Since we launched this column, An Exclusive in our newsletter, we have featured mostly women who are anti-FGM activists. There are long-time anti-FGM activists around the world but there are many who more recently joined the campaign in unique ways. This month’s featured Exclusive is one who only learned about the practice of FGM less than a year ago. Dr. Amelia Kemp has not stopped working on ways she can make a difference with the campaign against FGM since she learned about it. She is a State Certified Clinical Supervisor for Mental Health Professionals seeking licensure and a mental health educator. She is a former Director of Mental Health Counseling within the School Board where Former President Clinton’s Secretary of Labor visited her program, giving it national acclaim. She is also a former Adjunct Psychology Instructor for two colleges. As a metaphysician, Dr. Kemp is a Certified Energy Medicine Practitioner; and is a Certified Professional Life Coach.
She hosts a radio show which is an extension of her book and airs bi-weekly on Unity.fm – a station that features spiritual leaders. As a holistic psychotherapist and artist, she performs under the stage name: Dr. K’s Music Therapy and released the empowering song and music video “I’m Good Enough!” used as the theme song for UR2.Global to uplift the self-esteem of the world’s people. A project that has received over 400,000 impressions and was featured by the USNC for UN Women of Houston where she was the keynote speaker. She has collaborated with Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation in a psycho-educational music video for the healing of FGM where she wrote and performed a new song titled: “Leave Me Be!” (produced by world renowned Premik Russell Tubbs a producer/arranger/musician who has worked with Whitney Houston, Lady Gaga, and dozens of other notables.
GWPF: What inspired you to specialize in Psychotherapy?
Dr. Kemp: I came out of a history that included emotional and sexual trauma which caused me to view my body, my value and my worth differently and so I sought healing for myself. I desperately wanted to realign with the divine parts of myself that linked me to the Creator of my being. And so, once I felt I was healed, having experienced the good, the bad and the ugly experiences in life I became more and more aware of the limitations of mankind’s “perception” of who and what we are to one another and who or what we are to God. So I wanted to help mankind understand how to connect and utilize the energy we call God as an omnipotent Source of restoration.
Thus, in my personal quest to seek this knowledge I came upon universal spiritual teachings that helped me to discover a branch of healing called “holism and metaphysics” which taught me the difference between religion and spirituality. Whereas, I discovered that with spirituality I did not have to get something bad out of me – but instead I discovered something good was already inside of me – that was sacred, divine and sustainable. I learned that the details of our lives were a sacred matter and that healing ourselves could be too – this is what inspired me to coin the term Sacretherapy® (pronounced sacred-therapy with a silent d) and write the book: From Psychotherapy to Sacretherapy®….
GWPF: Kindly explain what your work in Sacretherapy entails?
Dr. Kemp: I coined the term Sacretherapy® because I believed our lives were created of a sacred matter that manifests into the details of each individual life. And I saw how being labeled with a mental or emotional diagnosis was such a self-esteem reducer. So I believed that if I could get rid of the word “disorder” and offer new meaning that I would in turn offer new hope and new relief by re-describing life experiences in holistic terms. And as such, I found that bridging universal spiritual principles with aspects of psychotherapy and coining it Sacretherapy® was helping my clients realign with their most sacred selves. This also happens as Sacretherapy helps one release the conditioning, memes, beliefs and language that causes a lot of people a tremendous amount of pain as they go along their physical journeys due to a flawed initiation into the physical world. This is how things like FGM also began out of “memes”, which of course is a unit of thought that gets passed down unconsciously; like a virus into people’s psyche and is accidentally accepted without question until someone courageously objects, realizing the devastation of this type of conditioning. Conditioning in and of itself, however, can be positive or negative and likewise each culture has its conditioning and memes; some of which is beneficial and some of which is detrimental. Fortunately, conditioning and memes are just practiced ways of thinking that become “beliefs”, and therefore, “beliefs” are just thoughts, and “thoughts” can be changed! Thereby changing our thoughts and the meaning we attached to the human condition we can heal those in need of healing and uplift the world at large.
So my work entails helping mankind to think ‘outside the box’ as whole (holistic) beings and reinitiate themselves with an expanded view of who they are and their life experiences. This of course includes the spiritual aspects of their being from a metaphysical and spiritual perspective that is universal and honors all paths. That in turn, allows people to release the self-reproach that so many encountered as they tried to live the life they were told they had to “supposedly live” based on another person’s judgment, and instead give themselves permission to live the life that they came forth to live. Ultimately, Sacretherapy® re-instills hope and belief in the promise that the quality of life each soul seeks is still possible, and that it’s not too late to realign with the divine, regardless if a person is rich or poor, famous or unknown.
GWPF: In addition to coining the term Sacretherapy®, you are also an author heralded as the first psychotherapist in history to reframe all of the mental and emotional diagnoses from a spiritual/metaphysical perspective. Please tell us about your book and what prompted you to reframe the diagnoses?
Dr. Kemp: My book outlines eight sacred steps and twenty-four healing exercises within Sacretherapy® and is titled: From Psychotherapy to Sacretherapy® – Alternative Holistic Descriptions & Healing Processes for 170 Mental & Emotional Diagnoses Worldwide and is indeed the first of its kind. I wrote the book to help relieve people of the stigma, taboo, and shame that gets attached to the medical model’s “labels” which puts people in a one size fits all container. This causes people to feel sick and defective and I wanted to send the message that “you’re not sick – you’re sacred!” I wanted to give mankind back its greater sense of self-esteem. I believed that the Creator doesn’t make mistakes and so the word “disorder” was not in alignment with universal laws of creation. So I came to understand that what people experience are either “reactions” to the toxic conditioning and memes they are subjected to that I spoke of earlier, or their symptoms have possibly manifested as some sort of sacred agreement and therefore may be a “divine intention”. So in addition to the reframing of the diagnoses I shared the steps I uncovered to well-being where readers are able to use the book as a self-help workbook and come back into alignment with the fullness of their being – mind, body and spirit and glorify as esteemed beings in their true value and worthiness.
GWPF: You also founded UR2 Global. Please tell us all about it.
Dr. Kemp: Certainly. In a celebrity-crazed society where so many feel they are only of value if they are rich or famous, The Sacretherapy Institute created UR2.Global to further uplift the self-esteem of humanity utilizing the ARTS where “UR2” means “you are too” a valuable worthy being. And the reason we paired the ARTS with healing is because I am also a singer/songwriter and have used music therapies and psychodrama in the therapeutic process. And I saw how powerful they were in group work, workshops, and retreats that The Sacretherapy Institute hosted. So I began working on new songs that would include psychodramas in the form of music videos in order to dramatize the inherent value and worth that lies within each soul. So we expanded it to include all the ARTS: music, psychodrama, poetry, spoken word, dance, drawings, painting, and photography to uplift the self-esteem of humanity.
GWPF: You are a lady of many talents. Would you please talk about your music career?
Dr. Kemp: As a singer/songwriter, I perform as Dr. K’s Music Therapy where my music could be classified as folk (sort of like India Arie or Tracy Chapman) in that my music tells the story of the world’s people with gospel and soul undertones attempting to connect mankind to the Source of their being. My music is therefore, more therapeutic than entertainment. I call it “Dr. K’s Music Therapy” because it heals and is such a pure, honest work, seeing as it was traumatic beginnings that initially took me away from my music, and healing others that brought me back. I began singing as a child and was honored as “Most Talented Senior” back in high school and thought I would pursue my degree in music. I even had a scholarship to pursue music, but my father felt music was not a serious career and worried about my being exploited in it, so with his admonishment I didn’t pursue singing. But thanks to God, it is with joy that I have come home to my first love able to blend it with the healing arts. My debut single titled: “I’m Good Enough” is part of a larger album, but the single was released as a soft launch with Bandcamp until the remainder of the album is completed. So far, the song has been translated into five languages – Spanish, French, Creole, Portuguese, and English with hopes of reminding the world that they are in fact “good enough!” The remainder of the album is also about healing and uplifting humanity and includes the song I wrote for FGM. My hope is that Dr. K’s Music Therapy helps to heal those in need of healing and remind the world of who we are at our core. The premiere album will also be called: Dr. K’s Music Therapy and is planned to be released this winter 2016.
GWPF: While we are on the topic of your music, kindly share with us details about the special music project you are currently working on for female genital mutilation.
Dr. Kemp: Gladly, the song I wrote is called: “Leave Me Be!” and it’s been arranged and produced by the renowned Premik Russell Tubbs who has worked with Whitney Houston and Lady Gaga and many other wonderful artists. And it is such an important tender work in that it almost feels channeled from an ancestral line of generations of women and I feel so honored to be the one beholden as the vessel for this song. I was so taken by what you shared about FGM during our radio interview until it literally brought me to tears. Then to add that on top of being a psychotherapist able to understand the psychological ramifications of what one experiences having their genitals mutilated was very sad. I immediately understood how these toxic memes that I spoke of earlier had shown their ugly face. Plus, to learn from you that it was now mainly being perpetuated by the women versus the men made me realize how this ritual was an example of a meme and conditioning at its worst. Of course, naturally each culture and person has a right to their own beliefs, but when one’s beliefs infringes on another person’s human rights it becomes an inhumane act and crime against humanity. So that night after the radio interview, lyrics began to emerge out me like an affirmation from spirit declaring what the body-temple was and was not. And how people’s mistaken belief of what constitutes a women’s virtue or most valuable asset was somehow miscalculated since I believe that just being a child of God possessing a spirit, along with one’s brains and heart are what makes a female or male most valuable to society or their future mate. So sexuality has been misunderstood throughout the ages and seems to be the culprit of so much fear regarding sexual intimacy. But if mankind could only honor and accept it as a joyous gift from God and not as a dirty-nasty-uncontrollable part of the body-temple that needs to be contained, sanitized or altered, we could evolve to greater heights in our humanity and behold one another as the sacred beings we all are. So I wanted to use my voice to convey these messages in the form of a song hoping to help the mothers of these daughters understand and release the injurious meme, and help the children and survivors of FGM heal by joining them in an act of solidarity to end FGM by amplifying their voice to say: Leave Me Be! http://www.ur2.global/leave-me-be—-healing-fgm.html
GWPF: How do you see the music video and CD helping the women who have experienced FGM?
Dr. Kemp: I envision the psycho-educational music video being used as a tool for prevention and intervention and played by advocacy agencies in areas of the world where FGM is being practiced. The hope is to educate the perpetrators of the ritual and help them understand the devastation of toxic memes and conditioning. I see little girls singing the song and holding it close to their hearts as an affirmation of their divinity and right to be. And I see the CD being used as a fundraiser to assist advocacy organizations in their work and assist in funding the reconstructive surgeries for survivors. Right now fifty-percent of net profit of each single cd of the song “Leave Me Be” will be donated to the Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation and the other 50 percent to UR2.Global. And to extend advocacy efforts other FGM sister organizations may also use the song as a fundraiser and earn 50 percent of the net profit as well, but we ask that they coordinate their fundraiser with GWF who will then keep twenty-five percent of the remaining fifty percent and the other remaining 25 percent of the net profit will be donated to UR2.Global.
GWPF: Is it also designed to help impact more than only the FGM survivors? Please explain.
Dr. Kemp: Yes, as stated previously, the project was created for prevention and intervention utilizing psycho-educational and psycho-spiritual measures. It is sincerely the hope that all stakeholders including: perpetrators, the young girls and adult survivors, and the males in these societies will unite and hear the song, see the video and feel the empowerment and healing that the project embodies.
GWPF: You were only introduced to FGM recently, and now you are starting your own campaign against it. What was caused you to want to do this?
Dr. Kemp: I think I explained my inspiration above but I don’t consider myself starting a new campaign but rather joining you and other sister organizations like yours in the amplification of the need to end FGM. And since the mission of UR2.Global is to uplift humanity showcasing the ARTS to self-esteem, writing a song and doing the music video about it is directly relates to our mission since how a child or woman feels about their body-temple affects how one feels about their value and worth. So this project for FGM is in total alignment with our global goal to help mankind understands who they are at their core and glorify in the self-esteem that the Creator affords us.
GWPF: As a Psychotherapist, do you have a special message for mothers and grandmothers who have their daughters cut?
Dr. Kemp: Yes, in the song: “Leave Me Be” I talk about the “memes” that I alluded to in another question which are a unit of thought or belief that got passed down unconsciously and is practiced unconsciously. But once a destructive meme is brought into one’s conscious awareness we are empowered to make conscious choices and decisions from that moment on. Thus, in the song and music video the lyrics also speak of honoring and trusting a female’s spirit and integrity and showing her your heart and humanity. And so, I implore mothers and grandmothers to muster the courage to resist social pressures that infringe on the human rights of another.
I know that many of mothers/grandmothers were recipients of this same ritual and therefore were conditioned to normalize the abnormal. But if they would take a moment to recall the terror they felt in both the anticipation of it once they saw what was happening and the aftermath of it, I am sure in those moments they did not want anyone to ever have to experience that. And it’s not about “tough love” or about a so-called “strong child or woman being able to take it and survive it”. No one should have to! Yet, you may say in protest to me “Well how will my daughter survive economically if I don’t do this to her so that she can get a husband?” Well, I recognize that you may feel that this ritual will secure your daughters chances to be chosen by a man for what you believe will afford her economic survival and security. But please understand that there are many other ways for her to be viewed as a valuable female that do not entail cutting her body-temple. As women, it is up to us to change the perception of our greatest value to being our spirits, hearts and brains and not our vaginas! We are so much more than our sexuality, but when women are not allowed or taught to see themselves as valuable, smart, equal, self-sufficient and worthy beings deserving of respect and tender-loving kindness, this type of horrific meme can continue to harm the psychology of women. To that end, the song also proclaims that “a female did not come into the physical world to please a man and that she came forth with her own divine plan!” So I pray that mothers and grandmothers begin rebuilding your own sense of self-esteem to help correct this error-thinking, and I invite them to utilize the free inspirational and therapeutic tools on the UR2.Global website as a platform to build self-esteem along with my book “From Psychotherapy to Sacretherapy”. They may also benefit from listening to our radio interview where I reinforce this concept by clicking here.
GWPF: Any advice for the young women who have survived FGM?
Dr. Kemp: Yes, in addition to embracing the song and music video I wrote for them, I want them to know that anything that has gone out of alignment with one’s mind, body, or spirit can be restored! I want them to know that this awful ritual that was done to them was done by well-meaning people who simply lost their own way and were caught up in the conditioning passed down to them, but that they can still go on to live happy lives. The memory of the past traumatic event can eventually be soothed and gently released. I think it would also be very helpful for them to listen to the interview I did with you during Women’s History Month on my radio show where we talked about this and I summarized that interview with specific therapeutic tips. They may access the interview 24/7 “on demand” by clicking here. And I’ve also done other radio shows on (PTSD) post-traumatic stress that may be accessed by visiting my website and clicking the “radio link” (click here). There they will find a list of the topics. It’s free to listen to any topic that they want. And finally, the sacred 8 Steps I outline in my book titled: From Psychotherapy to Sacretherapy…. as well as the daily inspiration they can extract from UR2.Global may also be of tremendous value and help them release the past, embrace forgiveness, and go on to live the life they were meant to live for the remainder of their future.
GWPF: Where do you see Dr. Amelia Kemp in 10 years?
Dr. Kemp: As founder of The Sacretherapy Institute, I see myself owning a multi-acre psycho-spiritual retreat facility which I have actually begun to keep my eyes open for even now, with hopes of it being somewhere in the beautiful green mountains along the mid-Atlantic states or the red rocks of Sedona where I am able to house the UR2.Global project and offer music therapies festivals, psychodramas and the other arts for the uplifting of mankind. So if anyone knows of a facility out there please contact my office.
Note: Effective immediately, this newsletter will bring you An Exclusive the second Tuesday of each month. Join us then for another fascinating person!