Hey everyone! We’ve approached our last day in the month of February and to celebrate Black History Month, I thought I’d shine the light on one of the most influential Psychologist, Dr. Janet E Helms.  

Photo credit: uwlax.edu

Dr. Janet E. Helms is a research psychologist who was born in in  Kansas City, Missouri. An inspirational scholar and educator, she is well known for her outstanding work on the theory of racial identity development regarding societal racism and cultural factors. Earning her PhD in Psychology from Iowa State University, Dr. Helms work has provided solid proof that is not race or gender  that affects people’s mental health, but the psychological effects of being treated in a particular way for the fact of one’s ascribed background in these categories. She is the founding director of Boston College’s Institute for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture with the primary interest in the following areas: Culture and Ethnicity, Gender Psychology, Research Methods, Assessment, Self and Identity. Dr. Helms’s research has emerged groundbreaking theories of how race and gender identity and cultural factors influences and impacts counseling practices, assessment and personality development. Dr. Helms discovered that racial identity predicts various outcomes which includes race-related stress reactions, performance and standardized tests and perceptions of supervisor-supervisee experiences in the school and workplace. She holds the position as the Augustus Long Professor of Counseling Psychology in Boston College and has been honored and recognized for her teaching and research  by many organizations including the American Psychological Association (APA) positioned as a Fellow in Division 17 in Counseling Psychology and Division 45 Ethnic Diversity of APA. She has written informative books such as Black and White Racial Identity and A training manual to accompany Black and White Racial Identity – just to name a few, and has published journal articles/publications  that is featured in the Institute of Mental Measurement, Thousand Oaks and Journal of Counseling Psychology. Dr. Helms plays a vital role in the field of psychology as her contributions and theory has been applied in counseling therapy training and practice, education, law, ethics and public policy. Here below, I’ve  included a short clip of  David Sue and Derald Wing Sue’s model of Racial/Cultural identity Development – a commonality of Dr. Helms’s theory of Racial Identity and Development. Enjoy!

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Comment ( 1 )

  • Margelin Emile

    I’ve never heard of Dr Janet E. Helms until today. Thanks for providing her bio. I’ve also found that she has a book called “A Race is a Nice Thing to Have”. I will put it in my checklist to read it. Thanks!

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