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.
International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women - 25 November 2021Show content
Internation Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
Senate Campaign Proposal 2022Show content
Climate change & the Psychotherapy Section’s 2022 Senate Campaign proposal
The Psychotherapy Section proposes ‘Climate change’ as the priority policy issue for 2022 – climate change is the most pressing issue of our era and impacts on all other issues. The Paris Agreement (UN: United Nations Climate Change, 2015) aims to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels. A key part of the Paris Agreement is the need for climate change education, training, public awareness, public participation and public access to information (UN, 2015, Article 12). The UK government has pledged to cut emissions to net zero by 2050 and to keep temperature rises below 1.5°C. The government spokesperson for the UN climate conference COP26 in Glasgow 2021 acknowledges, the “science is clear… we have to be changing our carbon emissions right now so that we can stop the temperature increase by 2030” (Courea, 2021). The current trend may reach a catastrophic 3°C by the end of the century (Shuckburgh, 2021). The highly credible UN weather service advises the world is now likely to hit the watershed 1.5°C rise within the next five years (UN, 2021). The climate emergency is now: the time to act is now, while there is still time to avert a climate breakdown and social collapse of our own making.
Our Campaign Vision
The vision for our campaign is to create an inter-Divisional, Section and Special Group action plan for the BPS to influence public policy and discourse, on the critical issue of climate change and the role of psychology in creating real action and meaningful change.
How we can use evidence to create change
Our campaign will draw on the evidence and expertise within the Climate and Environmental Crisis Steering Group, and seek to identify existing evidence from the broader psychological professions on the impact of climate change on individuals and communities.
Climate change is a complex issue and the policy focus would need to be multi-dimensional.
At the macro level, we would focus on global policies on climate change and embed psychologically-informed evidence into high level decision making. This would require the BPS to develop an international coalition of like-minded organisations and institutions.
At the meso level, a policy focusing on climate change would target shifting national and regional organisations to be more open and transparent, and accelerate their action on the climate emergency, and sustainability policies and practices.
At the micro level, the campaign would focus on guidance and advice to support individuals to take climate action, and to manage the negative impacts climate change and eco-anxiety have on their health and wellbeing.
The micro level would feedback to impact the meso level and macro level.
What we will do
Working across the psychological and psychotherapy professions, within and beyond the BPS, and utilising the existing structure of the CEC Steering Group and the Division of Counselling Psychology’s (2021) Environmental and Climate Crisis statement, the campaign will engage with the BPS membership to;
Lobby the UK and other governments to accelerate their climate change agenda (macro)
Identify opportunities for BPS members to act as advisors on other organisations committees and / or boards to embed psychologically-informed evidence on climate change into their organisation’s sustainability agenda (meso)
Share the CEC Steering Group’s evidence through a series of activities and events including forums, webinars and conferences
Embed climate change into future BPS strategic plans (micro)
Who can help?
We can identify a coalition of international psychology organisations to amplify the global message of ‘acceleration of action’ on climate change based on psychologically informed evidence.
We can invite BPS members to become more active advocates and provide tools and resources for them to take action in the own organisations, institutions and communities.
We can work with our existing network of partner organisations to encourage and support their sustainability and climate change agendas.
Who can help? Us and you!
Courea, E. (2021). Allegra Stratton: Net-zero date too far away. The Times. London, UK. (Online). Available at: www.thetimes.co.uk/article/allegra-stratto n-net-zero-date-too-far-away-3wv5fn8bv. (Accessed 29 October 2021).
Division of Counselling Psychology. (2021). Environmental and Climate Crisis Workstream Statement in support of COP26. Available at: https://www.bps.org.uk/member-microsites/division-counselling-psychology/resources. (Accessed 29 October 2021).
Shuckburgh, E. (2021). Scientific view: the scale and the urgency (part 1). Protect our Winters UK. Available at: https://protectourwinters.uk/blog/ scientific-view-the-scale-and-urgency/. (Accessed 29 October 2021).
United Nations Climate Change. (2015). The Paris agreement. Available at: https://unfccc.int/-and-meetings/the-paris-agreement/ the-paris-agreement. (Accessed 29 October 2021).
United Nations. (2021). World now likely to hit watershed 1.5 °C rise in next five years. UN News Global perspective Human stories. Available at: https://news. un.org/en/story/ 2021/05/1092842. (Accessed 29 October 2021).
Psychotherapy Section AGM 2021Show content
The Psychotherapy Section AGM 2021 will be held on Friday 22 October 2021 at 3.10pm via Zoom:
You must be signed-in to access the following material
If you have any queries regarding the AGM, nominations or resolutions, please email Member Network Services
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