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Krolikowski Chair Using Video to Combat Trauma from Racism




Dr. Matt Miller, the newly named recipient of the Father Walter P. Krolikowski, S.J., Endowed Chair, has a deep passion for making mental health services relevant and accessible, and an equal passion for addressing the impact of racism on People of Color. When Miller received the news about the Krolikowski chair, he knew it was his chance to try something truly innovative—producing videos to document people’s experiences with racism and providing therapeutic tools and a framework for processing those experiences. 

“People watch videos all the time on their phones; YouTube is one of the most popular sites around. It’s a commonly accepted way of getting information. The average person just isn’t going to read an academic journal. We academics write those for each other, and that’s not who I want to engage. After 10 or 15 years, I’m not sure I’ve gotten the information to the people who need it, and that’s especially true in the Twitter world we’re living in,” said Miller. His vision is to create a series of short-form videos featuring people talking about their real-life experiences surrounding race, and then filming a discussion that walks them through ways of coping and gives them tools to address racism. “Using this delivery platform increases access to evidence-based mental health content. There are so many who can’t or won’t go to therapy, and this gets therapeutic benefits in the hands of literally everyone who watches. It’s an effective way to make people feel validated, and ultimately less likely to feel negative mental health effects from racism when given the proper tools.” Miller acknowledges the importance of traditional therapy models, but at the same time sees evolving technology as an opportunity for mental health professionals to innovate. 

Miller’s passion for helping others doesn’t stop with the end user, either. “A big part of the chair is to provide research mentoring and opportunities for masters and doctoral students in the counseling program. They’ll be an integral part of larger scale experiments to see if the videos get us to the desired outcomes.  

To see the videos Miller has not only conceived, but also filmed and produced, click here https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9T2nlhsGHhPRc4oyeMkh9A