Dr Alan Kessedjian - Co-Chair
I am a consultant clinical psychologist with over 32 years clinical experience working in mental health. I have worked with a broad range of client populations including marginalised and underserved communities often within an urban multicultural context. I have substantial experience in the field of acute adult mental health alongside running specialist NHS community DBT services.
I am currently Psychology Lead for Urgent Care at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and have held additional consultant posts at St Andrews in Northampton and NHS services in North Staffordshire.
I am a former Regional Chair of the DCP and a former elected Board Trustee / Director of the BABCP. I have been a BABCP accredited CBT Therapist, Supervisor and Trainer for many years and was involved helping to set up and develop the postgraduate CBT Programme at University of Birmingham between 2003 through to 2008.
I have additionally worked with NGOs in the West Bank, where I have co-developed and delivered culturally adapted CBT informed training with local psychiatrist Dr Samah Jabr. Our work was also informed by Post-Colonial Theory and the work of Professor Suman Fernando. The project ran between 2009 and 2013 and our work has featured at conferences in the Middle East and North Africa. We were additionally both involved with supporting the establishment of a Palestinian Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies.
My hopes for this group are that we can both support and drive initiatives within the DCP to embed inclusivity at the heart of our practice as applied psychologists and ensure greater equity for all.
Dr Shazma Thabusom Co-Chair
I have been qualified as a Clinical Psychologist since 2005 and currently hold clinical responsibility for psychological services provided by a CMHT in inner-city Birmingham. I have extensive experience of mental health services, specifically in Clinical Psychology, working with the diverse needs of our service users and staff. I am additionally multilingual and interested in how cultural nuances can literally be easily lost in translation. I am committed to celebrating difference and thinking more about intersectionality in our work including creating space for less visible forms of difference too.
As Co-Chair of the DCP EDI & Anti-Racism Task & Finish Group and as a member of the BPS Taskforce for Diversity and Inclusion, I hope to be part of an inclusive group of psychologists committed to working towards improvements that all our membership will benefit from. I am committed to developing narratives and practices regarding diversity and moving beyond diversity and towards authentic inclusion. In terms of my heritage, I am from a working-class Asian background and of a Muslim faith.
Dr Margo Ononaiye
I am a qualified Clinical Psychologist working at the University of Southampton on the Doctorate Programme in Clinical Psychology Programme, where I have been recently promoted to Programme Director in November 2020.
My research interests are varied and include exploring the transdiagnostic and transcultural application of compassionate mind approaches, leadership and diversity within the clinical psychology profession.
In my clinical work, I primarily use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) approaches and I am an accredited CBT practitioner with the BABCP and registered with the HCPC. I also use techniques from the Cognitive Analytical Perspective and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy which ensures that I tailor my approach to my clients’ needs in my private practice.
I have always had an active interest in promoting ethnic diversity within the Clinical Psychology profession and take great pride in supporting this initiative wherever I can.
Dr Tarek Younis
I am a clinical psychologist and currently a Lecturer in Psychology at Middlesex University. My previous research explored the racialisation of Muslims as a result of statutory counter-terrorism policies in British mental health settings.
I write on racism and Islamophobia in the psychology; the securitisation and racism of healthcare settings; and the intersection of politics and psychology. I teach on the significance of culture, race, religion, globalisation and security policies on mental health interventions.
Latest publication: Younis, T. (2020). The psychologisation of counter-extremism: Unpacking PREVENT. Race & Class.
Dr Manreesh Bains
I am a Consultant Clinical Psychologist working for South West Yorkshire NHS Foundation Trust and a Member of the BPS Taskforce for Diversity and Inclusion.
For 10 years I worked in older adult services for Sheffield Health & Social Care NHS Trust, and was the lead for the organisation's Build, Modify Expand initiative, establishing the BAME Mentoring Programme & annual Working Together Conference. I have been actively involved in initiatives to increase representation and promote inclusion in the field of clinical psychology within the Yorkshire and Humber region.
I am passionate about race equality and I teach on the DClinPsy and IAPT programmes about this topic. I continue to champion initiatives to support racialised colleagues and service users in all that I am involved in.
I hope to help bridge the gap between psychology services and marginalised groups and build the trust that is placed in our services through: community engagement, confronting systemic discrimination and identifying specific, measurable, goals in order to achieve necessary change.
I am excited to contribute to the positive movement for change that is happening within the profession which brings me here.
Professor Craig Steel
I am currently the Academic Director at Oxford Clinical Psychology Training Programme, having previously been the Deputy Director/Deputy Head of School at the Charlie Waller Institute for Evidenced Based Psychological Treatment, School of Psychology, University of Reading.
My clinical and research work has focussed on the development and evaluation of psychological treatments for psychosis. I have a particular interest in developing models that help us ‘make sense’ of psychotic symptoms in the context of the reaction to traumatic life events.
Equality, diversity and inclusion is of course important to all of us, it speaks to the core values of ourselves as people and as professionals. It is crucial that we work towards a workforce that represents the communities that we serve, and tackle the barriers than are currently preventing this. I am pleased to contribute to the DCP EDI Task and Finish Group, and to learn from my new colleagues.
Hi there. My name is Ingrid. I have the privilege of wearing a number professional hats including: registered mental health nurse, assistant psychologist and assessor at a counselling service!
I joined the DCP EDI Taskforce because I am keen to contribute to the diversification of clinical psychology across the social GGRRAAACCEEESSS. While I don’t represent all identities, as a working class, Black woman, I recognise that occupying this space is necessary as: “nothing about us, without us, is for us."
I am a rep for the DCP pre-qualification group and I am passionate about bringing equality, diversity and inclusion into the field of clinical psychology, in order to increase representation from BAME backgrounds, but also with those from minority groups.
This work is important for me as I come from an Asian and Christian background, and I find that I haven’t encountered anyone who is just like me, and this could be due to a multitude of reasons but as someone who has experienced discrimination in the past, it can be easy for people to give up pursuing a career in psychology.
With that said, I want to fight for equality not just for me, but for my peers and colleagues and future generations to come. I also want to use this group to encourage others to use their voice to share their stories and inspire others to do the same.
Dr Natasha Patel
I am a Senior clinical Psychologist and Team lead for the Getting Help & Mental Health Support Team (MHST) within Berkshire CAMHS. The role involves working closely with schools to encourage early access to mental health support, as well as to inspire a whole-school approach to promoting mental wellbeing.
More broadly the role also involves working closely with local commissioners and NHS England to support strategic development of mental health provisions locally.
I have over 11 years’ experience of working in the field of mental health within the NHS in varied settings. I completed my Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Oxford, and since qualifying I have worked in numerous CAMHS settings including specialist services for Looked After and Adopted Children, and have been involved in the setup of new services such as the MHST.
I am passionate about early intervention and prevention of mental health difficulties and working with marginalised and underrepresented groups. I have published a number of articles including understanding barriers for BAME populations in accessing mental health services. My research interests lie in exploring diversity, culture and mental health.
Ruby Ramsden, DCP Pre-qualification Group - Professional Standards Unit Representative
I am an Assistant Psychologist currently working with children and young people. I am passionate about social justice and previously worked in a dual diagnosis service, supporting men who had come through the criminal justice system. I am also interested in the work experiences of aspiring Psychologists.
I have conducted research exploring the experiences of Assistant Psychologists and Honorary Assistant Psychologists, in the hope of improving their experiences in the future.
I want to work with the EDI and Anti-Racism Task and Finish Group as the future of clinical psychology needs to be more accessible, welcoming and supportive of people from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds, across all levels of the career pathway. It is important to me that the work to be done does not just fall on those who are already impacted and hurt by marginalisation and racism.
As an aspiring psychologist, working in the EDI and Anti-Racism Taskforce helps me channel my experiences of working in mental health services and discuss changes that can be put in place to support staff and people using services.
Having written an article on the perspective on clinical training from a minority perspective, I am particularly keen to contribute to change in the profession that supports individuals throughout their pre-qualified journey in clinical psychology.
I am additionally the BPS DCP Pre-Qualification Group Co-Publicity Officer and also attend the Clearing House meetings as a pre-qual representative.
My name is Denise Coles and I been a lecturer for 7 years, currently in Health and Social Care. I look to embed antiracism, equality and diversity in all my work and in shaping students’ practice. I am deeply concerned about racism, and health and economic inequalities in Britain impacting the BAME community.
I also wish to see antiracism embedded in the DCP and meaningful empowerment and representation of BAME members in the organisation, which is very much welcomed.
I am an assistant psychologist working in a low secure hospital for adults with intellectual disabilities and I am the Forensic Faculty Representative for the DCP Pre-Qualification Group.
As an aspiring clinical psychologist from a marginalised background, I have sometimes struggled to see where I fit in, in the field.
Hence, I am keen to be involved in a task force aiming to diversity the psychological workforce so that it is representative of the communities we work with.
It is important to me that both pre-qualified and qualified psychologists from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds feel valued and welcome in the profession.