July 16, 2020
The COVID-19 crisis continues to impact the Princeton Theological Seminary community. To help us navigate this season, experienced counselors in the Seminary community are providing guidance on simple methods you can use to reduce anxiety and stress. We hope you find comfort and hope as you read about tips, techniques, and testimonies from members of our campus and alumni community.
This week’s reflection is offered by Ryan McMillian, counselor.
For the seminarian, the coronavirus pandemic altered field education assignments, upended summer ventures, and introduced anxiety as many wonder with uncertainty what will happen next. Perhaps, the greatest impact included a transition from noticing God in community to finding God in virtual assembly. With disruption at an all-time high and innovative connection providing hope, a lethal and systemic issue related to the continued oppression of Black neighbors, colleagues, and friends sparked a relentless pursuit for change. Since racial trauma appears to be underestimated at times, here are three tools to cope with racial trauma, as well as recognition of its existence.
If you want to process further, please contact the Office of Student Counseling to access services with culturally sensitive therapists.
Ryan McMillian holds a Master of Divinity from Brite Divinity School and a Post Graduate Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy. For the past four years, he has worked for a group practice in Philadelphia, the Council For Relationships, as a Marriage and Family Therapist. The Huffington Post recognized Ryan in an article entitled “15 Black Male Therapist You Should Know.” Ryan brings together hospice chaplaincy experience coupled with a therapy background to train clergy and therapists on grief counseling techniques. He also has served as a guest lecturer and workshop presenter on issues concerning men, shame, and anxiety. As a licensed minister in the Baptist church, Ryan explores spiritual concerns in a way that honors the clients’ spirituality and embraces their theological outlook. He is also trained in Emotionally Focused Couples therapy, which is used to offer wholeness to couples.
“My passion is doing what I can to empower and liberate people who are hurting. PTS has made me a better person and pastor because it’s given me the tools to better serve the oppressed and marginalized.”