The Psychotherapy Section is the main forum for psychologists and others who share an interest in psychotherapeutic psychology.
On this page you'll find news, updates, and blog articles specifically relevant to the work and interests of the Psychotherapy Section.
For news and articles relevant to the wider Society please visit the main BPS news page.
Member Network Review
Member Network Review Survey Now openShow content
The BPS is currently running a survey of all members to get your views on our current member network structure, and how it might better serve your needs following the current member network review.
We are interested in hearing from you whichever network you are a part of - or if you aren't currently a member of any. We want to know what is working, what isn't and what changes we can make to enhance your membership.
The survey is open until 8 April, and will only take a few minutes to complete. Have your say and help us to continue building a psychological community which delivers for you.
Psychotherapy Section newsletter - July 2020
Black Lives Matter - Statement from the Black and Asian Counselling Psychologists’ GroupShow content
Black lives have always mattered. In the last few weeks, it seems the world is experiencing a 'racial awakening', and only just catching up to the experiences and narratives Black individuals have been holding, long before another senseless death of an unarmed Black man.
We at the BACPG would like to reaffirm our position on our opposition to all forms of racism following the reported deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade and countless other people in the United States and the UK, including Belly Mujinga, Sarah Reed, Sheku Bayoh, Joy Gardner, Stephen Lawrence, Mark Duggan. In addition, we do not forget the deaths across the world that go unreported.
We also see the loss of so many lives in the healthcare sector and the ways in which COVID-19 has predominantly highlighted the ongoing structural, systemic and institutional racism that all people from ethnic minorities face at a disproportionate rate due to the nature of their roles and the manner in which they are exposed to COVID-19.
We are not conflating these separate incidences but highlight them together to demonstrate how racism permeates and impacts Black lives.
We would like to highlight the ongoing and enduring strain and emotional anguish that is felt by Black communities and how it aids in the causes of mental health issues and difficulties.
We stand in solidarity with all protesters in the US and the UK who have decidedly taken to the streets in protest during a pandemic, because in their words “No virus can harm us more than we are already being harmed,” and we would like to register the pain in that statement of continuous existential threat.
During this time, we call for our Universities and training programs to specifically highlight the issues faced by minority ethnic communities in their training, so that we have an ongoing and ever-growing population of trainees and graduates who are aware and alert to the detrimental effects of these environmental oppressions when they appear in therapeutic spaces, and more importantly, how these issues can be tackled effectively.
We also call for our Universities and training programmes to look specifically at the ways in which their lecturers and educators are attuned to these issues, how they support their ethnic minority members of staff and trainees to deliver appropriate training and specifically dedicate continuous modules to non-western perspectives on mental health and psychotherapy.
We require an ongoing commitment to understanding our demographic breakdowns from applicant to graduate level across all training programmes in order to identify areas for development and to comprehensively commit to positive change so that more Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic trainees have access to qualification as Practitioner Psychologists and that they are supported throughout their training.
We also call for the BPS to review its own position with regards to race and racism following high profile incidents that took place at the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020 within the BPS, and how it plans to concretely address the learning outcomes of the investigations conducted at a structural level.
Of course, the responsibility is not just within our training organisations and the BPS although they have a huge part to play and we acknowledge the statement by Dr. David Murphy. It also falls on seasoned practitioners in the way that they work with clients knowingly and unknowingly. Everyone needs to examine their actions and bias they hold in this arena. It is not the responsibility of the ethnic minority communities to effect shifts in the behaviours of many who perpetuate racial and cultural discrimination.
We reiterate our commitment to standing against racism and its damaging effects. This falls to all of us. Enough is enough.
Is Dentistry racist?Show content
Comment from Tara Taheri, Psychotherapy Section Committee Member
The cruelty evident in the killing of George Floyd at the end May has not only stirred up powerful emotions of anxiety, rage, pain and sadness, it has also resulted in the resurfacing of suppressed painful memories. Over the last few weeks, communities across the world have come together to fight back against racism and thousands have taken to the streets to push for justice as part of the Black Lives Matter Movement, which is gathering global attention and momentum.
It is within this context that I have been thinking about both my personal and professional experiences of discrimination. For me, it has led me to question whether racism is felt in dentistry?
Dentistry is a compassionate profession in which racism, inequality and discrimination should have no place. However, the reality is that dentistry, like other healthcare professions, has struggled with the historical legacy of being conceptualised as a ‘ White profession’ (Adams, 1998).
Discrimination does exist in the profession, especially for those from a black British background; for both black patients and black dental professionals.
For black dental professionals there is a clear difference in the opportunities available. For example, for early-career dentists seeking to work in an area with predominantly non-black patients they will undoubtedly have to confront thoughts such as “How will this young black guy fit into my practice, where all the patients are 40 to 60 years-old white people?"
Dentistry isn’t any different to any other part of society and is a reflection of broader societal practices. As such, whether we like it or not, and as difficult as it may be to accept, prejudice and racial bias is omnipresent in dentistry: NO single profession is exempt.
A final point: whilst important conversations about race have opened up and work is underway within the BPS to better understand and address issues of equality, diversity and inclusion in the psychology field, there is no doubt that more needs to be done. Having read this what are your thoughts? How does race play into psychotherapy and what needs to change within the profession?
Race and Racial Trauma – resourcesShow content
Online courses/webinars on racial trauma & privilege systems
- Racialised trauma - a 5-part e-course by Resmaa Menakem, LCSW
- Effects of racism on mental health - a webinar on the negative impact of racism on mental health symptoms for people of colour.
- Racial injustice and trauma: how therapists can respond - two panel discussions.
- How studying privilege systems can strengthen compassion - Peggy McIntosh, a TEDx talk on issues of privilege through the lens of race, gender, and class.
Articles on Black clients' therapy experiences
- Why I'll be choosing my next therapist by race (Glamour)
- Why I need a woman of colour therapist (Teen Vogue)
- Why I left my white therapist (Vice)
- Speaking of psychology: understanding your racial biases (Audrey Hamilton, with John Dovidio, PhD)
- How to be antiracist (Brene Brown, with Ibram X. Kendi)
- Let’s talk about whiteness (Krista Tippett, with Eula Biss)
- Seeing white (John Biewen, with regular guest Chenjerai Kumanyika, PhD)
- Healing racial trauma - Episode 31 (Christiana Awosan, Christine Beliard and Erica Wilkins)
Articles on issues of race in psychology
- Division of Counselling Psychology – Race, culture and diversity: a collection of articles.
- Whiteness matters: exploring white privilege, colour blindness and racism in Psychotherapy (Margaret Clausen, PsyD)
- Cultural competence (NASW)
- Left out (APA)
Books on race, mental health and psychology
- Using race and culture in counselling and psychotherapy: theory and process by Janet E Helms, PhD
- A race is a nice thing to have: a guide to being a white person or understanding the white persons in your life by Janet E Helms, PhD
- My grandmother’s hands: radicalized trauma and the pathway to mending our hearts and bodies by Resmaa Menakem
- White fragility: why it's so hard for white people to talk about racism by Robin DiAngelo, PhD
- Black therapists rock
- Eliminating race-based disparities in mental health, by Monnica T. Williams
Introducing our new committee memberShow content
Jamie Giles is a second year MA student studying Integrative Psychotherapy & Counselling at Regent’s University.
He is an active member of the Psychotherapy & Counselling Union as well as contributor to the Society for Existential Analysis.
He is passionate about diversifying both practitioner and client demographics and the normalisation of discussion around mental health and its treatment.
He sits on the board of the London Council for England Athletics with a mental health purview and works closely with the addict community within HMP Wormwood Scrubs.
Online launch of The International Handbook of Black Community Mental Health
7 July 2020: - 19:00 - 21:00
This launch event is hosted by Michael Hamilton of The Ubele Initiative and Helen George of BME Voices Talk Mental Health. The publication of The International Handbook of Black Community Mental Health heralds that it is time for change and action, by bringing together the global work of researchers and practitioners including those from the UK, Europe and US. The Handbook illuminates the personal, lived experiences of everyday racism, micro-aggressions, racial battle fatigue, and implicit provider bias encountered by people of colour within the mental health, school and University systems beyond the statistics.
Psychotherapy Section Annual Conference
17 October 2020: 10:00 - 15:30
The title of this half-day online conference is 'The Brave New World of Psychotherapy'.
We have an exciting keynote speaker: Martin Pollecoff, Chair of UKCP, will present on the topic of the overarching (macro) socio-political changes to the general heath care landscape e.g. the way the NHS is moving online, the world of therapy going virtual/digital etc, and how we see this move bearing down on the therapy world.
Put the date in the diary - further details to follow!
Re-energising your psychology career
16 July 2020: 14:00 - 16:00
This professional development interactive webinar aims to provide opportunity for mid-career professional psychologists to consider how they can effectively manage and develop their career plans, through application of key learning from career management theory.
Transformation through adversity – Harnessing the potential positive effects of difficult situations
20 July – 16:00 - 17:00
This webinar workshop organised by the Transpersonal Psychology Section will explore how can harness these positive effects, through contemplation, meditation and exercises.
An Introduction to Schema Therapy
25 July 2020: 10:00 - 12:00. This webinar is an introduction to Schema Therapy. It will cover working with the Schema Model, using the 18 Early Maladaptive Schemas. It will also focus on the Schema Mode Model that is used for more complex clinical presentations.
For DCP members only
DCP Virtual Workplace Wellbeing Group Meeting
9 July: 16:00 - 17:00 or 14 July - 12:30 - 13:30
As part of our members’ wellbeing work stream we are offering online Virtual Workplace Wellbeing Group Meetings to offer a space for support, connection, reflection and learning. These regular group meetings are not Therapy Groups and will run for an hour. They will be hosted and facilitated by two members of the DCP Executive Group. People can join one meeting or more but there will be an expectation to stay for the whole duration of the meeting to minimize disruption.
What Matters Most to Us: Conversations about building compassionate communities together
10 July 2020: 14:00 – 15:30
This virtual event will allow our Experts by Experience (EBE) colleagues to connect with us the DCP and begin talking about building compassionate communities. This will then be taken forward in the EBE meeting planned for December 2020.
Get involvedShow content