BSA Institute

Welcome to the BSA Institute

This certification program consists of 6 didactic/experiential workshops, consultation and supervision as needed, and access to webinars and resources.

Learning Objectives

  1. Participants will be able to identify at least three limitations of western psychological theories when applying them to people of African ancestry.

2. Participants will identify the principles of Optimal Conceptual Theory and apply these principles to counseling Black populations using Belief Systems Analysis, utilizing a case study format.

3. Participants will be able to understand different research methodologies to validate Optimal Conceptual Theory/ Belief Systems Analysis as an empirically supported intervention.

BSA Institute Includes

Didactic/Experiential Workshops (3 hours per session)
    1. Deconstruction of Western Psychology Paradigm/ Reconstruction of an Africology Paradigm.
    2. Introduction to Optimal Conceptual Theory and Belief Systems Analysis.
    3. Therapist Worldview and Assessments
    4. Practical Application of Optimal Conceptual Theory/ Belief Systems Analysis Part I.
    5. Practical Application of Optimal Conceptual Theory/Belief Systems Analysis Part II.
    6. Conducting Research on Optimal Conceptual Theory and Belief Systems Analysis
Consultation/Supervision Sessions (1 hour per session)
Access to Webinars & Resources

Institute Sessions

  • September 20, 2024
  • October 18, 2024
  • November 15, 2024
  • December 20, 2024
  • January 17, 2025
  • February 21, 2025

BSA Institute Instructors

Dr. Linda James Myers, PhD

Dr. Linda James Myers is an internationally recognized thought leader, author, and scholar whose africological perspective in the production of psychological knowledge places the wisdom tradition of African deep thought at the forefront of the paradigm shift supported by contemporary science, and Eastern philosophies around which the heights of knowledge across cultural groups converge. Her research articulating optimal psychology, aka optimal conceptual theory (OCT), deepens our understanding of the higher stages of human development and how to achieve them.  Providing insights into the causal cultural roots of racism, colorism, sexism, classism, and other societal isms and their intersections, methods for inoculation and their eradication have been identified and implemented. Belief Systems Analysis, her psychotherapeutic approach, along with her Optimization Process and HeartFeather Strategy, designed to facilitate healing by elevating consciousness toward the more holistic, integrative optimal mindset, have been used broadly for over 30 years with great success among persons acknowledging African ancestry. Such practices lead to enhanced health and growth morally, spiritually, and energetically for individual and collective sustainable well-being.

Author of three monographs, three co-edited volumes, over fifty refereed journal articles, and twenty-five book chapters, Linda’s work has gone well beyond academia, being sampled on a rap cd in the early 1990’s, demonstrating its reach into community and popular culture. She has lectured and done trainings in England, Brazil, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Haiti, South Africa and across the USA. Professor Emerita at The Ohio State University and past Dean of the Graduate School of Psychology at New College of California in San Francisco, Dr. James Myers is a Distinguished Psychologist and Past President of the Association of Black Psychologists, and President of the International Black Women’s Congress. She is also recipient of numerous other honors and awards including: Mary McLeod Bethune/Carter G. Woodson Award for Outstanding Contributions in the Development and Promotion of Black Studies, National Council of Black Studies; Building to Eternity Award for Outstanding Scholarship and Activism, Association for the Study of Classical African Civilization; International Black Women’s Congress Oni Award; Social Justice Action Award, Teachers College, Columbia University; Fulbright Scholar Awardee;  National Congress of Black Women Sojourner Truth Award; Outstanding Pioneer in African American Mental Health by the Mental Health Association of America; The Ohio State University Hans Kilian Award of Merit for Research and Advancement of Metacultural Humanization Nominee; Black Psychology Hall of Fame, Norfolk State University; 9th National Conference on African/Black Psychology Legacy Award, Florida A& M University; and, Marcus Garvey Institute for Human Development Board Directors, Pillar II Optimal Psychology Expert.

Dr James Myers’ Oneness model of psychological functioning offers a comprehensive, cohesive, and coherent transdisciplinary methodology for providing individual and collective pathways to higher levels of consciousness and the capacity for acquiring constructive humane values, solid moral judgement and reasoning, spiritual acumen, transcendent identity development, and wisdom. Living the principles of the African wisdom tradition’s cultural deep structure decreases the cultural lag between what has been confirmed to be true in classical African civilization, modern science, and what is practiced socio-culturally in contemporary times. Linda is the mother of two wonderful, very accomplished sons and has six grandchildren.

Dr. John E. Queener, Jr. obtained his BA from The College of Wooster, his MA from The Ohio State University, and received his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from The University of Akron. He is a full professor and teaches graduate courses in Counseling Psychology in the Department of Psychology at The University of Akron.  He writes and publishes research in the areas of multicultural issues, culturally specific interventions, and retention of African American males.  He is a member of the Department of Psychology’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force.  He is the Vice president of The University of Akron’s United Forum of Black Faculty, Administrators, and Staff. He serves as the Executive Director of Minority Behavioral Health Group, a nonprofit organization he helped found to reduce mental health disparities for African Americans.  He is a member of the Association of Black Psychologists, and he is the current president of the Greater Cleveland Chapter of the Association of Black Psychologists. He is one of the co-founders of the Belief Systems Analysis Institute, which was established to train mental workers nation-wide in African-centered psychology. Queener has been the recipient of numerous awards for his efforts to increase diversity in the mental health field and higher education.  He is married to Charlene Queener. They have four children-Malik, Aisha, and twins Jelani and Jabari.  They also have three grandchildren.

Dr. John E. Queener, PhD

Dr. Ciara Dennis-Morgan, PhD

Ciara Dennis-Morgan, is obsessed with God, her family, husband, children, ancestors, village of loved ones, and collective community.

She obtained her B.A. in Family & Child Development and Psychology at the University of Akron. She completed her M.A. in Pastoral Clinical Counseling at Ashland University. An additional M.A. and PhD in Clinical Psychology was completed at Fielding Graduate University. Her current research involvement and interests are in the areas of  African centered theory and treatment and therefore connected to trauma, spirituality, decolonizing therapy, and holistic wellness.  While completing her APA accredited internship at the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio she developed an interest in Process Addictions and Gambling Disorder Treatment.

Ciara has the great honor to serve as Chief Clinical and Wellness Officer at Minority Behavioral Health Group in Akron, Ohio. Her focus is the liberation of Black people, supporting with the return to respecting their full humanity and divinity. She centers cultural context, the impact of systematic oppression in connection to mental health while providing culturally specific treatment and  prevention services. Dr. Morgan has a great appreciation for spirituality, rituals,  and cultural wellness practices. In being a certified advanced yoga teacher, she emphasizes integration of mind, body, and spirit. Ciara’s intention is to walk people home to the truth of who they are using her lived experiences, training, and heart to aid in how we all adopt a more optimal worldview and healthy lifestyle, enhancing quality of life and relationships with Higher Power, self, and others.  She is here for a good time!

School-Based Services

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Prevention Services

Our prevention services promote the health and safety of individuals and communities by reducing or delaying the onset of behavioral health problems.

In-House Services

We offer in-house services including Individual, Family and Group Counseling, Mental Health Assessments, Medical Referrals and more.

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330-374-1199

1293 Copley Rd. Akron, OH 44320

info@mbhg.org