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Bryant Brown, Counselor
I am an African American male, born and raised in Brooklyn, New York in a family of seven by my mother. My father left the home when I was 10 years old. Both of my parents migrated from South Carolina with their parents as children in the early 1900's. They met at a nightclub during the 1970's and married shortly after. My father was a maintenance man and my mother worked within the customer service industry, prior to having children and becoming a stay at home parent.
During my undergraduate studies, I studied Psychology at Touro College graduating with a Bachelors of Arts in 2002. Additionally, I attended Brooklyn College where I achieved my Masters in Counseling in 2007 and St Rose College attaining a Masters in Leadership in 2011. Currently, I am attending Alfred University finalizing my license in mental health counseling, which would afford me the opportunity to start my own counseling practice.
As I shared previously, being raised in a family of seven, by a single parent, I saw my fair share of dysfunction. My siblings often sought me out for support in navigating the various challenges life threw their way. I hope to think that I became their go to because I was effective at it.
In hindsight I believe that's where my passion for counseling and helping people was born. This early process of helping family morphed into a process where I would often find myself helping friends and community members.
I entered the field of counseling because I believed at an early age that healthy families are so critical in creating healthy communities and high functioning individuals. My dream is to lead a practice where families can access high quality mental health care free of charge.
By day I serve as an Education Administrator, for the New York City Department of Education providing support to principals, school counselors, and social workers. During evenings I provide counseling services to families, couples, adults, and children. In my eighteen years as an educator, I have served as a teacher assistant, teacher, school counselor, assistant principal, school improvement coach, and currently as a student services director. My education work allows me a rare opportunity to help schools in various areas with best practices around suicide prevention, child welfare safety, bullying prevention, behavior management, identifying mental health supports, and additional support.
Throughout my career and life, I’ve always had a passion for serving Black and Brown people. I’d say the work that I do is equivalent to pulling on my heartstrings. Growing up in Coney Island, Brooklyn, needless to say, the neighborhood presented with many challenges and obstacles. While I have so many joyous memories deeply embedded within my heart, I can’t ignore the amount of trauma and hardship that came with my community. From mental health illnesses, to addiction, and community violence, it’s safe to say, my community was plagued by collective trauma. I saw how so many of my people, and families struggled to survive and thrive. So with that, I’d say I almost take the work that I do personally. No other work would fulfill me more than educating and providing mental health care to people of color. I often say that I didn’t choose this work, this work chose me.
As a Black male I’ve dealt with racism all of my life. Growing up in a poor inner city community of color, the education system didn’t take educating us blacks seriously. I’ve been on the receiving end where it was suggested that I was comfortable with roaches being around because I didn't run away like my white counterpart; and have been called a light skinned N-word by teachers I pushed back on regarding their policies. Additionally, being harassed by law enforcement almost regularly and having your rights violated was a common occurrence. I believe those experiences shaped me to do the work that I do. Although deeply hurt and impacted by these experiences, I took each and everyone of those experiences personally. I always thought of ways that I can help my people and community so they wouldn’t have to endure all the things I had to. What I wish was different is that we were provided a level playing field and valued like our non white counterparts.
My clinical approaches include Solution Focused Brief Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. As a clinician, I believe in getting results. My goal is to help my clients access their goals and dreams and these approaches allow them to do so as efficiently as possible.
I believe my clients experience me as someone who is a good listener, invested in them, caring, supportive, and most importantly non judgemental. I’ve been told that I am resourceful, and I have a way of helping clients believe in themselves.
A unique thing about me that I'd like to share is that I am an avid basketball fan and currently coach my son’s basketball team. I also enjoy singing and in my past life I was a multi platinum selling recording artist.