Game Changers: The Conscious Culture Men With Vision 2020 Edition | Page 36

MEN WITH VISION SPOTLIGHT Dr. J. Ken Harris written by Dr. J. Ken Harris   A Fresh, New Face In Mental Health & Consultation ABOUT DR. KEN Dr. Ken of Trate Consultants is one of the fresh new faces in mental health and consultation but is no stranger to it. He is an Atlanta native who has over 14 years of counseling experience and is known for his relatability and humor when it comes to serious issues regarding mental health, relationships, diversity, and topics of great sensitivity. His refreshing “no holds barred” approach to most situations is inviting, yet serves as the impetus to create change. He is a firm believer that every answer anyone needs lies within themselves; you are the authority on you. Dr. Ken believes that he is merely the conduit through which change and improvement are facilitated. HIS STORY At the age of 16 I lost my father.  I came from a religious/spiritual 2-parent home, where my father was the breadwinner and also a senior pastor.  He died from a massive heart attack on our front steps, and I was the one who found him.  Being the youngest of 4 (with 3 much older siblings), the impact of his death (and finding him) was greater than most people realized.  Not knowing exactly how to handle the situation, my mother decided I needed a therapist.  This need for a therapist grew more urgent as two and a half weeks after my father passed, our family dog died the same day as my paternal grandmother; it seemed like everyone near and dear to me was dying.  I expressed such concerns with my new therapist, who in turn began to cry and stated "I don't even know how you're making it".  In my 16 year old mind, I didn't feel that that was the best response.  I looked at my mother, who glanced back, and we both decided to leave.  It was in that moment that I realized that boys/men, particularly boys/men of color, needed a safe space in which to be emotionally vulnerable, and that they would be more inclined to be vulnerable with someone who looked like them.  I wanted to be the therapist that other brown boys and men of color could come to and feel safe with.  After matriculating at the University of Georgia and earning my B.S. in Psychology, I earned my Master of Science in Professional Counseling from Georgia State University, subsequently becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).  This license allowed me to do exactly what I sought to do: create a safe space for emotional vulnerability.  I worked as a Child and Adolescent Therapist at the State level for a few years before doing so at the collegiate level, also to include familial and couples therapy.  In turn, this lead to the creation of my therapeutic and consulting practice, Trate Consultants. GAME CHANGERS MAGAZINE | 36