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150 – Mishara Winston – A Model for Communal Mental Wellness

“What’s the point of getting better if everyone you know and love is still sick?” ~Mishara Winston

Mishara Winston, LCSW, believes that healing is the byproduct of communal joy. A hundred episodes ago, this Black queer woman redefined for us what it meant to be an adventure therapist. Three years later, she’s back to share her leveled-up vision. Mishara’s one of my most favorite people and most favorite interviews. It’s exciting to catch up with this genius spirit as she continues her professional and personal transformation. 

To reverse-engineer her evolution, Mishara dug into the bone-deep knowledge of her ancestors. She pulled back layers of formal education, returning to ancestral muscle memory. What did the village elders know, the medicine women, the spiritual guides? Mishara wants everyone to return to their campfires, to reclaim their latent talent as a healer. 

But how to extend that ancient healing outward in modern times, to folks who have neither the money to seek out trauma care for themselves nor the trust to extend to well-credentialed strangers? 

Mishara aims to expand the experience of and access to wellness through her model for quality communal care. To that end, she’s calling foolishness on the harmful practice of forcing people who are not white to conform to institutional whiteness even though BIPOC folks have their own rich traditions of mental health healing. This Euro-centric psychology model has also fueled the mental health industrial complex’s relentless prioritization of profit over people on both sides of the therapeutic equation. It’s yet another throughline that connects colonialism to capitalism and one that begs the question if health is about restoring, to what standard are we returning non-white, non-CIS, non-straight individuals? 

Good question, right? Mishara agrees; that’s why she’s asking – and returning all people to the healing wisdom and communal joy of modern campfires. 


Mishara Winston, LCSW. As Black Queer Woman, Mishara reminds BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ people and folks of faith our ancestors were already mental health experts- before colonial trauma. Collaboratively she creates whole hood, whole city, whole society healing models as sustainable and affordable alternatives to individual only therapy. Playfully & creatively Mishara stewards communal mental wellness, education and support groups with gifted healing expert folk like you.

For full show notes, resources, and links to connect with our guest, visit:


You’re invited to Head/Heart Conversations, our webinar series designed for psychotherapists who want to invite their inner healer to the forefront of both work life and personal life. In this four-part series, we will invite participants to learn about themselves as well as enhance their clinical skills.

Details & Registration:

Promo Code for $20 off: podcast

#1: Conversations with a Wounded Healer by Sarah Buino, LCSW, RDDP, CADC, CDWF Friday, March 5, 2021 – 9:30am – 12:30pm CST

In this field, we are encouraged to practice self-care, but not often encouraged to take a deeper look at what comprises “wellness” and what gets in the way. This is not a fluffy self-care seminar, but rather a call to action designed to challenge participants to step into their own healing with courage. In order to thrive in this field, it’s crucial we shine a light on what really matters when it comes to caring for ourselves and the barriers that get in the way of being our best selves.

#2: Friday, May 7, 2021 – Trauma from the Individual to the Collective by Rayell Grayson, LCPC, CADC and Sarah Buino, LCSW, RDDP, CADC, CDWF #3: Friday, September 17, 2021 – Body Language by Joanna Taubeneck, LCPC, R-DMT, GL-CMA, E-RYT #4: Friday, November 19, 2021 – Queering our Conversations by Benji Marton, LCSW


Conversations with a Wounded Healer is a proud member of @mhnrnetwork.

Let’s be friends! You can find me in the following places…








Authenticity, caring professions, community building, community healing, community inspiration, depression, healing humanity, helping others, mental health, mental illness, power to heal, Sarah Buino, Social Change, social issues, social justice, wounded healer


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