Mental Health Matters Dr. Catherine Packer-Williams In Her Own Words

I am aware that through my veins runs the blood of my foremothers who had the vision, courage, and strength to not merely survive but thrive despite their circumstances. Through them, I have inherited a legacy of resilience and ambition. Today, my lifes goal is to share this powerful legacy of utilizing your strengths, understanding your weaknesses, listening to your inner voice, respecting all others, celebrating life, learning from mistakes, and appreciating life’s lessons. This reflects in my mental health therapy sessions.
The early struggles witnessed in my upbringing helped me to be more cognizant and sensitive to how oppression, economic depression, systemic racism, discrimination, and prejudice can silence the beating heart of a community. I also witnessed the rejection and mistrust of psychological interventions and the failure of substituting drugs, alcohol, unhealthy relationships, and violence as a coping mechanism for hopelessness and despair.
These experiences have shaped my personal and professional pursuits. Breaking down walls of mistrust, misunderstandings, and miseducation, in regards to the role of psychologists and therapy, are important steps in working toward my goal of lessening the disparities in mental health services within communities of color by offering culturally informed interventions. My experiences have also taught me the value of education. I will forever maintain an understanding and deep appreciation of the pride and effort that goes into confronting disparities in education, addressing opportunity gaps, and advocating for our children, particularly children with special needs in schools. 
Dr. Catherine Packer for mental health
mental health advocate in public speaking

From my life lessons, I have also learned the critical importance of being multicultural,  practicing cultural humility,  being self-reflective,  acknowledging when I am wrong, recognizing the power of encouragement, and honoring your past while reaching for your future. I believe firmly that to whom much is given much is expected. Therefore, I have made a conscious decision to dedicate my life’s work to helping others, especially disadvantaged, disenfranchised people, as evidenced throughout my career.

Friends, family, colleagues, and students would suggest that I am best known for my professionalism, sense of humor, and warm disposition, as well as my dedication and passion around issues of education, diversity, and justice.

I hope to also be known as someone people can trust to serve them in the role of a competent, caring, and compassionate counselor, educator, coach, and/or consultant.

Dr. Catherine Packer-Williams Bio

The Psychologist

Dr. Catherine Packer-Williams is passionate about helping members in communities that once shunned therapy to find their way to help and resources for better mental health and wellness. As the director of CPW Counseling and Consulting, she founded the practice to create a space where formal psychological counseling training and culturally-rooted therapy training merge to offer relatable solutions for people who typically feel disconnected from therapists who don’t understand their culture’s life experiences. Her love for preserving relationships, child well-being, and people pursuing personal growth fuels her therapeutic approach.

Anxiety, depression, mood disorders, behavioral issues, and relationship issues are some of the most often experienced challenges individuals face. Through the resources of CPW Counseling and Consulting, they help hundreds, one person at a time.

The Consultant

Schools, community organizations, and businesses have to keep up with the needs of a rapidly changing world. Effective consultants have keen insight, bird’s eye and worm’s eye understanding, and can create unique solutions that are manageable and deliverable for each client. These are attributes Dr. Catherine Packer Williams brings to clients through the resources of CPW Counseling and Consulting.

Consultation and professional development clients come to CPW Counseling and Consulting for results-oriented experiences and answers sometimes to questions you don’t even know to ask.

Mental Health Advocate

Dr. Catherine Packer Williams is a mental health advocate who is passionate about breaking the silence and ending the stigma about mental health. Her work aims to raise awareness about the importance of viewing mental health as just as important as physical health.

As a veteran educator as a former elementary school teacher, professional school counselor, professor, and post-secondary school administrator she is passionate about the education and overall well-being of students. She advocates for student by helping parents, school personnel, and community organizations on how to best accommodate the special needs of students and families.

Catherine Packer-Williams is a Proud Member of

Selected Publications

Moore, C. P., Ohrt, J., & Packer-Williams, C. (2020). A Solution-Focused Approach to Student Reintegration into the Traditional School Setting After a Disciplinary Alternative School Placement. Journal of Child and Adolescent Counseling.6:2, 83-96, DOI: 10.1080/23727810.2020.1719350

Williams, W.S. & Packer-Williams, C. (2019). Frenemies in the academy: relational aggression among African American women academicians. The Qualitative Report, 24(8).

Troutman, O., & Packer-Williams, C. (2014). Moving Beyond CACREP Standards: Training Counselors to Work Competently with LGBT Clients. The Journal of Counselor Preparation and Supervision, 6(1).

Packer-Williams, C. & Evans, K. (2013).  Mentorship in diversity leadership in higher education:  Empowering emerging and established leaders.  In Lewis, Green, & Surry (Eds.).  Technology as a Tool for Diversity Leadership:  Implementation and Future Implications (pp. 243-247). IGI-Global: Hershey: PA.

Packer-Williams, C. & Williams, W. (2012). The Frenemy project. The Feminist Wire.

Packer-Williams, C. (2011).  Surviving “sista” saboteurs:  Lessons from a survivor of relational aggression. Women in Higher Education, 20(12), 26-27. 

Packer-Williams, C. & Evans, K. (2011).  Retaining and reclaiming ourselves: Perspectives on a peer mentoring group experience for new African American women professors. Perspectives in Peer Programs, 23(1), 9-23.

Packer-Williams, C. (2010). A preliminary investigation of factors that promote the development of racial justice allies in educationThe Journal of Multiculturalism in  Education, 5(2). 

Packer-Williams, C., Jay, M., & Evans, K. (2010). Understanding the contextual factors that influence school counselors to incorporate multicultural diversity into their practice. Journal of School Counseling, 8(14), 78-83.

Packer-Williams, C. (2009).  Understanding the impact of maternal messages given to single, educated African American women about relationships. Black Women, Gender and Families: A Black Women’s Studies Journal, 3(2), 48-67.


Selected Presentations

Packer-Williams, C. (2019, June). Thriving at Work: Creating a Positive Workplace for Employee Mental Health. Workshop presented for the City of Philadelphia, Division of Aviation/Philadelphia International Airport.

Packer-Williams, C. (2019, March). Creating Effective and Engaging Lessons/Experiences.  Workshop presented to the Christian Education Ministry at Journey United Methodist Church, Columbia, SC.

Packer-Williams, C. (2019, March). Meeting the Needs of Our Children and Families with Special Needs.  Workshop presented to the Christian Education Ministry at Journey United Methodist Church, Columbia, SC.

Packer-Williams, C. (2019, February). Strategic planning II and using our spiritual gifts in children’s ministry. Workshop presented to the Christian Education Ministry at Journey United Methodist Church, Columbia, SC.

Packer-Williams, C. (2019, February). Understanding today’s youth and how to reach them. Workshop presented to the Christian Education Ministry at Journey United Methodist Church, Columbia, SC.

Packer-Williams, C. (2019, January). Strategic planning I. Workshop presented to the Christian Education Ministry at Journey United Methodist Church, Columbia, SC.

Packer-Williams, C. (2018, December). Leadership and the practice of caring confrontation. Workshop presented to ministry leaders at Journey United Methodist Church, Columbia, SC.

Packer-Williams, C. (2018, October). Crisis on campus: Promoting student mental health. Workshop presented for Claflin University, Orangeburg, SC.

Packer-Williams, C. (2018, August). College student mental health.  Workshop presented at the Annual Administrative Leadership Retreat for Claflin University, Orangeburg, SC.

Packer-Williams, C. (2018, June). Mental strength in the face of struggles. Workshop presented at annual conference of EmPowered Connections NPO, Columbia, SC.

Packer-Williams, C. (2012, October).  Counseling through play: Creative arts and play counseling techniques for elementary school counselors.  Workshop presented for Baldwin County Public School System, Spanish Fort, AL.

Packer-Williams, C. (2012, July).  Creating data driven school-wide plans.  Workshop presented for Bayou LaBatre School Counselors of Mobile County Public School System, Mobile, AL.