We had the good fortune of connecting with Dr. Raven Evans and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Dr. Raven, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
In order to be successful you must first be grounded in your vision. My overall vision is to reach marginalized communities and make sure they feel heard, seen, and valued. Breaking the stigma and shame around talking about mental health is key for my brand. This is how we normalize seeking help when someone is struggling with their mental health. Specifically, communities of color are typically valued for their resilience and their strength. Unfortunately, generations of these teachings have hindered so many individuals from connecting with softness, vulnerability, and welcoming emotions that are the opposite of being strong willed and unbreakable. Everyone has a breaking point. If I can help someone acknowledge that they are human and they deserve rest, grace, and self -compassion during difficult times, then that’s success for me. Increasing support and creating safe spaces for people of color to unlearn any limiting beliefs that may interfere with their ability to thrive mentally, emotionally, and spiritually; that’s success!

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a clinical psychologist, I consider myself a “generalist” as I enjoy exploring many areas of psychology. I conduct teletherapy for individuals and couples on a part- time basis. I am also a contracted psychologist within the private practice sector where I administer mental disability evaluations for compensation/pension purposes. I work with a variety of clients including children/adolescents, adults, couples, Veterans and college students. I particularly find the most passion working with women of color.

I am also the co-founder of Choose WeARE, LLC, where we focus on facilitating mental health retreats/workshops for people of color. The (ARE) in Choose WeARE, LLC stands for Affirm, Release, Empower. Our motto is all about encouraging you to affirm yourself in positive ways, release any negative or self-limiting beliefs, and empowering oneself to make self-honoring choices. I also enjoy creating content on Instagram and Facebook that’s aimed at de-stigmatizing mental illness, informing my followers how to find a therapist , and providing nuggets of self-care and self-help tools that anyone can apply in real life situations. How did I achieve these things? Not settling for the bare minimum, dreaming big and being fearless enough to go after the dreams, even when they initially didn’t feel attainable. Prayer, faith, believing in something bigger than me, affirming and speaking positivity over my life, my goals, and my ability to reach others in a meaningful way are also factors that helped me overcome challenges. I’ve learned that your words and your thoughts have so much power over your outcomes. I strive to be impeccable with my words and never be afraid to ask for help. Lastly, remaining grounded in your values gives you clarity on what you’re passionate about, what brings your life meaning and makes it feel fulfilled. This passion fuels your fire to create the life that you desire and deserve.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I absolutely love nature. I enjoy being outside, in the sun, breathing fresh air and people watching (but not in a creepy way hahah!). I would take my friend to the Beltline and bike, have a nice picnic at Piedmont Park and enjoy the spontaneous entertainment in the area. Trying new foods and also spark a light within me so I would likely explore a new seafood restaurant and rate the overall food and experience. Street tacos are a favorite of mine; I enjoy Bartaco, the food, margaritas, and atmosphere is usually a good time. If there were any food and wine festivals happening during the week of my Best Friend visiting, we would certainly be in attendance and partake in wine tasting. Other activities throughout the week would likely include cooking a meal together at my home, engaging in some sort of art related activity, playing board games and cards (I enjoy the competitiveness ) and engaging in aromatherapy while binge watching a top rated series on Netflix.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The biggest shoutout goes to God, as my spiritual journey plays a significant role in shaping me into the person that I am today. I place so much faith into God to lead and guide my footsteps throughout this journey. Having the reassurance that all will be well and everything will work out for my good has helped me through many obstacles and what felt like at the time “setbacks.” Shoutout to my amazing husband, who has consistently poured into me and was my primary social support throughout my entire doctoral journey. He is the reason why I dream big, he modeled that for me and indirectly taught me to reach for the stars and not settle just to sit on the clouds. Special thank you to him for helping me conquer any self-doubt, fear, or hesitation about my abilities as a clinical psychologist.  I also express much gratitude to my mother; she taught me how to love and trust God’s timing. Lastly, there are a few Black psychologists who have inspired my journey. These were the women who reminded me that there’s a place for me in the field of psychology as a Black woman. Dr. Patricia S. Dixon, Dr. Stephanie Davis, and Dr. Shenell Myrie. Thank you for the many teachings, the moral support, and being a part of my professional experiences. Representation matters and it’s important that you surround yourself around others who have gone to the places where you aspire to go.  Lastly, a huge thank you to my family and close friends who have been supportive of me and rooting for me along the way. Having a solid village behind you makes it all worthwhile and reminds you who you’re doing it for. Much gratitude to my entire village!

Website: www.chooseweare.com

Instagram: @Dr.ravenevans

Linkedin: Raven Evans, PsyD

Image Credits
K. KnightShoots Photography – Kyeana Knight

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