Dr. Bertrina Olivia West Al-Mahdi is an U. S. Navy veteran, International Psychologist, Trauma, Diversity & Inclusion consultant, and a Human, Social, and Civil Rights Advocate and Activist. She travels the world working with individuals, families, couples, children, and organizations helping them to identify and overcome trauma, while also educating and advocating for the equal rights of marginalized groups, specifically women, girls, and people of color.
Following her career in the U. S. military and as a law enforcement officer, Dr. Al-Mahdi received her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Argosy University, with a concentration in Diversity and Human Rights. Dr. Al-Mahdi graduated with honors and specialized training in cognitive therapy and trauma-focused therapy. Following her master’s degree, she participated in the Diplomacy Fellows Program with the U. S. Department of State. Dr. Al-Mahdi completed her doctorate degree in International Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, with a concentration in Trauma. Dr. Al-Mahdi graduated with research honors and specialized training in diplomatic affairs.
For the past 8 years Dr. Al-Mahdi has provided trauma, diversity and inclusion (D& I) consultation to various government and nonprofit organizations nationwide. Her duties included providing educational seminars, workshops, and training on trauma, diversity, and inclusion related issues to include understanding and coping with trauma as a trauma worker: vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, and burnout; coping with and understanding traumatic experiences including: posttraumatic stress, sexual abuse, physical/domestic abuse, natural disaster, international trauma and war and conflict; as well as conduct diversity workshops, seminars, and presentations on how to address diversity, inclusion, and discrimination issues and resolve D&I related problems in the workplace, cultural competency, raising awareness and understanding of diversity, inclusion, and discrimination, colorism, religion, and effective communication with diverse populations.
In addition, Dr. Al-Mahdi had the pleasure of working with the Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer in the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration and the Office of Global Women’s Issues, the LemonAide fund, and Operation Bobbi Bear. Her duties included providing aid and sustainable solutions for refugees, women, victims of conflict and stateless people around the world, by ensuring that women’s issues were integrated in the formulation and conduct of U.S. foreign policy, promoting stability, peace, and development by empowering women politically, socially, and economically, and through government funded resettlement programs in the United States. Her areas of expertise include female genital mutation, colorism, vicarious traumatization and diversity-related trauma, sexual abuse, discrimination, diversity and inclusion, issues of acculturation, anxiety, depression, self-esteem, invisible disability related issues, and conflict resolution.
Dr. Al-Mahdi continues to provide individual, group, family, and organizational counseling, as well as advocate for the equality across nations and provide consultation to national and international organizations (including the U. S. Department of State, United Nations, and USAID) on issues of trauma, diversity and inclusion, as well as conducts cultural sensitivity training. Dr. Al-Mahdi has partnered with several organizations for social justice and equality to include Sankofa and Amenity International and has also been a speaker and presenter of research at conferences world-wide including the International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies, Stronger Together NC Equality Conference, World Conferences on Women, U.S. Africa Leaders Summit, International Conference on Community Psychology, The California Conference For Equality And Justice, Congress of the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology, the National Organization for Women (NOW) Conference, American Psychological Association (APA) Conference, the Cultural Impact Conference, World Conferences in the Fight for Women’s Rights, International Convention of Psychological Science, the University and College Union Equality Conference, the Winter Round Table at Columbia University, the International Gender Equality Conference In Haiti, the Edward Bouchet Honor Society at Yale University, the Summit on Race & Inclusion, and the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity.
Dr. Al-Mahdi is passionate about education, equality, justice, peace, and healing. She enjoys supporting individuals, organizations, and communities throughout all of life’s transitions and challenges. Her compassionate demeanor is, undoubtedly, impacted by her own multicultural background, traumatic experiences and exposures. In her free time Dr. Al-Mahdi enjoys spending time with her husband, playing with her two children, traveling, writing poetry, and working out.
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