Dr. Natasha Williams imagines a world that’s more well.
Dr. Natasha Williams, like any ambitious woman in the 21st century, wears many hats. She is the Owner and Director of Clinical Services at Allied Psychological Services in Toronto, in the Yonge and Eglington neighbourhood.
Allied Psychological Services is a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual practice that is committed to providing as many services to the community as they can.
“We really seek to have a team and services that are reflective of the city we serve,” says Williams.
Along with Directors Brandy Stevenson and Dr. Sandra Jackson, the three lead a team of healthcare professionals who provide a variety of services to the community, from assessments and diagnosis, to research and training.
Dr. Williams’ journey to a thriving practice was far from easy, and jam packed with many of the traditional challenges of the Black experience.
“I didn’t want to start a practice–I had to,” she shared.
“I couldn’t find a job.”
After completing her Masters at Adler School of Professional Psychology, she pursued her Doctorate at their Chicago campus. This meant that she would spend three years working her full-time job in Toronto, while commuting by greyhound bus to Chicago every other weekend to complete her Doctorate.
“When you feel called to something, when you want it bad enough, you’ll do anything to get it,” she stated.
She shared about how all throughout her career she’d constantly been questioned and had her experience regularly discredited, despite accomplishing equal to, if not more than her counterparts.
This kind of treatment led her to the Association of Black Psychologists. In 2019, the predominantly American Association started up a Toronto chapter, of which Dr. Williams is currently the President.
In her vision of the next decade, she sees a world that is committed to doing the work.
She looks forward to big corporate environments, who’ve traditionally bottlenecked power, to be in a state of receptivity to engaging in the Anti-Oppressive training work she intends to lead.
As she makes her way through the present moment, she finds her work ramping up, both in her practice and in her work as a keynote speaker on community and self-care.
“If I had my way, this moment would cause an awakening from a truly systemic perspective…it’s time we get on even ground,” she shared.
“I want to see this system turned on its head. The status quo, where you hire one or two black people, and then go back to being comfortable in your racist environment, isn’t going to work.”
Dr. Williams is looking forward to seeing true organizational change and community healing. She takes a community-centered approach to the work of healing the mind, body, and spirit and sees now as the opportune time for communities of colour to engage in that incredibly important work.