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Uniquia Waterman, LMSW
I was born and raised in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, NY. My mother is an Afro-Caribbean woman from Barbados. My father is an African American man from North Carolina. I identify as an African American woman who can relate to Afro-Caribbean’s, as I was raised by my maternal family from Barbados. I acknowledge cultural and religious concerns when working with people from various backgrounds.
I attended undergrad at The Pennsylvania State University and graduated May 2015. During my undergraduate career I was a Resident Assistant, joined a Black sorority, and was involved in various clubs that participated in community service. I attended graduate school at Hunter College Silberman School of Social Work. I graduated with my Master’s Degree in Social Work in May 2019. As a social work student, I interned at a charter middle school and a hospital, which were both rewarding in different ways. I am currently not enrolled in school, although I plan to pursue post graduate certificate programs to broaden and strengthen my knowledge in order to better serve people in need.
I went into social work because I wanted to help bridge the gap between Black people and the lack of resources we receive. Black people’s needs are often overlooked by our Caucasian counterparts and I felt compelled to bring awareness to the daily challenges of our people. Too often I found myself and loved ones in situations with no one who looked like us to help or understand us.
My career includes several years of Case Management with a non-profit organization serving adults with severe mental illnesses. In addition, I have worked as a Case Manager in a primary care clinic at Mount Sinai Hospital, working with adults who have various comorbidities and connecting them to various resources within the community. I am currently employed as a medical social worker with experience working with dialysis patients, ICU patients, patients with various comorbidities and most recently, COVID-19 patients. I have found joy in all of my roles and believe my clinical skills have been useful with all populations.
I am passionate about working with Black people because I see the need for Black people to have access to mental health services. I want to provide the healing space for Black individuals in need and equip them with the tools they need to navigate environments that threaten their mental health stability. For too long Black people have been called “resilient” but have not been given the space to heal. I want to change that narrative and help Black people experience the benefits of mental health therapy. Black people deserve to be happy, unapologetically, and not be weighed down my mental health stigmas. It is my hope that overtime more black people will feel empowered to show up for themselves and allow their voices to be heard in the face of adversity.
I have dealt with racism in school, work, and social settings. Whether racism has presented itself in blatant ways or subtle ways (like microaggressions), I have learned how to advocate for myself and stand tall in situations meant to belittle me.
I use different clinical approaches depending on the needs of my clients. I have received training in Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I often utilize a strength-based perspective when working with clients because I believe helping clients identify their strengths is important foundational work. Clients experience me as easy to engage with, supportive, and understanding. Clients have told me that my suggestions and feedback have helped them navigate challenging situations and emotions.
In my free time I enjoy traveling to different countries and immersing myself in all that other cultures have to offer. Traveling is my favorite form of self-care aside from cooking, hiking and other fitness activities.