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EGPS Seminar Series Presents: Weathering the Storm Through Therapeutic Landscapes: The Role of Group Psychotherapy within the Black Barbershop

Event Description:

EGPS Seminar Series Presents:

Weathering the Storm Through Therapeutic Landscapes: The Role of Group Psychotherapy within the Black Barbershop

Francois Williams

Sunday, December 17th

11:30 AM - 1:30 PM

On Zoom

This interactive workshop highlights the powerful role of affinity groups, using the Black barbershop as a model. We'll explore how the Black barbershop can be conceptualized as a "therapeutic landscape." We'll explore the therapeutic dynamics present in Black barbershops through the lens of Yalom's therapeutic factors. We will explore the impact of "weathering" on Black mental health. We'll unpack how the dynamics within the Black barbershop amplify our understanding of affinity groups and how these groups serve as a critical lifeline for Black men. 

  1. Participants will be provided with concrete examples and anecdotes to illustrate the therapeutic dynamics present in Black barbershops.
  2. Participants will be introduced to "weathering" and how it impacts Black mental health. 
  3. Participants will discuss and explore how affinity groups serve as a critical lifeline for Black men beyond the Black barbershop.


Bio: Francois Williams, M.D. is an adult-trained psychiatrist, child and adolescent psychiatry fellow, and group psychotherapist who provides psychodynamic and trauma-informed integrative care. Dr. Williams is an esteemed HBCU alumnus who completed his undergraduate degree at Xavier University of Louisiana and earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from Morehouse School of Medicine. While at Morehouse, he received the 2018 American Psychiatric Association Foundation Helping Hands Grant to connect the blood pressure activities of Morehouse School of Medicine’s Cut Hypertension initiative with a robust mental health campaign that included depression screenings and psychoeducational groups within the barbershop.

At Baylor College of Medicine, he underwent rigorous training in adult psychiatry, gained profound insights into modern psychoanalytical theory under the direction of Dr. Glen Gabbard, and gained a solid foundation in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). Dr. Williams further honed his expertise in group psychotherapy through the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society (EGPS) training program through the support of the 2021-2022 American Psychiatric Association SAMHSA Minority Fellowship. The fellowship allowed him to explore the dual nature of the barbershop as a space for cutting hair and a therapeutic landscape through the facilitation of informal group psychotherapy. His training through EGPS emphasized dynamic interactional group therapy.

Dr. Williams is the founder and lead psychiatrist of “Talk ThairapyÒ”, a mental health collective that uses a one-for-one business model that provides affordable mental health services while simultaneously bringing dignity through free haircuts and professional hair care services to Black boys in D.C.’s Wards 7 & 8. In his current parenting groups, Dr. Williams skillfully blends psychoeducational, cognitive-behavioral, and present-moment strategies. He draws inspiration from the work of Dr. James Comer, Dr. Fabiola Desmont, and Dr. David Flohr. He weaves their insights into the fabric of his sessions to support and empower parents on their parenting journey.


Time: Sunday, December 17th, 11:30 am - 1:30 pm

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