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Influenc-HER Profile Series: Crystal Joseph

Updated: Oct 9, 2018

What is your name and what do you do?

Crystal (Morrison) Joseph

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (Maryland)

Licensed Professional Counselor (Virginia)

. . . in other words a “therapist.”

Where are you from?

757/Hampton Roads/Tidewater region of Virginia I get questioned when I’m walking around the DC metro area . . . “You’re lying. Where are your parents from?” . . .Virginia. I’m going to start picking a country.

Tell us about Psyc Your Mind?

It is my conception of a private practice which allows for the use of out-of-the-box interventions to produce therapeutic outcomes. Out-of-the-box includes use of pop culture, sociology concepts, cultural concepts, world events, etc.

PSYC /sahyk/ Verb—To prepare psychologically to be in the right frame of mind or to give one’s best

YOUR /yohr/ Noun—Indicative of belonging to oneself

MIND /mahynd/ Noun—The element, part, substance, or process that reasons, thinks, feels, wills, perceives, judges

! —Expresses extreme emotion

Tell us about the meaning behind the name "people's champion" and how you received that name?

I used to manage staff and LPNs in a medically-complex group home. My staff were always being written up by the director of nursing (who was lateral to me), which meant if they were taken off the schedule, I had to work their shift and get my own work done as manager. I later realized their write- ups were not due to egregious behavior, but due to a lack of training or retaining information in the way it was initially taught. I learned to re-package the information and partner with them when they were on shift instead of sitting in my basement office. Thereafter, the write-ups decreased completely. One of the staff used to tease me when I reported in the morning saying, “The champ is here!” My husband gave me the final name of “people’s champion.” Sometimes you have to meet people where they are. Then once you understand this, root for them. Teach them. Support them.

Where did you know you wanted to become a therapist? 

This is a hard question. I’m actually not sure. I can’t recall a lightbulb moment, but I do remember auditing a class at Thomas Nelson community college at the age of 8! My parents would drop me off to one of the professors in our church parking lot and I would ride with her and sit in her class. In high school, I was dual-enrolled and passed my Intro to Psych courses with flying colors.

Why is mental health so taboo?

Lack of understanding. Inability to see “it.” And, the increased privatization of managed care systems. We can see someone receive an insulin injection and realize, “oh they are insulin deficient, diabetic.” We can see someone’s hair fall out from chemotherapy/radiation treatment and realize, “wow, they’re being treated for some type of cancer.” But, if I see I have anxiety, depression or a past trauma, the behaviors you see are not matched by a formal, substantive antidote. Instead, combined talk therapy and medication management may be necessary to modify or diminish these symptoms. People of color also lean heavily on their religious affiliations and the church edifice. The indivisible perception of church coupled with the positive outcomes, inherently gives people permission to only seek out church resources instead of partnering with community resources, like a therapist. I’ll be discussing how church leaders can partner with therapists in the community regarding bullying, sexual abuse, LGBTQ and other hot topics in July in Orlando for the Mennonite Church USA convention.

What does a typical day look like for you?