Joy von Steiger

photo of joy von steigerRacial Justice Educator

Joy von Steiger is a psychologist by training who served as the Director of  the Brandeis Counseling until the summer of 2020. Joy’s research and clinical interests lie in the intersection of mental health and systemic oppression. She is currently investigating the developmental trajectory for White people and BIPOC engaging in cross racial relationships, as well as the positive mental health effects of social justice community. 

While in a leadership role at the BCC, Joy was committed to the mission of creating a multicultural counseling center with a diverse clinical staff.  She demonstrated a deep commitment to trauma informed care through a cultural lens.  Joy and her team worked closely with the ODEI in affinity spaces and cross racial dialogue to enhance the cultural responsiveness of the clinical staff.

Joy is a White single Mom and grandmother of Biracial children.  She identifies as disabled and is committed to the reduction of mental health stigma through the acknowledgement that mental health professionals experience trauma, depression, anxiety and other mental health concerns. Joy grew up in Massachusetts in a predominantly White suburb, attended public universities in MA for undergraduate studies and the Derner Institute at Adelphi University for her MA and PhD.  Her research was focused on the support chronically psychiatrically ill persons needed to reduce rehospitalizations.  

Joy was first trained in restorative justice circle facilitation in 2016 prompted by her interest in prison abolition, transformative justice and the incarceration of a family member. Joy and Dean of Students Jamele Adams created a student internship experience that sought to bring Brandeis students for a three week course taught by the Restorative Justice Leadership group of incarcerated men at MCI Norfolk.  This work required a deep understanding of trauma informed facilitation skills.

Joy has been chosen as a member facilitator for the Massachusetts Psychological Association for White affinity groups for White identified members.  Joy also consults to local university counseling centers about anti-racism and Whiteness.  

Joy’s passion for racial justice and committment to youth development has positioned her to support White college students in their anti-racist development.