We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Dr. Crystal DeBerry, LCSW. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Dr. Crystal below.
Dr. Crystal, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today We’d love to hear the backstory behind a risk you’ve taken – whether big or small, walk us through what it was like and how it ultimately turned out.
Let’s talk about quitting a job to fly an airplane and build it at the same time when you are not a pilot or mechanic! LOL! That was me in 2014. I quit my job as a renal social worker and birthed Indomitable Families Affected by Incarceration (IFAM) a 501c3 nonprofit located in Memphis, TN. During this time I was “physically” a single mother with two small children and and infant as my husband was incarcerated. I started IFAM to create a mental safe space for women who had a loved on incarcerated, formerly incarcerated, or they themselves have had an interaction with the justice system. Now we offer free group therapy to men, women, and youth who have been impacted by the trauma of incarceration. In addition, we renovated our first home and is providing housing to a mother and her sons impacted by incarceration. Our second property will house five individuals and the expected rebuild completion date is Fall 2023.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
Dr. DeBerry is a woman on the move embodying an Indomitable Spirit as she fulfills God’s will for her. Conquering milestones as commanded by God because she is a bold faith walker and knows her only mission is to live by faith and to do the work He has called her to do!
Dr. Crystal DeBerry is a licensed clinical social worker and innovator of the Incarcerated to Indomitable App. She is the founder of Indomitable Families Affected by Incarceration, Inc and the owner of DeNovo Clinical Strategies, LLC. Dr. DeBerry has over 7 years of teaching experience for universities such as The University of Memphis, Union University, and Ole Miss.
Dr. DeBerry obtained a Doctoral of Social Work in 2020 from The University of Southern California, a Masters of Science in Social Work in 2009 from The University of Tennessee, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from The University of Memphis in 2006. Dr. DeBerry brings with her an extensive career and wealth of experience in the field of Social Work and she is making life better for so many.
Her interest and skills are centered in Mental Health, Promoting Smart Decarceration, Anger Management, Clinical Supervision, Life Transitions, Life Skills Mentoring, Individual, Group, and Family Therapy. She has been an advocate for client rights for clients in the home, community and school settings. She brings a wealth of knowledge from having conducted trauma groups for clients diagnosed with PTSD or other similar symptoms related to witnessing violence, extreme stressful situations, and/or being a survivor of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse.
Dr. DeBerry is most proud of being awarded the 2018 NASW West-TN Social Worker of the Year; receiving the 2019 Field Instructor of the Year award, and being the first Memphis Representative for Black Girls in Social Work since 2020
Do you think you’d choose a different profession or specialty if you were starting now?
I would not change anything about my career path. My undergrad degree in psychology helped me to understand the mind and life theories. My Master’s in social work helped me to define my therapists’ style and understand how the environment impact’s the lives of those I serve. My doctoral degree helped me improve my service delivery by developing the “Incarcerated to Indomitable” app. This app will help bridge the gap between having to choose between mental health services and items needed for daily living. Now our members can receive both!
We often hear about learning lessons – but just as important is unlearning lessons. Have you ever had to unlearn a lesson?
Just because you build it does NOT mean they will come. I was so disappointed at my first support social for women who had a loved one incarcerated as no one showed up. After 20 minutes, I stepped away from what I thought was needed and begin to research other concerns that impact the population I was wanting to serve. Often times business owners develop a product or service that would be beneficial for them, however, business owners and non-profit founders often times find themselves in a position to truly learn what is needed versus what we thought was wanted!
- Website: https://www.thedrcdeberry.com/
- Instagram: @indomitablewomen
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IWIMINC
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-crystal-deberry-lcsw-3601811b/
- Twitter: @indomitablewom