state where psychologists apply for prescription writing privileges. However, what seems to be lost in most of the arguments is

the question “Are psychotropic drugs effective and safe? The quick answer to the above question is an unequivocal “NO”. This article will attempt to examine (1) why psychotropic drugs are not safe; (2) why we should use natural supplements to help treat mental health disorders; and (3) possible increased liability.


The Case Against the Use of  Psychotropic Drugs

    Just about all pharmaceuticals (whether prescribed or “over the counter-OTC”) do at

least two dangerous things. The first is that they introduce foreign and/or toxic chemicals

into the body. The second is that pharmaceuticals inhibit the absorption of one or more

vital natural nutrients.


Introduction of Foreign/Toxic Chemicals

    Many psychotropic drugs start with natural ingredients, however, pharmaceutical 

companies increase the dosage or molecule levels to expedite chemical reactions in the

body. Let’s take a look at Ritalin. Ritalin is primarily used to treat “attention deficit

hyperactive disorder - ADHD” in children and  “narcolepsy” in adults. Let’s examine the chemical make-up of Ritalin. Ritalin’s formula is C14, H19, NO2 (, 2007). Carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen are

part of our bodies and nature. However, nowhere in our bodies does 14 parts of carbon, 19 parts of hydrogen, and 2 parts of nitrous oxide exist naturally. The body, therefore,

perceives this formula as a poison or toxic substance and reacts accordingly.


    Adverse side effects of Ritalin include depression, psychotic episodes, rapid heartbeat,

blood pressure changes, cardiac arrhythmia, angina, necrotizing vasculitis (i.e. death of

blood vessels), thrombocytopenia purpura (i.e. decrease in the number of blood platelets), etc. Long-term use increases the probability of future illegal drug use and abuse (Manufacturer’s drug insert and the Physician’s Desk Reference, 2005).


   Nutrients that fail to be absorbed when using Ritalin are coenzyme Q10, riboflavin, and sodium. (Vagnini& Fox, 2005).Coenzyme Q10 (CO Q10) is an antioxidant, vitamin-like substance found in all parts of the body.  This substance plays a vital role in the production

of energy, blood circulation, immune system protection, and improvement, tissue

oxygenation, and anti-aging. Deficiencies in CO Q10 have been linked to periodontal

disease, diabetes, and muscular dystrophy. Riboflavin is a “B” vitamin - B2. It is necessary

for red blood cell formation, antibody production, cell respiration, and growth. Deficiencies include cracks and sores at the corners of the mouth, eye disorders, inflammation of the mouth and tongue, skin lesions, dermatitis, dizziness, hair loss, insomnia, light sensitivity, poor digestion, retarded growth, and slowed menopause response. Sodium is an element

and mineral that is necessary for proper water balance, blood ph, stomach, nerve, and

muscle function. Symptoms of sodium deficiency include abdominal cramps, dizziness,

fatigue, confusion, dehydration, depression, heart palpitations, headache, memory impairment, etc. (Balch, 2006).


    Space will not allow a full explanation of all the psychotropic drugs on the market, but a sampling may give the reader an idea. Thorazine is used to treat schizophrenia. This drug’s side effects include low blood pressure, allergic reactions, symptoms resembling Parkinson’s disease, and an unsteady gait. Thorazine robs the person of riboflavin and CO Q10. Prozac

is used to treat people with depression. Its side effects include anxiety, restlessness,

seizures, suicide, hallucinations, hostility, paranoia, hypertension, angina, congestive heart failure, etc. Prozac inhibits the neurotransmitter melatonin and  CO Q 10. Haloperidol is

used to treat people with Tourette’s syndrome. Possible side effects include anxiety,

agitation. irregular heartbeat, and blurred vision. Haloperidol blocks the absorption of

sodium and CO Q10 (Vagnini & Fox, 2005).


   Possible  Ethical and Legal Liabilities of Administering Psychotropic Medicines

The first principle of many health professions is “Do No Harm”. This principle states that healers have a practical, ethical, and sacred duty to attempt to facilitate healing in

themselves and others. If the healer is unfamiliar with a type of illness or does not have the necessary training then he/she must inform the client/patient of the situation and refer the person, family, or group(if possible) to someone who may be able to facilitate healing.

Healers must not aggravate or create injury to clients/patients. It seems that the administration of psychotropic drugs may violate this principle.


    The Society for the Science of Clinical Psychology (SSCP), a section of the APA is also opposed to psychological prescribing. They mention in their position statement that (1) malpractice premiums would go up for those who elect to prescribe, and possibly for all licensed psychologists, whether they prescribe or not; (2) should even a few malpractice

suits against prescribing psychologists based on claims of inadequate medical training be successful, insurance coverage would become prohibitively expensive or disappear

altogether; and (3) psychologists would be exposed to patients' demands for “pill fixes” and blandishments of the pharmaceutical industry, just as psychiatric and other medical professionals already are (Bush, 2001).


Using Natural Supplements to Treat Mental Health Disorders

    From the above descriptions of psychotropic drugs, their formulas, adverse reactions,

and nutrient robbery using pharmaceuticals to treat mental health disorders seem to be

risky at best and deadly at worst. Even if there is some improvement in the condition that

the drug is prescribed for “How long will it last?, and  “What is the cost economically, physically, psychologically, and spiritually? Trading one disorder for other disorders hardly seems worth it.


    The question is asked “What can people do to relieve symptoms of mental health

disorders and/or mental health disorders themselves (besides talk therapy)? The following description will include mostly natural supplements that may help treat various mental

health disorders. The reader, however, is reminded that supplementation is only part of a

more holistic program to help people overcome certain mental health disorders. Below is a partial list and brief example of how to treat people with natural supplements for

Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, and depression.


    Alzheimer’s disease involves the gradual decline in memory and cognitive abilities

(DSM-IV, 1994). Supplements that help and even cure (depending on the stage of development) are vitamins A, B-complex, C, coenzyme A and Q10,  E, boron, zinc,

acetyl-L-choline, phosphatidylserine, grape seed extract, selenium, Butcher’s Broom,

Ginkgo Biloba, Gotu Kola, etc. All of these supplements help to restore memory, increase

blood circulation, and replace lost nutrients (Balch, 2006).


    Anxiety disorder or panic attack is a discrete period in which there is the sudden onset

of intense apprehension, fearfulness, or terror, often associated with feelings of impending doom (DSM-IV, 1994). Supplements that will help relieve symptoms of anxiety are calcium, magnesium, garlic, potassium, selenium, SAMe, vitamins B-complex, C, & E, zinc, valerian root, skullcap, fennel, chamomile, hops, passionflower, etc. All of these supplements either promote relaxation and/or replace nutrients that are lost during panic attacks

(Balch, 2006).


   Depression is chronic sadness that occurs for most of the day more days than not for at least 2 years (DSM-IV, 1994). Supplements that help are Omega 3 fatty acids, garlic,

5HTP, L-Tyrosine, SAMe, DMAE, vitamin B-complex, St. John’s Wort, valerian root,

Kava kava, etc. These supplements help to uplift one’s mood and replace lost nutrients

(Balch, 2006).


    The term supplements (in this case) means additions to one’s food intake. None of these supplements are known to have any adverse side effects unless they are combined with

some pharmaceutical drugs. Ideally, one should be able to eat the correct combination of foods and get all that one needs to be healthy. However, due to inadequate farming

methods, herbicides, pesticides, overheating, and processing of foods one may not get the nutrients one needs.


    One may ask “Will I have to take all of those supplements to help heal  myself or

others?” The answer is not necessarily. One would need to go to a person knowledgeable about the natural treatment of mental health disorders or find an organization or program

that treats mental disorders naturally and holistically.


Conclusion: Costs and Casualties

    According to Null, (2006), “....the number of people having in-hospital adverse reactions to prescribed drugs is 2.2. million annually. The number of unnecessary

antibiotics prescribed for viral infections is 20 million per year.” Null state that “adverse reactions (on average) cost 106,000 lives and 12 billion dollars per year”.


    Pfeiffer (1987) suggests that “since mega nutrient therapy treats the whole person’s biochemical imbalances, it can be of immediate and long term benefit. There is no

justification for the use of drugs except in the case of the critically ill. Generally, the use of drugs is a self-deception which sacrifices long-term health for immediate results.”


   As healers can we with any kind of African consciousness support, advocate, join, administer, certify or license the use of psychotropic drugs to heal mental disorders? To do

so would mean that we cannot call ourselves “healers or Africans”. To be African means to

be human/humane and to heal. We would be no different from those who enslaved our ancestors, conducted inhuman and unethical pseudoscientific experiments, and those who continue to use Maafa-like methods today. Not only must we not support or administer psychotropic drugs, but we should be at the forefront of the fight to discontinue their use.

This article is a small introductory attempt to acquaint readers with some information about psychotropic drugs, their dangers, and introduce a more natural, humane, and effective

way of treating people who are experiencing mild to severe mental health disorders.



Balch, P.A. (2006). Prescription for nutritional healing, 4th ed. New York: Avery.


Bush, W.J. (2001). SSCP task force on prescribing privileges (RxP). Clinical Science, pp 7-11.


DSM-IV (1994). Washington, D.C: American Psychiatric Association.


Null, G., Death by medicine.Life Extension, V. 12, N. 8. pp 67-87.


Pfeiffer, C.C. (1987). Nutrition and mental illness: An orthomolecular approach to

balancing body chemistry. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.


Physician’s Desk Reference (2005). New Jersey: Thomson.


Vagnini, F. & Fox, B. (2005).Side effects bible: An all natural way to fight the nutrient

depletion caused by more than 300 popular drugs. New York: Broadway Books. (November 6, 2007). Methylphenidate.


Dr. Iman is currently employed as a psychotherapist in private practice, a certified holistic practitioner and a retired educator. He is currently senior consulting editor of
the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi) newsletter, Psychdiscourse and editor
of the ABPsi Eastern Region newsletter (i.e. The MasharikiGazeti).  Current and past professional and community organizations include ABPsi – former East Regional Representative, the Delaware Valley Association of Black Psychologists (DVABPsi) –
past president, International Board of African Thinkers, Priests, Healers, and
Religions, Inc. – former board member, the Freedom Theatre – former board member and president, Pan African Studies Community Education Program – former board member, National Coalition for Black Reparations (member), Association of Classical African
Civilizations (member), Coalition of Black Fathers. 


                                             AUTHOR'S CORNER

                                       DeBorah Gilbert White, Ph.D.

           "Beyond Charity:  A Sojourner's Reflections on Homelessness,

                           Advocacy, Empowerment and Hope" 

                                  Book Release September 3, 2021








    As a social psychologist, diversity and inclusion specialist, community advocate, and
former homeless African American woman, the author explores the issues of housing and homelessness in the United States. Justice and equity considerations, systemic and institutional dynamics, and the trauma of homelessness frame this personal journey of loss, enlightenment,
and empowerment.  The book is available from Kharis Publishing at 
Beyond Charity: A Sojourners Reflections on Homelessness, Advocacy, Empowerment & Hope by DeBorah Gilbert White ( and Amazon. Books will be available in the
coming weeks at Black-owned/independent booksellers.  Contact the author at to be placed on the email list to receive updates and book signing information.         




















































         The Black Health Trust presents every Sunday 12:00 pm PDT/3:00 EDT
        Visit for updates and more information.





               Opportunity to Advertise in DIRECTIONS Newsletter 
Advertisements can be submitted for review and publication at least three weeks    before the next month's issue along with a check, money order payable to
Delaware Valley Association of Black Psychologists (DVABPsi), or online payment.    Advertisement rates are as follows:
                                 Full Page:  $100.00
                                 Half Page:  $50.00
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Mailing address:      DeBorah Gilbert White, Editor
                                 DIRECTIONS Newsletter
                                 Delaware Valley Association of Black Psychologists
                                 P.O. Box 542
                                 Westtown, PA  19395-0542
                                         Newsletter Submissions
 Members of DVABPsi are encouraged to submit articles, poems, announcements,     quotations, employment opportunities, and information related to undergraduate,     graduate, and post-graduate programs in psychology.  Currently, we are seeking       Guest Contributors for our 2022 issues. Members of DVABPsi are invited to be
Guest Contributors. Submit articles along with a short bio and headshot. Pictures
and graphics can also be submitted with articles.
 Contact the  DIRECTIONS Newsletter team for additional information at
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