“Healers have to be so close to the wound…in order to actually heal it.” ~Dr. LaNail Plummer
Dr. LaNail Plummer, founder and CEO of Onyx Therapy Group, has designed her life around healing her communities. The build process hasn’t been easy. As a Black, bisexual woman, she’s navigated multiple structural impediments. But the racism, homophobia, and religious rigidity that forced her to the margins unwittingly pushed her into her power: to create safe spaces for folks in the LGBTQ+ community. “I’m here because that was my purpose,” she confirms. “Like, my God and the ancestors said I was supposed to be here.”
Tapping into the wisdom of her ancestors has strengthened LaNail’s impressive resilience. Growing up in extreme poverty and, later, as a military brat added a layer of “otherness” coupled with exposure to different cultures provided her with a level of awareness that few people can claim. After waiting until her thirties to fully come out for fear of losing her faith community, she’s since reclaimed those communal associations on her terms.
She’s also acutely aware of her passing privilege related to heterosexualism – the assumption that she’s straight – and uses those interactions as teaching opportunities. You can draw a direct correlation between all these formative experiences and her founding of Onyx Therapy Group. “Either I was going to find the places that I fit in, or I was going to create the places that I fit in.”
It’s impossible to speak with a DC-based practitioner – especially one whose professional focus and personal identity align with marginalized folks – and not ask about their welfare as it relates to the insurrection on January 6th. Once again, LaNail’s deep desire to be in community with her people took over. Amid the assault, she offered vital transparent support – something I continually advocate for on both sides of the therapy relationship. “We’re just going to live this experience together,” she told her clients. “I am not going to 100% be your expert in this moment. What we’re going to do is have a shared human experience, and we are going to both learn and heal and process together.”
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
GUEST CONTACT INFO & BIO
Dr. LaNail R. Plummer is the CEO & Founder of Onyx Therapy Group – a DC-based mental health organization dedicated to providing mental health services for individuals and organizations in marginalized groups such as Black and Brown communities and the LGBTQ+.
As a leading professional in the mental health field, Dr. LaNail R. Plummer is committed to improving the lifestyles of others through the aspects of mental health and character development. A United States Military Veteran and the CEO of Onyx Therapy Group — an organization she founded in 2013 — Dr. Plummer has over 15 years of experience working with a multitude of clients and specializing in the care of young women; the Black community; and members of the LGBTQ+ community. Grounded in the values of integrity and awareness, Dr. Plummer believes that emotional, spiritual, and cultural healing is attainable for all.
If you’d like to contribute to the work Sarah is doing, join the community on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/WoundedHealr
Leave a review in Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/conversations-with-a-wounded-healer/id1356225272
Conversations with a Wounded Healer is a proud member of @mhnrnetwork.
Let’s be friends! You can find me in the following places…