Dr. Isaiah Pickens is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in consulting, counseling, and educational services for families, teens, and young adults. Dr. Pickens is currently Assistant Director of the Service Systems Program at the UCLA-Duke National Center for Child Traumatic Stress (NCCTS), the coordinating site of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN). In this role he is responsible for supporting diverse national, cross-disciplinary, and collaborative efforts to make child- and family- service systems more trauma informed. He works with researchers, frontline practitioners, family members and young adults, child trauma experts, and partners from juvenile justice, child welfare, education, healthcare, and mental health systems to identify gaps, establish priorities, and implement Network initiatives that will promote the identification, referral and appropriate support for culturally diverse children, adolescent, and families who have experienced trauma. He presents to national audiences on child trauma, creating trauma-informed service systems and programs, trauma-informed organizational assessment, and cross-system collaboration. His publications address trauma-informed approaches to juvenile justice and school settings. Prior to his role at NCCTS, Dr. Pickens was faculty at New York University School of Medicine and Bellevue Hospital Center in the department of child and adolescent psychiatry where he specialized in treatment of juvenile offenders who have a history of psychological trauma, development of trauma-screening procedures, and mental health service provision capacity-building for the Administration for Children Services of New York City.
Dr. Pickens is currently a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Leader. In this capacity, he works collaboratively with cross-sector scholars and practitioners to promote a culture of health in America. Additionally, Dr. Pickens is a former Steering Committee member of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges’ (NCJFCJ) and Office for Victims of Crime’s (OVC) Vision 21: Linking Systems of Care for Children and Youth, where he provides consultation in an effort to implement statewide screening for trauma and victimization in Montana and Virginia. He provides consultation to NCJFCJ and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) on their National Schools- Justice Partnership project. Finally, Dr. Pickens provides consultation to the OJJDP Defending Childhood Initiative to implement trauma-informed practices in the state of California. Dr. Pickens has also been awarded the American Psychological Association Early Career Achievement Award and the Black Enterprise BE Modern Man award for his contributions to the field of psychology.
Dr. Pickens is also founder of iOpening Enterprises, a multi-media company that specializes in health messaging through the creation of books, films, and life skills workshops for youth and the adults who care for them. In this capacity, Dr. Pickens has developed the Bridge Trauma-Informed Culturally-Responsive (TICR) Program, a multi-day professional development for educators that provides a practical toolkit for managing youth traumatic stress responses in the school setting. iOpening Enterprises has partnered with Professional Development Plus as a training partner and to support curriculum enhancement for educators. Additionally, Dr. Pickens has developed Dr. Pickens has developed a full day suicide assessment training for clinical professionals he provides around the nation in partnership with Cross Country Continuing Education, It’s Complicated Teen Talk Show airing on kweliTV in fall 2017, The Dawn of Generation Why book geared toward supporting young adult identity development in the context of globalization and use of social media, keynoted numerous national events and conferences, and provided ongoing media contributions including the host for TLC’s The Spouse House, a regular contributor to Psychology Today, Huffington Post, BlackDoctor.org and appearing numerous times on national televised media to discuss the psychological implications of current events as it relates to trauma and other mental health issues.