Research by Dr. Angela Neal-Barnett on Understanding and Overcoming Anxiety Recently Featured in Prestigious Journal
Article Highlights the Benefits of Sister Circles in Reducing Anxiety among African American Women
- Akron, OH (1888PressRelease) October 28, 2011 - Many times described as a case of bad nerves, the issues of anxiety and fear among Black women have a social stigma that has made treatment more difficult. A recent article, Sister Circles as a Culturally Relevant Intervention for Anxious Black Women, describes the research of Dr. Angela Neal-Barnett and her team on the healing effect of Sister Circles. The article was featured in CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY: SCIENCE AND PRACTICE in the September, 2011* issue.
"We outline the countless studies and research proving a correlation between anxiety and performance and the benefit of community as an intervention tool," explained Dr. Angela Neal-Barnett, award-winning psychologist and associate professor at Kent State University. "Through the use of Sister Circles in my research with African American women dealing with anxiety, fear and panic, we have been able to develop an intervention that can help offer an answer for this problem."
Particularly effective in the treatment of professional African American women, Sister Circle interventions address key elements with culturally infused aspects that include the use of song, community support and faith combined with cognitive behavior therapy. A Sister Circle is defined as a "subset of women embedded within an existing Black women's organization who share an existing concern related to anxiety and fear."
The article explains two exercises developed by Dr. Neal-Barnett and her team using music and a call and response method already prevalent in African American communities which are used as a form of cognitive restructuring. The So What Chorus and the Build Your Own Theme Song (BYOTS), work as a musical intervention in decreasing anxiety symptoms in members of the Sister Circle.
Often Black women avoid addressing their anxiety issues out of a fear of appearing less productive or valuable both in the work environment and within their own community. The article offers valuable information proving the benefits of participating in a supportive environment like a Sister Circle as a means of invention in a culturally relevant way.
About Dr. Angela Neal-Barnett
Dr. Angela Neal-Barnett is a national award winning psychologist, professor, author, and leading expert on anxiety disorders among African Americans. She is a sought-after workshop presenter and speaker, and the author of the best-selling book "Soothe Your Nerves: The Black Woman's Guide to Understanding and Overcoming Anxiety, Panic and Fear," published by Fireside/Simon and Schuster. Currently a tenured member of the psychology faculty at Kent State University, she directs the Program for Research on Anxiety Disorders among African Americans. Dr. Neal-Barnett's work focuses on fears and social anxiety in African American children as well as panic disorder and worry in African American adults. For more information, visit www.SootheYourNerves.com or call 330-608-1937.
* Dr. Angela Neal-Barnett et al. Sister Circles as a Culturally Relevant Intervention for Anxious Black Women http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1468-2850.2011.01258.x/abstract