Meet the Team

Dr. Patrice N. Douglas - Founder
California, New York, Texas

Dr. Patrice N. Douglas, the founder of The Weight Room and Empire Counseling & Consultation is a Doctor of Psychology and a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in California, Texas, and New York. She received her BA in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice from Brandman University, an MS in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Cal Baptist University, and her PsyD in Applied Clinical Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She also has certifications in Anger Management (CAMS), Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), as well as EMDR trained. She is currently working on obtaining her license as a Clinical Psychologist.

Dr. Patrice’s has various experience in psychology working in various settings such as community mental health, substance abuse, and private practice. She at a young age had passion and motivation to help those who needed it and was determined to become a therapist. She has multiple years of experience as a psychotherapist as well as held leadership positions such as clinical director for a non-profit and a global trainer. She founded both of her practices to support BIPOC communities and provide access such as telehealth to meet their needs. She specializes in BIPOC mental health, anxiety, depression, relationship concerns, as well as men’s issues. She has spent a great deal of her career supporting and providing treatment for Black men as well as research in her doctoral program.

Her world view and understanding of Black and brown issues has stationed Patrice as a leading expert whose words and work is referenced by such publications as VICE, Oprah Magazine, HelloGiggles, and many others. She was featured in Cosmopolitan as a Black Relationship Expert to Follow on Instagram, as well as Forbes for her academic efforts during the pandemic.

When she is not providing treatment or speaking, she enjoys traveling, trying different foods, napping, and spending time with friends and family. Click here for more information on Dr. Patrice.

Dr. Earl Turner
Virginia

Dr. Erlanger “Earl” Turner, Ph.D., also known as Dr. Earl, is a licensed clinical psychologist, nationally recognized speaker, consultant, and mental health expert. He earned his PhD in Clinical Psychology from Texas A&M University and completed postdoctoral training through Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Kennedy Krieger Institute. Dr. Turner has been licensed as a psychologist for over 10 years and has experience working in outpatient and inpatient settings providing therapy to youth and adults in urban cities with a variety of concerns such as disruptive behavior, anxiety, and depression.

His research expertise primarily focuses on mental health among racial and ethnic communities, access to behavioral health services, cultural competency, and the impact of race-based stress. He has published numerous articles and book chapters on those topics. Dr. Turner has presented his work nationally and internationally at conferences and has served on the editorial boards for Practice Innovations, Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, and The Counseling Psychologist.

Dr. Turner has been quoted by top media sources including The New York Times, Washington Post, Essence, Good Morning America, Ebony, NPR, Oprah Magazine, and more. He has served as the chair for the American Psychological Association’s Board for the Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest, on the Board of Directors for the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, and as an advisor to Sesame Street’s Racial Justice project. In 2020, Dr. Turner became the first Black male to serve as president of the Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice. Dr. Turner is also the author of Mental Health among African Americans: Innovations in Research and Practice.

Population: Adolescents

Samuel Akinwande, ACSW
California

Samuel Akinwande received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Social Work at California State University Chico which allows him to practice as an ACSW (associate clinical social worker) in the state of California. He is of Nigerian heritage and immigrated to the United States at the age of 10 years where he spent all his childhood in Inglewood, CA until he went to college. He has earned many awards throughout his academic years of hard work and kindness that his peers commended him on. He enjoys visiting Nigeria yearly, being active such as playing soccer, watching shows that make him laugh, and cooking.

Samuel is passionate about learning and understanding people from a cultural lens as he understands how this can shape an individual and community which is important in many aspects of health and survival. His approach to therapy is through an intersectional lens which is the understanding that everyone has many different identities and all together they shape our everyday experiences. He strongly believes this creates the best safe space to understand one’s identity and experience. He is a fan of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as it creates a positive way of thinking, feeling, and learning how to correct behaviors. He strives to create a culturally safe space for his clients to be heard, increase understanding of self, and empower the best version they can be for themselves.

Supervised by: Dr. Patrice N. Douglas, LMFT

Population: Adolescents & Adults

Shaka Barrett, LMSW
Georgia

Shaka Barrett, a Licensed Master Social Worker, is a product of the PG County School System in Maryland and a proud Atlanta University Center Graduate [Morehouse College (BA Psychology 2001’); Clark Atlanta University (MSW Social Work 2008’)]. In his work, he continually strives to create safe spaces where clients can fall in love with themselves as they reconnect and reclaim their own unique voice; learn to establish new more healthy forms of self-care and become excited about celebrating themselves and their accomplishments.

For over 20 years, Shaka Barrett has been a mental health professional guided by a simple goal: “To Give Voice to the Voiceless.” He has worked with children, youth, adolescents, individuals, couples and families in a variety of communities and has seen the frustration and despair of those who all too often feel invisible and ignored. He has seen the way systematic marginalization negatively impacts their lives and most importantly contributes to unhealthy ways these individuals and family systems view themselves evident by the stories they tell. Unfortunately many of those clients make their voices heard through unhealthy ways.

This is the driving force and focus of Shaka’s work as a Therapist. Utilizing evidence-based modalities, Shaka works with clients on their journey to reconnect with themselves and their humanity. Through therapy, you and Shaka will work together to challenge unhealthy paradigms and create new more healthy perspectives and coping strategies.

Population: High School Teens & Adults

Ojore Bushfan, LMFT
California

Ojore Lateef Bushfan (he/him/his) is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, Certified Practitioner of Sound Healing, and a long-time resident of Southeast San Diego’s Skyline Hills Community. He earned a BA in Africana Studies, a MA in Multicultural Counseling (the Community-Based Block Program), and a MS in Counseling with an emphasis in Marriage & Family Therapy, from San Diego State University (SDSU).

Ojore has worked in high school, community college, and university settings where he was afforded opportunities to work with individuals of all ages, relationship dynamics, and males of color. He is passionate about providing mental health services that address behavioral and social-emotional challenges and the intersectionality of race, gender, sexuality, and cultural identities, in a way that is culturally responsive. His therapeutic approaches include: Afrikan-Centered Psychology, Person-Centered Therapy, Attachment-Focused Therapy, Body-Centered/Somatic Psychotherapy, Sound Healing, and Trauma interventions.

He was a research assistant with the San Diego Caregiver-Child Connection Project Hair Combing Interactions Study which focused on attachment and hair care interactions between caregiver and child using Hair Combing Interactions (HCI), originated by Dr. Marva Lewis, Ph. D. His a co-authored of a chapter in the book Therapeutic Cultural Routines to Build Family Relationships: Talk, Touch, and Listen While Combing Hair©. Ojore has also taught in various departments at SDSU (the Africana Studies Department, the Community-Based Block Program, and the Marriage & Family Therapy Program).

Outside of work, Ojore is part of a sound healing collective, enjoys being in nature, cooking, bowling painting, black and white film photography, reading, spending time with family, and traveling when possible.

Population: Adolescents & Adults

Marcus Jones, LPC, CADACII
Georgia

Marcus is a Licensed Psychotherapist (LPC), Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, and Certified Anger Management Specialist. He has earned a bachelor’s in Organizational Management from Ashford University, a master’s of science in Mental Health Counseling from the University of the Southwest, and a master’s of Business Administration. He has experience in leadership for addiction treatment as well as experience in a range of settings from community counseling to inpatient treatment settings. He also has expanded his mental health expertise to the radio as he is the former host of 102.6 The Situations Radio Mental Health Mondays.

Marcus has an in-depth understanding of the different levels of mental healthcare and how the system can best serve individuals suffering from mental illnesses. He has worked in the field of mental health for 20 years and loves what he contributes to the community. In the last 7 years, he has provided counseling services for individuals, couples, families, as well as groups. He specializes in addiction, anger management, and Men’s issues. Marcus is a result driven therapist that assists individuals in managing symptoms of mental illness, maintaining sobriety, resolving motivations for self-defeating thoughts and behaviors, and improving relationships. His experience is inclusive of adolescent and adult populations.

Population: Adolescent & Adults

Christopher Simmons, LMSW
New Jersey

Christopher Simmons is a Masters of Social Work soon to be a Licensed Masters Social Worker in New Jersey. He received his BA and Masters at Rutgers University and is driven to make an impact in the field of psychology as a Black man.

Christopher enjoys working with adults and teenagers of all backgrounds and needs. He has experience working with individuals in long term care facilities with severe physical and mental health disorders. He enjoys approaching the concerns of his clients from a narrative and person centered perspective; allowing them to rewrite the story of strength as well as meeting them where they are at in terms of their concerns. He has a passion to work with Black and Brown fathers as well as an advocate to educating those about being open to all perspectives to sexuality and expression as a sex positive expert.

When he isn’t working, he enjoys being a full-time dad and spending quality time with his sons and friends.

Population: Adults

Alecia Yarborough, BCBA
California

Aleicia Yarbrough is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) in Southern California. She received her BA in Psychology at San Diego State University, a MA in Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy at Chapman University, and a certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis at National University.

Aleicia has over 15 years of experience in the behavioral health field from individual therapy as an MFT to providing direct ABA services. She started her journey as a behavioral interventionist, providing in-home therapy which led her to the journey of obtaining her BCBA. She has held many leadership positions; as she is always hungry to learn and progress to help her community. She is currently a director for a large ABA non-profit organization where she oversees services in various communities of need. She has always had a passion to help those in need, especially individuals in the Black community as she sees the need for more support for Black and Brown families to understand developmental disabilities and how to navigate the world of services for individuals with autism.

When Aleicia is not working hard for her community, she enjoys vacationing to new locations, spending time with her friends and family, as well as volunteering with various organizations.