Dr. Connie Omari is a certified clinical trauma professional and holds a certificate in PTSD and Hypnosis.

She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a double major in Psychology and African-American Studies. Later in her life, she went back to school to receive her Master of Arts and Master of Education in Psychological Counseling from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Finally, she got her Ph. D., in Counselor Education and Supervision from Regent University, where she defended her dissertation entitled: Marital Attitudes and Expectations Between Whites and Blacks in America.

She’s been able to bring this focused degrees together to empower resilient trauma and addiction survivors.

I get to talk to her on this episode and go a little deeper into her thought processes and discover her journey.

She can be reached at https://techtalktherapy.com/staff/connie-omari-phd-lpc-ncc/

Read Full Transcript

Junaid Ahmed 0:10
Thank you for tuning in to hacks and hobbies with your host Junaid. In Season Two of hacks and hobbies were visited by our amazing guests coming from all walks of life, what to learn their story, their struggles and their journey on how they got to where they are today. So stick around.

In this episode, I get to speak with Dr. Connie Omari.

Dr. Connie Omari 0:48
Hey.

Junaid Ahmed 0:50
Hello Dr. Connie Marty. So she is a graduate of North Carolina and she studied PhD from the Teachers College, the uterus. inner city where she's, she's had defended her dissertation entitled American attitudes and expectation between whites and black in America, blacks in America. She's a certified clinical trauma professional and she holds a certificate in post traumatic stress disorder and hypnosis. Dr. Murray, thank you so much for taking the time and coming on to the podcast.

Dr. Connie Omari 1:26
Oh, you're welcome. Thanks for having me.

Junaid Ahmed 1:28
Absolutely. So we connected through my good friend, Courtney herring, and we've been I've been connected with Courtney for over a year. And she's been she's been doing some amazing stuff. And she was like, you know, the way we're talking on the podcast and going through our journey, you know, you really got to talk to Dr. Connie. Marine and I was like, you know, let's give it a shot. Let's see what's happening here. So, usually what I go over as you know, And on the podcast, I focus on a journey of focus on how we overcome our struggles overcome the different things that we have to face to come up on top and making our life the way we want it to be designed, you know, we want it to be so we designed it the way we want it instead of working for somebody else. You set up your own work hours and work on what you're passionate about. So that's what I like to start off with. So tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started in this area. Alright, perfect. Thank you.

Dr. Connie Omari 2:41
So yes, my name is Dr. Connie Omari. And what were you were referencing was I got my masters at Teachers College, Columbia University, PhD at Regent University. And what I've done with those two degrees is found a way to To empower resilient trauma and addiction survivors, I mean, that's the way I like to call it but I do it through my work as a licensed professional counselor. I also have done some writing. I am a media expert and I communicate with bustle magazine, NBC News, the Huffington Post, and I just use those outlets as a resource to to really talk to my target, target clients and empower them through mental health techniques. Yes, how I got started in this and I basically will say from the age of probably about 14, growing up in a southern community in North Carolina and just feeling isolated, not very much supported a lot of resources out there for mental health, for sure. In real estate, Recognizing that I wanted to do that for so. So that's, that's kind of how the invitation the invitation began to get into this work and I just, you know, through trial and error, of course my credentials, put me in a position to do it professionally and in terms of doing it more on a broader national level that's just come from, I guess by calling and just how I feel like within me call to reach a greater population.

Junaid Ahmed 4:29
Very, very cool. So you said you're a writer as well and you wrote a

Dr. Connie Omari 4:38
so my just admitting, really, what's a half I have a wonderful was a best seller. Sacred your lady had a woman's guide through a rite of passage. And what that book does is really breaks down about six components that I've seen women struggling with throughout the course of my thousands of clients by now that I've worked with I just found it interesting one day, as I was working with the clients that even though most of my clients only we know each other, a lot of comes to me for the same issues. And so I figured if I wrote a book that kind of touched on this issues that I could kind of serve more people at one time. So that's how it began. And then it's gone into me just you know, throughout the course of my practice kind of trying to come up with resources. So a lot of my books are journals. other books are our adult coloring books. I have a children's book as well, and that was based off of my relationship with my daughter, Xena, and some self esteem issues.

Junaid Ahmed 5:50
Very cool. So you talked about how you got interested into this space when you were at a very young 14. And you Is there something like, I don't know how to approach it. But like, for example, that that's a very, that's an age where you absorb a lot of information, you see a lot of things happening around you. For example, when the guests I spoke with, she was like, you know, I was really guided and led by my passion for coloring or drawing by my teacher, so the role model or their teacher and that helped motivate into being a you know, being an artist like the way she went to do so. What was your motivation into going in this space was when you were at that age.

Dr. Connie Omari 6:54
Um, so to be honest with you, I don't know if I made the connection at 14 about the important Going into the creative art sector. I think at that age, I was more just thinking about mental health. I believe it was a case of I believe it registered to me as an adult rather about the important importance of using the arts as a form of mental health. And because I think that we, as adults, we take life too seriously. Like my God, like we already have bills, we have relationships, we have children, we have careers, you know, we don't we need to kind of be a kid at heart. Time times, though. My really upset one of my books is called douche. And I don't know if you have to beat this out. But if you know what douche is, that's what people are using to kind of refer to people you know, that they don't like, so they might call you back, but I'm using it as a guest will be a metaphor. Because women also do, you know, their their private areas to clean them. And so it's kind of a way to mock women. Men who are women are women who have I tend to draw more women in my practice, but it tends to mock them for like kind of being douchebags. So we're like reducing you, you know, through, through through the creative arts, so I have to have profanity, you know, because that's just feel really comfortable. You know, while they're coloring it so and I found it to be a great resource for people who you know, have just been hurt and they can't really change their heart but they damn sure can make it

a humorous, you know, as they make

Junaid Ahmed 8:49
it, I guess it kind of gets you to not take this situation seriously, or it's also kind of a relief.

Dr. Connie Omari 9:02
Yo,

take not definitely not taking it seriously on your off time and treatment. We work we work on it. But you know when you're ruminating about these thoughts in between sessions, what's the point? Just play it off, laugh it off. We'll see you next week.

Junaid Ahmed 9:19
That's very that's very true because they've said, you know, laughter is a form of medicine as well. The, the chemical reaction that takes place in your brain, it helps heal your body.

Dr. Connie Omari 9:36
It does. That's

Junaid Ahmed 9:39
nice. So one thing that I keep thinking about is as a and I'm just going to go personal a little bit, it's because a lot of the times, I'm reminded that I don't like anytime. My wife tells me stories from you know, from all different ages of Live from you know, from being a toddler being a, you know, elementary school or middle school Middle School, like she has vivid memory. But I don't have that those memories at all. Like, I can't remember past a certain age. Like, I don't remember, you know, I just have memories of you know, yes, I lived here. I lived here just because of you know, I just known that over time, you know, okay, no, does it just dates of we are Lyft. But I don't have vivid memories of what actually happened. I just have like, so is there something there and I keep thinking like, do I need to BC or something? Or why does the brain do that?

Dr. Connie Omari 10:53
Well, I'm

a I haven't seen it was a personal question, but I think if I could see clinically and then kind of work It makes it will make a lot of sense. So when a person undergoes a traumatic experience, and it can be an isolated experience, or it could be what we call complex trauma, which is when a person has more than one episode of a traumatic event, it kind of stores itself in your memory. And that's what a lot of people have things like triggers, which could be flashbacks, they could be nightmares, they could be sensitivities, to anything that reminds them of the event. I know people with PTSD from the war, sometimes they hear like loud noises, and they might gunshot or, you know, sexual assault survivors if the person who harmed them had on a certain scent than that scent could be sensitive to him. So all of that comes from the way that the memory is stored in the brain. And if you think about it, you know, it's like evolutionary, you know, like, you know, I can't remember the first person Who told me or I don't know if anyone ever told me that a snake was dangerous, you know, but somehow I history of mankind interacted with the snake and, you know, developed this fear. So it became, you know, it came comes within us. And the same way trauma work. So when you undergo a traumatic experience, like I said, we're complex trauma is your brains way of kind of like just protecting you. And so these triggers can be harmful. So for me from a personal experience of at all, I don't mind disclosing that I've been assaulted before. So that has, that's, that's one of my traumas. I was it was probably the main one that has affected me the most and has made it kind of important for me to and one of the ways that I have really worked on that is through like, the creative arts as well. Yeah. So it's, yeah, just been helpful for me and it's also the place that I serve.

Junaid Ahmed 13:00
Nice. I mean, I don't know if I could say nice, but yeah, that does make sense. Good brain does.

Dr. Connie Omari 13:07
That's what we do. Right?

Junaid Ahmed 13:09
Exactly. Yeah, the brain does have a way to protect itself because it needs to focus on the things that that's going to make you survive and eliminating those memories or putting them deep down inside, I guess, is a way to say, you know, just brush that off, you know, you don't need to worry about what happened. Yeah, that's I guess another reason for lost memories. It could be that I didn't really talk as much like I was much more isolated and like, I didn't connect or didn't talk to many of my I don't know. Like my colleague. Or my classmates. I didn't talk about things with like, back in the days. Like we didn't talk a lot about stuff like this. Like, like, you know, that happened. It's over you done. And but now

Dr. Connie Omari 14:14
through Yeah, well, you're right. Yeah, generationally growing and that's another reason why I wanted to provide this resource to your effect. You know, yeah, we didn't, we didn't talk about it either. I mean, I'm African American. And so in my community today, you know, it's still very, very new and uncommon, but 20 years ago, it was like, I was a unheard of but it was not very, it was unheard of for me and my reason, you know, I found out as an adult, versus but I did not know a therapist. I literally did not know of one existing and knowing that I wanted to be one for that. And, and another thing that and this is, you know, I know this is an interview for me, but it could also be that You know, people tend to focus on things that are negative more. I mean, I hate to say it was human behavior. I mean, my childhood wasn't all bad. You know. And I and of course, I do remember some of the good things too. But, you know, that's what trauma is like, when you have a life changing life threat, like think about that snake example that I like, if humankind had not store that memory, you know, it had not been saying that it can you imagine how many more, you know, deaths by snake bites? Who would have Yeah, we didn't know to be afraid so so part so hopefully, that's a sign that you had a pretty decent childhood. And not a lot of really traumatic episodes to hold on to. Yeah,

um, as you know, became an adult.

Junaid Ahmed 15:49
Nice. Yeah, that makes sense. Cool. So what is who was there a role model for you grown up as well? Yes. Cuz I know some of the time some of the things that we looked up to, especially back in the days there's there's a lot of things that help us get out of the funk that we're in at the time. And like, for example, I looked up to I learned about Tony Robbins. I went trip and I was like, This guy is like, I was watching an infomercial. Yeah. And I was like, I need to get these CDs because I like what he's talking about. That I think, like 20 years ago, that changed a lot of my mindset from and I like I can totally relate to or point to a place that you know, a lot of enthusiastic behavior that I have comes from breakthrough from my own introversion, I guess Oh, Okay, awesome. So how are you?

Dr. Connie Omari 17:04
So, um, you know, I think that famous people I do know who Tony Robbins is. And I think that, you know, I've been influenced by a variety of people but I also focused on what was what I felt like was local and I mean, my mom was a great source of inspiration. She she's pretty she's she's pretty open minded, and understand the importance of you know, being vulnerable, exposing a story but she battled an addiction, for I'll say, How good 20 years, which was a, I'm not 40 so it was a good chunk of my life, I'm over half of it for sure. And, um, and all of a sudden, you know, and failed it quite a few times at trying to get sober, and then all sudden made the decision

that she wasn't going to do it anymore.

I use the same today in terms of helping me to achieve things that I think are impossible. She said that she learned in her treatment about this acronym kiss, which is keep it simple, stupid. And I like it because it gives, you know, lunches, we're trying to do major goals. We look at the end result, it seems so unattainable, so we don't even try. Yeah. But when you just take it like in with recovery, her main model is just for today. So you know, she told me after failing, and rehab four times, on the fifth time, I was like, Well, what I was different. And she's like, well, I don't know. But she just said, Well, what today is going to be different. And then tomorrow, it was OK, what tomorrow is going to be different. And then it was all right for this week. It's going to be different. This month and then this year, and then it became like 10 years, you know. So it's just amazing for me. So she says, I don't know what tomorrow is going to pray. She'll say that even today, but she's like, what today, I'm going to be sober, you know, and I just I loved her because it just really taught me how to take things. First of all, don't be too hard on yourself, like you said from failures of the past, she can do nothing about the time that she did way. So the time that she did was all she can do is take advantage of this moment. And, and through that, I've seen her while she's an amazing grandmother to my and she has her own business where she provides talking about using your own personal experiences, where she is a substance abuse counselor, she's got a license in that she provides DUI assessments. She helps people, you know, in recovery all over the all over the state. And so if that's not a testimony as to and she'll still say like that Is that even to this moment? Just for today? Just a and then looking back it's been a very long I can't remember. Honestly, last time she sees

Junaid Ahmed 20:11
no, that's, that's amazing and that shows that goes to show that to you so sometimes making a huge decision it's much harder. It's like oh my god, I need to carry this entire mountain on my back. Or you know, I gotta climb this mountain but no if you just take one step and that's what you know, just for today just you know, let's just to do one step today and then we'll see what happens tomorrow. Great. That's a great advice. Love it. Love it. You know when we talked about earlier that mental health issue or they weren't as public in the past, like you mentioned, you didn't you hadn't heard of therapist. We only watched him on movies and TV shows.

Dr. Connie Omari 21:00
Right. I can transparent even then it was like hot aged males. So you saw them they still didn't resonate with me I was like this doesn't I'm not to say that a Caucasian milk yet be helpful but unless he's done the work to understand history position in the world and how that might help a woman of color. Yeah, you're not going to be very helpful to me.

Junaid Ahmed 21:26
Exactly. But then the other thing also right. Do would make fun of therapists and psychologists.

Dr. Connie Omari 21:34
Yeah. Well, they did that today.

Yeah, I don't even tell people. I mean, I have enough of an internet presence that people who want to find me can, but honestly, I'm not gonna lie. I sometimes cringe at telling people what I do. Yeah.

Some people even in my family have asked me, oh, you work with crazy people.

No, I don't. And it's actually a saying that as cut as common in therapeutic community, that therapy is for people who have to live with people who won't go to therapy. Yeah. Yeah. Because the reality of it is we can all benefit from

Junaid Ahmed 22:14
it actually.

Dr. Connie Omari 22:16
lives. Yeah.

Junaid Ahmed 22:18
And that's something my sister was telling us, you know, just like we all meet there, because we have like a family group. And she's like, you know, I've, I've gone to therapy, and it's helped a lot because we, as siblings, you know, growing up, there's so many. What's that word? You remember, but so many things that we like crane, john, like, we know each other's trigger words, right? So you have to be walking on eggshells to be like, Oh, I do want to say something that my sister or my brother or my, you know, my parents are Whatever, right? It's a really different dynamic. So it definitely helps to get your thoughts out and get them analyzed. Because I guess that's why writing, like writing stuff down is very important because you're getting stuff out of your head. Absolutely.

Dr. Connie Omari 23:22
Absolutely. And, you know, to your, to your perspective as well. Not only do we operate within our own family systems in a way, but once you leave that family system, you will realize that most of us don't see you know, we don't operate that way. And so you have to learn not only what's not probably working ideal in your family system, but then how to show up in the rest of the world. I mean, if I can, if I can just give this other perspective. Um, you know, growing up In my family, I thought money was everything. Like, I'm like, you made a certain amount of money, or if you had a certain amount of status or if you went into this kind of career, that that you were everything. But then I, I walked out of that and I love like you don't Yeah, I'm a therapist, by trade. That's what I do. But there are coaches out here who don't have any of the training that I have, you don't have any of the lows.

killing it, you know what I'm saying? Because

they know what they're doing. So that's just a prime example. You know, I don't want to say I wasted time, I would identify it as such. But I will say, you know, a lot of my success today is built off to skills other than what I learned as a student, but my family message was, you know, go to school

and work

Junaid Ahmed 24:59
yeah, so Because you then also build a platform to be taken seriously. Yeah, right. That's the other thing. Like, for example, the show to enough men, they're like, Oh, he's a therapist. He's not a doctor or he's a he's an artist. He's a chiropractor. He's a doctor. Yeah. Yeah. That's the other thing that TV and other perspective has brought up like, No, you don't need that. You just need drugs.

Dr. Connie Omari 25:30
Right. Just give them drugs. Absolutely.

And I'm not opposed to them. But I certainly think it should be used in conjunction. What Yes,

Junaid Ahmed 25:42
absolutely. Love is really mind opening.

So on the day to day basis, you're in your practice. You're helping In a lot of different ways, which is really amazing. And what does that dynamic look like? Does that help you grow? Are you also continually adding to your arsenal of information and how to treat is that, you know, how does that work?

Dr. Connie Omari 26:21
I definitely think that I grow as much, if not more from my clients, what they feel what they grow from me, it's nothing more than my confidence because like I said, a lot of times I'm telling clients kind of like this, I kind of see the same problems. I mean, it never amazes me because I work with traveling, you know, I hear some things that people are pretty shameful to discuss and embarrassed. So things like that and, and, you know, they seem to be amazed when I tell them I've heard this before or I've heard you know, some variation of this before or if you you know, are I'm comfortable hearing it, the things I can listen to things that probably will make some people cringe And for normal. So, so from that perspective, I think it makes taking us out of my comfort zone. But I mean, just imagine like, right now I'm licensed in three different states. And so I get the pleasure of working with, you know, an excess in close to 3540 clients a week. And so I get to hear different stories from people. I get to hear different perspectives of people. I get to enter, you know what I mean? So it's like, yeah, yeah. And so, and then I get to see how resilient people are, because everyone who comes to me has some level of pride in that. And so, yes, and because I can say, you know, what, this is my story, but Gosh, this person went through this and look how they got on the other side of it, you know, and if I get to say, I've been a part of that, that just makes it so much more meaningful.

Junaid Ahmed 27:53
And that's really powerful. And, and you're, you're absolutely absolutely right, the you know, human beings. We are We are called the social animal because we like interacting, we like learning. And we like communicating to our fellow man fellow woman. That's what helps us grow. Exactly. That's pretty powerful. And, and that's the, that's what I'm going after with this podcast to, you know, I get to because I'm not in a in a, in a profession where on a daily basis I'm seeing or on a weekly basis I'm talking to 40 people, you know, that kind of profession. So it's like, how can I connect to my man and learn those journey because I am a hobbyist by passion whenever I have multiple projects going on, and I figured reach out to the reach out to the people that inspire me that are doing the work that they're doing the type of stuff that I want. They could, you know, bring that kind of change to the world. Oh,

Dr. Connie Omari 29:11
absolutely. That's awesome.

Junaid Ahmed 29:14
You know, I keep saying that there's there's this one song by Michael Jackson that says in my head, you know, to make the world a better place.

Dr. Connie Omari 29:26
Oh yeah. Oh yeah.

Junaid Ahmed 29:28
Because we were only here for a very short time. Like in my religion and in the Quran, it says you know you are only on this earth from the drop of a feather talis test it touches the ground, and that's our life. And that's it. Yeah. And it goes so fast. So there's and then there's a lot of reminder reminders on a daily basis that we are reminded how fragile and how short our life is going to be?

Dr. Connie Omari 30:01
Oh my gosh, yes. Yes.

Junaid Ahmed 30:06
So, all right, awesome. we've, we've talked about a lot of awesome stuff about mental health, about dealing with trauma about how to play it off and, and use laughter and us basically not. Because at the end of the day, we're not getting out of this getting out of this alive. So, I do have some questions that are asked my guests. Okay. Alright, so the first one is what is one hobby that you wish you got into?

Dr. Connie Omari 30:43
Oh, that is I was going to answer that. Yes. I'm a hobby that I wish I got into. by that. I done it but I want to do it a lot more and that's traveling and I'm working on that. I am working on that. What college I used to travel all the time. Then

I became an adult, like I was telling where we're supposed to be serious. It's supposed to buy a house and get a family.

And I think over the last year, so I realized how much of that is missing from my life and also, I'm just, you know, like,

yeah, how much it how I can actually incorporate my work into traveling as well.

Junaid Ahmed 31:28
Yeah. And and having the telemedicine setup. Yeah, that that helps you travel?

Dr. Connie Omari 31:36
Absolutely. In fact, my son is 12 weeks old, and he is from God. Well, his father's from Ghana, West Africa. And we do we have a ceremony, a naming ceremony for him scheduled in October in Ghana. So we certainly be there and I will be working

Junaid Ahmed 31:56
while we're there. Nice. Awesome. And with the because it's talking that helps you get that therapy. And that's the two or more talking right now so can absolutely do that. That's awesome. All right, what is your favorite movie? Or TV show? The Wizard of Oz. That's an awesome one.

Dr. Connie Omari 32:23
I love that movie.

Junaid Ahmed 32:25
So beautiful. Alright, tying into that favorite movie. What movie would you choose if you got to play a character in it?

Dr. Connie Omari 32:38
I've always want it.

This is horrible. I want it to be in one of those movies that represents black culture. During the times of like Jim Crow segregation, or slavery Lavery.

Look, the pizza RH Miss her her lesson but we ago.

You want her Oscar for 12 years of slave? I don't know. Just imagine I was playing her role like literally.

Yeah. Now this because it holds such an important part in my identity

will be very meaningful. So yeah, I

like that. Yeah.

Junaid Ahmed 33:25
That'd be that'd be a going to be a part of especially with you know show Joe and Michael Fassbender. All right. Alright. Cool. I like it. Yeah. So I am a huge superhero fan. So I put in this question Who is your favorite superhero?

Dr. Connie Omari 33:50
My favorite superhero is probably sky from patrol.

And I just like her because my daughter Xena like sir, yeah, Honestly speaking, my daughter is four but I kid you not. She's a role model as well. And I feel like Yeah, she cuz cuz her spirit is just so

she's so open to see in the world and you know communicate so it's kind of like I feel like if she can do it I can do it like

that's a whole nother podcast

Junaid Ahmed 34:34
episode. Yeah, absolutely cuz kids. Yeah they see they see and they tell you like they don't have a filter and that's amazing.

Dr. Connie Omari 34:42
Not at all right I hope she never loses it.

Junaid Ahmed 34:46
Yeah, yes, absolutely awesome last question if you were a board game but would it be

Dr. Connie Omari 35:00
board game. I was thinking monopoly really.

But I cannot believe because for for one I mean I like the lifestyle of money management budget your money,

really but also, I'm, I think of when I think when I believe he could have dominance and I, I like the idea of being able to dominate what I do well, a huge part of my success has been really based off of me knowing what my strengths are, yeah, and they are not. So like I do believe I'm a good therapist, which is why I'm able to see as many clients as I do. I'm not as good with keeping my paperwork organized. So I have an assistant that helps me do that because I have to do that. First of all, I'm not going to be as good at it. And second of all, I'm just not gonna be able to seasoning people because you know, 40 clients a week is kind of crazy some therapists but I, you know, for now it's working. I said that then if I had to add the paperwork on it, that would be maybe 60 hours worth of work a week, and that's just wow.

Junaid Ahmed 36:16
Yeah. Yeah, kids.

Dr. Connie Omari 36:19
Exactly. Then I've got kids family, all that good stuff. So So yeah, so I think I want to monopolize on what I do well, it outsource and leave everything else to what other people do. Well.

Junaid Ahmed 36:33
Nice. I love it. Cool. So that was an awesome, awesome, Chad, thank you so much for letting us in and telling us a little bit about how you got started. And we'll definitely have to you know, go and talk about sky from Provigil.

Dr. Connie Omari 36:54
Oh yeah, definitely. Gotta have I

Junaid Ahmed 36:59
can my Audience finds you doing?

Dr. Connie Omari 37:03
Perfect. You can find me on my website at www dot tech talk therapy. com. I'm on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, all with the tech talk therapy handles.

Junaid Ahmed 37:17
Perfect. Thank you so much. I'll be sure to include those links on you on the show notes for the website for the episodes, so they can get to go immediately. Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Dr. Omari. This was a pleasure talking with you.

Dr. Connie Omari 37:37
Thank you. Thank you for having me. Take care you too. Nice.

Junaid Ahmed 37:43
graduations you made it to the end of the episode. Thanks so much for listening to our guests on this episode. Please send me an email at Junaid at hats and hobbies. com to tell me what you loved about our guests today. You could find links mentioned in this episode. hacks and hobbies. com website

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