Date of Award

Summer 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Counseling (MAC)


College of Education, Department of Counseling and Special Education

First Advisor

Darrick Tovar-Murray, PhD

Second Advisor

Ronald Chennault, PhD

Third Advisor

Thomas Noel, PhD


Psychological invisibility is a condition wherein a person feels that their personal identity, value and ability are devalued as a result of repeated prejudicial slights experienced during interpersonal encounters. Developed by Anderson Franklin, the theory has been used to conceptualize how Black men experience racism and its effects. Mass incarceration has disproportionately impacted Black men, but research has yet to explicitly address how past imprisonment may influence this population’s experiences with invisibility. Seven formerly incarcerated Black men were interviewed to explore their experiences and perceptions of invisibility. Emergent themes were: invisibility is painful, invisibility is pervasive, attunement to power relations, coping with invisibility, and healing is important. This study’s findings have implications for counseling professionals supporting the mental health needs of formerly incarcerated Black men.

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