Monnica T Williams

Monnica T Williams
University of Ottawa · School of Psychology

Ph.D.

About

211
Publications
146,187
Reads
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3,396
Citations
Introduction
Monnica T. Williams, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, Associate Professor in the School of Psychological Sciences at the University of Ottawa, and Canada Research Chair for Mental Health Disparities. Dr. Williams completed her undergraduate studies at MIT and UCLA. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Virginia.
Additional affiliations
July 2011 - August 2016
University of Louisville
Position
  • Professor
Education
September 2000 - August 2007
University of Virginia
Field of study
  • Psychology

Publications

Publications (211)
Article
Full-text available
[Objective] Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating disorder requiring timely diagnosis and treatment, with special attention needed for Black populations in the U.S. Yet, stakeholders often fail to recognize Black communities' heterogeneous ethnic composition, thus not allowing diverse sociocultural realities to inform PTSD interven...
Article
Background: Limited ethnoracial diversity in previous ±3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine-assisted therapy (MDMA-AT) trials for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has prompted questions concerning whether Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) also benefit from this treatment. Methods: Secondary analysis was conducted using a modified int...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose of Review While research has identified racial trauma in other contexts, it is often overlooked amongst Canadian society. Racial trauma occurs as a result of an event of racism or cumulative events over time whereby an individual experiences stress and consequent mental health sequelae. Given that the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and/or Person...
Article
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Some may think that discussions on the inhumane treatment of refugees of color can wait until after the war in Ukraine has ended. However, human lives are at risk every second and no refugee should be denied basic rights because of interactions between their identities and others’ ideological beliefs. In addition, experiences of racism within Ukrai...
Article
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Evidence-based jury selection is a critical need because of historical and ongoing racial biases that impede a just process and outcome. As norms about bias, how to measure it, and mitigating its effects have progressed over time, new tools to help carry out this work have become available. This article synergizes the latest relevant psychological...
Article
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Background Newly arriving Syrian refugees can present with specific health characteristics and medical conditions when entering the United States. Given the lack of epidemiological data available for the refugee populations, our study examined the demographic features of Syrian refugees resettled in the state of Kentucky. Specifically, we examined...
Article
Psychedelic-assisted therapy (PAT) is a burgeoning treatment with growing interest across a variety of settings and disciplines. Empirical evidence supports PAT as a novel therapeutic approach that provides safe and effective treatment for people suffering from a variety of diagnoses, including treatment-resistant depression, substance use disorder...
Article
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Background The current study is one of the first to examine race, ethnic, and sex differences in the prevalence of and trends in hallucinogen use among lifetime users in the United States. Methods Data came from the 2015–2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health and included respondent's reporting ever-using hallucinogens ( n = 41,060; female =...
Article
MDMA (±3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine)-assisted therapy (MDMA-AT) was shown in previous clinical trials to have promising efficacy and safety for alleviating treatment-resistant posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, due to low ethnoracial diversity, the question remains as to whether ethnoracial minority participants would benefit simil...
Article
There is a need to understand ways in which Asians in North America attempt to heal from racial trauma, given their well-documented high risk of exposure and associated adverse mental health outcomes. We conducted a secondary analysis of Asians from a survey of people of color in North America who have consumed psychedelics in response to racial di...
Preprint
Background Currently, personal or familial histories of psychotic symptoms are exclusionary criteria for most psychedelic clinical trials, studies, and treatment programs. This study sought to determine why such an exclusion exists, what the implications of the exclusion criteria are, and if there was agreement in expert opinion. Methods In-depth i...
Article
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Racism is a pervasive problem in Western society, leading to mental and physical unwellness in people from racialized groups. Psychology began as a racist discipline and still is. As such, most clinical training and curricula do not operate from an anti-racist framework. Although most therapists have seen clients with stress and trauma due to racia...
Article
Despite overwhelming documentation of disproportionate arrest, prosecution, conviction, and incarceration of Black Americans and the many psychological tools available to assess racism and implicit bias, anti-racist jury selection remains an understudied area of research. An evidence- based, anti-racist jury selection process is an urgent need, par...
Article
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In racialized societies, race divides people, prioritizes some groups over others, and directly impacts opportunities and outcomes in life. These missed opportunities and altered outcomes can be rectified only through the deliberate dismantling of explicit, implicit, and systemic patterns of injustice. Racial problems cannot be corrected merely by...
Article
Traditionally, conceptual models of racial stressors (including racial microaggressions) have characterized the reactive experiences of African Americans, particularly identifying how African Americans cognitively, emotionally, and behaviorally respond to racial stress. The current study extends beyond the reactive coping experience and identifies...
Article
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Purpose of Review Racial trauma is a severe psychological response to the cumulative traumatic effect of racism. This review synthesizes emerging theoretical and empirical evidence of racial trauma, outlines the mechanisms, and lists available assessment and treatment options for racial trauma. Recent Findings Emerging evidence illustrates that th...
Article
Gender and sexual minorities are subjected to minority stress in the form of discrimination and violence that leads to vigilance, identity concealment and discomfort, and internalized homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia. These experiences are related to increased susceptibility to mental health concerns in this population. Historically, the behav...
Article
Allies are members of a dominant group that work to dismantle oppression experienced by subordinate groups. Given the well-documented mental health impact of all forms of racism on people of colour, including microaggressions, cultivating White allies is important for reducing racism and advancing equity. This paper examines the impact of two diver...
Article
The link between socioeconomic status and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms is well established. Given that Black women are disproportionately burdened by both poverty and PTSD symptoms, research focusing on these constructs among this population is needed. The current study assessed the association between material hardship (i.e., diff...
Article
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Being a White ally goes beyond being merely “non-racist” and having good intentions. Meaningful allyship is behavioural and requires active participation in dismantling systems of oppression. The objective of this study was to ascertain the degree to which White individuals behave in an allied manner when provided the opportunity to do so by compar...
Chapter
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Black men and women encounter multiple forms of racism in American society and require numerous strategies to manage the stress associated with these experiences. This chapter reviews the current state of the literature regarding Black people and how they cope with racism. Findings demonstrate that Black people tend to cope with racism through soci...
Article
Objective: Empirically supported treatments (ESTs) have been criticized for lack of ethnoracial representation, which may limit the generalizability of findings for non-White patients. This study assessed ethnoracial representation in United States-based randomized controlled trials (RCTs) for three evidence-based treatments for posttraumatic stre...
Article
Efforts to understand racial microaggressions have focused on the impact on targets, but few studies have examined the motivations and characteristics of offenders, and none has examined microaggressions committed by members of racialized groups. The purpose of this study is to determine if racial microaggressions should be conceptualized as a form...
Article
The highly publicized murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd raised awareness of the insidious ways racism continues to manifest. This led to increased support of the Black Lives Matter movement in the US and globally. The American Psychiatric Association formally apologized for its support of structural racism and called for th...
Article
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Racial microaggressions are an insidious form of racism with devastating mental-health outcomes, but the concept has not been embraced by all scholars. This article provides an overview of new scholarship on racial microaggressions from an array of diverse scholars in psychology, education, and philosophy, with a focus on new ways to define, concep...
Article
With the increased desire to engage in antiracist clinical research, there is a need for shared nomenclature on racism and related constructs to help move the science forward. This article breaks down the factors that contributed to the development and maintenance of racism (including racial microaggressions), provides examples of the many forms of...
Article
Full-text available
Harvard psychiatrist Chester Pierce’s conception of “subtle and stunning” daily racial offenses, or microaggressions, remains salient even 50 years after it was introduced. Microaggressions were defined further by Sue and colleagues in 2007, and this construct has found growing utility as the deleterious effects of microaggressions on the health of...
Article
The growth trajectory of ethnically and linguistically diverse individuals in the United States, particularly for youth, compels the education system to have urgent awareness of how diverse aspects of culture (e.g., Spanish-speaking, Black Latina student) are implicated in outcomes in American school systems. Students spend a significant amount of...
Article
Allies are members of an ingroup who work toward fairness for people in an outgroup. Ally behaviors include calling out discrimination and fighting for inclusion of outgroup members, and it includes public and private behaviors. As such, White allies can be an important means of reducing racism against people of color. There are few means of assess...
Article
Full-text available
Two concepts that describe repetitive thoughts regarding an individual’s sexual orientation—sexual orientation rumination and sexual orientation obsessions—have been introduced into the research literature. Despite the fact that these concepts have similarities, important distinctions exist with regard to their theoretical underpinnings, developmen...
Article
There is a growing resurgence in the study of psychedelic medicines for the treatment of mental health and substance use disorders. However, certain early investigations are marred by questionable research methods, abuses against research participants, and covert Central Intelligence Agency financial involvement. The purpose of this study was to un...
Article
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Background Few studies have assessed the epidemiology of hallucinogenic substance use among racial and ethnic groups of varying age cohorts. Use of psychedelic substances may differ among people of color (POC), due to factors such as stigma and discriminatory drug enforcement practices against POC. The lack of inclusion of POC in psychedelic resear...
Article
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If patients with mental illnesses are to be treated fairly in comparison with other categories of patients, they must be given access to promising experimental therapies, including psychedelics. The right of early access to promising therapies was advanced as an ethical principle by activist Larry Kramer during the AIDS pandemic, and has now largel...
Article
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Background Previous research showed acute psychedelic effects were associated with decreases in racial trauma (RT) symptoms among black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC). Among samples comprised primarily of white participants, positive outcomes of psychedelic experiences have been mediated by increases in psychological flexibility. Therefor...
Article
Emerging evidence from randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials suggests psychedelic compounds such as 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), psilocybin, and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), when administered as an adjunct to psychotherapy, that is, psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy (PAP), may be beneficial for treating sub...
Article
After decades of prohibition, scientific and academic inquiry into the psychedelic sciences has been reignited in the West. Alongside research, clinicians are being permitted to study the effects of psychedelic substances in humans, and the door has been opened to deliver psychedelic-assisted therapies for mental health needs. However, despite exci...
Article
Background: With support from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, we convened researchers representing palliative care, psychosocial oncology, spiritual care, oncology, and psychedelic-assisted therapies. We aimed to define priorities and envision an agenda for future research on psychedelic-assisted therapies in patie...
Article
Scrupulous obsessions are a prominent presentation of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Previous conceptualizations of scrupulosity have indicated that it belongs to the unacceptable thoughts dimension, which pertains to sexual, violent, and religious obsessive themes. However, research suggests that scrupulous symptoms may differ from other una...
Article
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Current research suggests that ketamine-assisted psychotherapy has benefit for the treatment of mental disorders. We report on the results of ketamine-assisted intensive outpatient psychotherapeutic treatment of a client with treatment-resistant, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of experiences of racism and childhood sexual abuse. T...
Article
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a leading cause of disability world-wide (World Health Organization, 2008). Treatment of OCD is a specialized field whose aim is recovery from illnessfor as many patients as possible. The evidence-based psychotherapeutic treatment for OCD is specialized cognitive behavior therapy (CBT, NICE, 2005, Koran and Si...
Article
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Previous research has shown that intrusive thoughts in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) often focus on emotionally significant aspects of individuals' lives (e.g., values and beliefs). The current study sought to expand our understanding of OC symptoms related to sexual orientation (SO-OC symptoms) by investigating the roles of homophobia (i.e.,...
Article
Full-text available
Butts (2002) was the first to draw attention to what we now call racial trauma, or race-based trauma, in the mental health literature. Racial trauma can be defined as the cumulative traumatizing impact of racism on a racialized individual, which can include individual acts of racial discrimination combined with systemic racism, and typically includ...
Chapter
True feminism has the power to transform society, but too often what is advanced as feminism is actually White supremacy in disguise – a counterfeit we sometimes call White Feminism. White Feminism exists to promote the comfort and safety of middle-class and affluent White women. At its core, it is a racist ideology that claims to speak for all wom...
Chapter
Black people living in Western culture often feel the impact of racialization, cultural trauma, and racism. Oppression and inequality can contribute to psychic distress at individual and collective levels, and this is enhanced and compounded for people who exist at the intersection of multiple marginalized identities.
Article
Full-text available
This study examined how psychedelics reduced symptoms of racial trauma among black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) subsequent to an experience of racism. A cross-sectional internet-based survey included questions about experiences with racism, mental health symptoms, and acute and enduring psychedelic effects. Changes in mental health were...
Poster
Full-text available
Being a White ally goes beyond being merely “non-racist.” Allyship is behavioural and requires active participation in dismantling systems of oppression. The objective of this study was to better understand White allyship by looking at the propensity of observed allyship behaviour and self-reported allyship. Using a subsample (N=31) from a larger s...
Article
Full-text available
The relationships between sexual trauma, cognitive appraisals, and subtypes of sexual intrusive thoughts have not been adequately examined in the context of obsessive-compulsive concerns. We employed variations of a moderated mediation model to test these relationships, situating sexual trauma as the predictor, sexual intrusive thoughts as the outc...
Article
Full-text available
Background Pierce’s (The Black seventies: an extending horizon book, 1970) conception of “subtle and stunning” daily racial offenses, or microaggressions, remains salient even 50 years after it was introduced. Microaggressions were defined further by Sue and colleagues (Am Psychol 62:271, 2007), and this construct has found growing utility as the d...
Article
Full-text available
This article provides clinical guidelines for basic knowledge and skills essential for successful work with clients who have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) across ethnic, racial and religious differences. We emphasise multiculturalist and anti-racist approaches and the role of culture in shaping the presentation of OCD in clients. Several comp...
Article
Despite the rapid growth of the Black Caribbean population in the United States, we know little about the presentation and prevalence of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) among these groups. This study examines the demographic correlates and the effect of racial discrimination on OCD symptoms among a nationally-representative sample of Black Cari...
Article
Full-text available
Psychedelic medicine is an emerging field of research and practice that examines the psychotherapeutic effects of substances classified as hallucinogens on the human mind, body, and spirit. Current research explores the safety and efficacy of these substances for mental health disorders including anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress disord...
Article
Full-text available
Equity and diversity are essential to the development of inclusive psychedelic research. However, oversights and misattributions are common, particularly when it comes to accounts of important psychedelic moments and key figures. Dr. Valentina Pavlovna Wasson is an important early contributor to the growth of Western psychedelic science but remains...
Article
Most efforts to understand microaggressions have examined affected group members, but little work has been done to understand the motivations and characteristics of offenders. The purpose of this study was to determine whether microaggressions are best conceptualized as a form of aggression, as per common definitions advanced in social psychology,...
Article
Previous research on microaggressions has emphasized the frequency of and distress produced by microaggressions as reported by people of color. The current research supplements the existing literature by developing a self-report measure of White individuals’ microaggressive likelihood against Black people, the Cultural Cognitions and Actions Scale...
Chapter
This chapter analyzes the reasons why people commit microaggressions and how they are maintained. Microaggressions are conceptualized as learned behaviors, taught through observational learning and other social mechanisms from an early age. The impact of implicit bias is that Whites are implicitly taught they are a superior race, even though explic...
Chapter
Common therapist microaggressions toward clients, microaggressions toward therapists, and ways to address both issues are discussed in this chapter. It is important for therapists to be conscientious about their presence in terms of providing a welcoming website, an office free of potential microaggressive or unwelcoming content, and basic interact...
Chapter
This chapter outlines what clinicians can do to help and support clients managing microaggressions. Ten steps are offered to help therapists respond effectively. Detailed examples of listening to a client of color who has experienced a microaggression, supporting a client of color who experienced a microaggression, and processing microaggressions e...
Chapter
This chapter introduces the concept of microaggressions. It reviews stigmatized racial and ethnic identities and the importance of terminology. It outlines the meaning of Whiteness and White racial identity. It then describes and defines what microaggressions are specifically and the research surrounding this concept. Common stereotypes of ethnic a...
Chapter
Are microaggressions really just people being too sensitive? Not everyone agrees that microaggressions are a problem, and some view the increased social dialogue surrounding the harms of microaggressions as a sign of a threatening shift in cultural values. Are microaggressions truly aggressive? Microaggressions are believed to be often unintentiona...
Chapter
This chapter discusses the research regarding microaggressions and negative mental health outcomes. Microaggressions are associated with increased stress, increased physical ailments such as hypertension and impaired immune responses, increased depression and depressive symptoms, lower self-esteem and self-efficacy, increased alcohol abuse and bing...
Book
This book is intended to provide clinicians and trainees with a better understanding of racial microaggressions as they relate to therapy. This book provides thorough information on the research surrounding microaggressions as well as practical skills to use in session with clients. Microaggressions can be hard to spot and hard to understand. This...
Chapter
This chapter outlines ways in which clinicians can prevent committing microaggressions and grow in cultural competence. Critical self-examination, which means bringing hidden racism to light, is essential before one can make a change. As such, it is important that all clinicians take stock of their biases through a fearless moral inventory. Challen...
Article
Full-text available
Research has demonstrated a connection between microaggressions and decreased mental health across racial and ethnic groups. Microaggressions on college campuses can have a negative impact on students of color, which has led to a push for more microaggression-focused diversity trainings on college campuses. However, no training thus far has demonst...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Racial bias in medical care is a significant public health issue, with increased focus on microaggressions and the quality of patient-provider interactions. Innovations in training interventions are needed to decrease microaggressions and improve provider communication and rapport with patients of color during medical encounters. Meth...
Article
Full-text available
Refugees who settle in Western countries exhibit a high rate of mental health issues, which are often related to experiences throughout the pre-displacement, displacement, and post-displacement processes. Early detection of mental health symptoms could increase positive outcomes in this vulnerable population. The rates and predictors of positive sc...
Article
Full-text available
Trauma is prevalent among children and adolescents, with youth of color generally reporting greater exposure compared to White youth. One factor that may account for this difference is racial stress, which can manifest into trauma symptoms. Although racial stress and trauma (RST) significantly impacts youth of color, most of the research to date ha...
Chapter
Although African Americans experience similar prevalence rates for most mental health conditions compared to other racial groups, their symptoms are often more severe. Lack of access to treatment and poor quality mental health care are contributing factors and pose a serious public health concern. This chapter will review the intersection of histor...
Article
Full-text available
Recent research suggests that psychedelic drugs can be powerful agents of change when utilized in conjunction with psychotherapy. Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)-assisted psychotherapy has been studied as a means of helping people overcome posttraumatic stress disorder, believed to work by reducing fear of traumatic memories and increasing fee...
Article
In an ongoing debate, Scott Lilienfeld (2019) continues to question the merits and meaning of microaggressions research. Key issues include how to define microaggressions, whether microaggressions cause measurable harm, whether microaggression education is helpful, and defining the most important next steps in the microaggressions research agenda....
Chapter
This chapter outlines classification systems for microaggressions and validated psychological measures of microaggressions and related constructs. Self-report measures for microaggressions vary in their applicability across specific racial and ethnic groups. Measures reviewed include the Racial Microaggressions Scale, Racial and Ethnic Microaggress...
Article
Background: Depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States. African Americans are disproportionately affected owing to systemic and sociocultural factors. Stigma, denial, and inadequate knowledge on depression are significant barriers to mental help seeking. Addressing mental health literacy can improve mental health knowledge,...
Chapter
Full-text available
Another unarmed Black man has been killed by law enforcement. Another life is snuffed out. One more human being who died before his time. This is not a nameless, faceless person. This is real person, like my father, uncle, or son. These people who perished were a part of someone’s family. They were loved by someone, they had hopes and dreams.
Article
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Although it is exciting to witness the culmination of decades of drug policy advocacy and clinical research, the psychedelic science movement struggles with many of the same social issues that plague healthcare in general. The healing properties of plant medicines and their derivatives were originally brought to Western consciousness by indigenous...
Article
Racial conflict at universities across the US has been the focus of academic concern and media attention, yet often administrators and faculty do not understand the problems or know how to approach solutions. Drawing from many branches of psychological science, this paper describes how an oppressive academic climate results in negative outcomes for...
Article
Full-text available
ABSTRACT Psychedelic-assisted therapy is based on the premise that psychedelic substances can act as catalysts or adjuncts to psychotherapeutic processes. Recent clinical trials involving psychedelic-assisted therapy have generally employed a similar three-part structure consisting of preparation, support during the dosing sessions, and subsequent...
Article
Full-text available
Background Association splitting is a cognitive technique that targets obsessions in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) by weakening biased semantic associations among OCDrelevant concepts. Objective In this systematic review, we examine studies on the efficacy of association splitting for reducing OCD symptoms. Methods Following PRISMA guidelin...
Article
Full-text available
In a 2017 article in Perspectives on Psychological Science, Scott Lilienfeld critiqued the conceptual basis for microaggressions as well as the scientific rigor of scholarship on the topic. The current article provides a response that systematically analyzes the arguments and representations made in Lilienfeld’s critique with regard to the concept...