Monnica Williams, Ph.D.

Monnica Williams, Ph.D., is the Canada Research Chair for Mental Health Disparities at the University of Ottawa, where she conducts psychological research, mentors students, and teaches advanced courses in multicultural psychology and psychopathology. She completed her undergraduate work at MIT and UCLA, and received her doctoral degree from the University of Virginia. Dr. Williams was an Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry for over four years, where she worked with Dr. Edna Foa at the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety before her move to the University of Louisville in 2011, where she served as the Director for the Center for Mental Health Disparities. She also worked at the University of Connecticut for 4 years, where she had joint appointments in the Department of Psychological Science and Psychiatry.

Dr. Williams has presented at many scientific conferences and is a much sought after speaker. She has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters focused on anxiety disorders and cultural differences. She has been the principal investigator on several grant-funded research projects, and has served as a peer reviewer for over 20 different journals.

Dr. Williams is a licensed psychologist in the United States and Canada. She is the Clinical Director of the Behavioral Wellness Counseling Center, which has offices in Tolland, Connecticut. She treats adults with anxiety disorders and provides clinical instruction to trainees. In the community, she conducts trainings and lecture for medical residents, local organizations, and treatment providers. She was president-elect of the Delaware Valley Association of Black Psychologists, co-founded the International OCD Foundation Diversity Advisory Board, and serves on the board of directors for the Chacruna Institute.

Contact Dr. Williams directly at [email protected] if you would like to consult with her.

View Curriculum Vitae

Working with a diverse ethnic population requires clinicians who can appreciate unique differences in culture as well as psychopathology arising from experiences of stigma and oppression. Further, it is imperative that individuals from underrepresented groups be equitably represented in mental care settings and research studies. Equitable representation is needed to ensure that research findings are generalizable to all populations.  Cultural, economic, and logistic barriers can deter people from disadvantaged racial and ethnic groups from seeking treatment or participating in mental health research, and can also deter clinicians from including them. This presentation describes steps mental health clinicians can take to increase inclusion of people in minoritized groups. Important strategies include formal training in cultural differences, development of multi-cultural awareness, diversification of treatment teams, community outreach, professional networking, targeted advertising, a comfortable environment, and ongoing review of efforts. Also included is an overview of research abuses against vulnerable populations which has eroded trust between communities of color and the medical establishment.  Dr. Williams will speak to these issues based on the research literature, her work starting mental health clinics throughout the US, and her experience as a principal investigator in studies recruiting hard-to-reach racialized participants for mental health studies. This course is for anyone seeking to recruit more diverse individuals, implement inclusive research studies, attend to cultural considerations in the process of interventions, and/or incorporate critical ethical principles into clinical procedures.

session: 9589
This course will satisfy your cultural diversity requirement.

This presentation will provide a detailed overview of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), and related conditions from a DSM-5 framework.  This will include a discussion of symptoms, etiologies, theoretical conceptualizations, and treatment approaches. It will also discuss the impact of race, ethnicity, and culture on attitudes towards depression, diagnosis and treatment, and barriers to care specific to African American populations. We emphasize the differential impact of racism on Black men and Black women as contributing factors. Finally, we discuss treatment considerations and outreach to the African American community.
session: 6923

This course will satisfy your cultural diversity requirement.

In this webinar, Dr. Williams will distinguish between color blind and multicultural approaches.  She will talk about racial identity in blacks and whites and talk about the impact of cultural stereotypes.  She will identify the impact of discrimination and racism on mental health.  This webinar will also focus on practical skills in working with African American clients, looking at cultural mistrust, diagnostic issues, and Afrocentric values.  Finally, Dr. Williams will highlight the literature on race and IQ and psychopathology assessment.  She will help participants in defining culturally sensitive therapy.

session: 8173

Given the increasing diversity of clients seeking mental health care, there is a growing need to enhance the cultural sensitivity of therapeutic interventions with ethnoracial minority populations. One critical form of contemporary racism is the experience of microaggressions: brief, everyday exchanges, in the form of seemingly innocent and innocuous comments or behaviors that send denigrating messages to people of color. Microaggressions in mental health settings are a cause of poor therapeutic alliance and drop-out, representing a barrier to treatment. Repeated exposure to microaggressions can cause psychological unwellness and even trauma symptoms in victims. However, many clinicians are not aware of microaggressions, may commit them unknowingly against clients, and are unsure how to address them in treatment. Thus, increasing awareness of microaggressions is a critical target of clinical training and therapeutic intervention. Dr. Williams will also discuss how to recognize microaggressions, how to assess the impact of microaggressions in clients, and discuss how to address microaggressions when they occur in therapy or real-life. 

session: 9942