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"This book was birthed from years of sweat, tears, and prayers. Writing through a pandemic while the nation and beyond grappled with illness, death, and racial injustice was not easy. Writing as I went through my husband's death and systemic injustices perpetrated against my own family was painful. Sometimes I wrote when I just wanted to hide. Sometimes I wrote with tears streaming down my face. But I was writing about how to move forward amid the pain. I had to keep going -  for those who could not. The labor pains I experienced made the birth of this book even sweeter."

- Dr. Jennifer


- Book Testimonials -

With Out of the Fire, Jennifer Shepard Payne provides a timely, empirically and spiritually based, and much-needed approach toward understanding and addressing the mental health issues experienced by Black Americans daily. Each chapter provides clarity in understanding through culturally responsive empathy. This research-based text rebukes old paradigms, shares practical and clever points of reflection, while offering nuanced strategies toward healing.”
Cheryl Fields-Smith, PhD, professor of elementary education at the University of Georgia

“It is the rare scholar and practitioner that integrates research, empathy, warmth, and care together to help communities transform and heal. Jennifer Shepard Payne’s Out of the Fire exemplifies such characteristics. Every therapist, counselor, and counselee should read and learn from Shepard Payne’s skillful guidance in this book to help support healing in the Black community and diaspora. This is a much-needed work.”
Regina Chow Trammel, PhD, LCSW, professor of social work at Azusa Pacific University, psychotherapist, and author of A Counselor’s Guide to Christian Mindfulness

“In Out of the Fire, Jennifer Shepard Payne provides practical and thoughtfully described tools for developing the skills to thrive after we deal with the trauma of structural and systemic racism. Out of the Fire includes a wealth of stories and examples that helps humanize the challenges we face. Despite being a book about dealing with trauma, Out of the Fire provides asset-based and positive tools to promote healing and well-being.”
Derek M. Griffith, PhD, founder and codirector of the Racial Justice Institute, and professor of health management and policy at Georgetown University

“Jennifer Shepard Payne provided a rich and detailed explanation of racialized trauma and the strategy for mitigating the effects through acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). This book makes the case for why ACT is a therapy that would appeal to the Black community. Through analogies and stories grounded in research, Out of the Fire will be a game changer for those that care about mental health and well-being, especially in the Black community.”
Tahira Reid Smith, PhD, cofounder of Black in Engineering

“In Out of the Fire, Jennifer Shepard Payne provides a culturally informed, evidence-based, and highly practical guide to thriving that will be life-changing for generations of African Americans and the mental health professionals who support their healing. She has brilliantly tailored ACT to speak the language and reflect the lived experiences of the African American community!”
Robyn L. Gobin, PhD, licensed psychologist, associate professor at University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, and coauthor of The Black Woman’s Guide to Overcoming Domestic Violence

“All suffering is not created equal. A powerful and much-needed resource that speaks directly to the unique experiences of Black Americans. Sharing a combination of compelling personal stories, case vignettes, and experiential practices, Jennifer Shepard Payne guides readers to develop the skills necessary to rise from the ashes of systemic oppression, intergenerational trauma, and pain. Out of the Fire is THE guide for learning to thrive with meaning and purpose.”
Jill Stoddard, PhD, author of Be Mighty, and coauthor of The Big Book of ACT Metaphors

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