Carmela Maxell-Harrison, Psy.D, is a 2019 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, Seattle.

Dissertation Committee

William Heusler, Psy.D., Committee Chair

G. Andrew Benjamin, J.D., Ph.D., ABPP, Committee Member

Patricia Russell, Psy.D, Committee Member


Black Women, Clinical Psychology, Doctoral Student, Intersectionality

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Publication Date



This dissertation is based on qualitative research that documents the experiences of Black women matriculating through clinical psychology doctoral programs in predominantly white institutions (PWIs) and the perceived psychological effects of becoming a psychologist in a stigmatized field. Additionally, the historical and collective traumas that are continually experienced by this group and their coping mechanisms are explored and highlighted. More specifically, as existing research has revealed, Black women in doctoral programs in general experience a series of responses to racialized and gendered discriminatory practices leading them to withdraw from their programs or invoke coping mechanisms that may be counterintuitive to their culture and upbringing. Of specific interest is how this is played out in the field of clinical psychology, as there is little to no research looking into the experiences of Black women specifically trying to obtain doctorates in this sub-field.


Carmela Maxell-Harrison, Psy.D., 2019

ORCID Scholar ID # 0000-0002-8013-4345