In this issue

Here and now

News feature: Why we need to talk about race (free article)
Catherine Jackson asks what is stopping us

The month – books


The big issues

Putting race on the agenda
Interview with BACP President David Weaver.

The danger years
Natalie Bailey works with young people at the sharp edge of inner-city violence.

Come on, people, hear me!
Wayne Mertins-Brown asks, where are the black, male counsellors?

Understanding African beingness and becoming
Erica Mapule McInnis explains African-centred therapy.

You called and we came (free article)
Helen George explores the resonances in the recent Windrush immigration fiasco.

Addressing racism in therapeutic practice
Isha McKenzie-Mavinga explores what prevents racism being discussed in therapy.


Turning point
Dwight Turner draws wisdom from experience.

Research matters
Working with cultural difference

Should I warn clients about my change of appearance?

Analyse me
Dawn Estefan answers our questionnaire.

Your association

From the Chair and President

Looking after our students' mental health

Digital technology survey

Cover of Therapy Today October 2018

A pdf of this issue is available from the Therapy Today archive.

Editor’s note

Welcome to what we believe is the first-ever black issue of Therapy Today. The idea for this issue came from BACP member Helen George. She contacted the Board of Governors, who were delighted to run with it. We chose this month because it is also Black History Month – an important annual event for the UK black community. This is also why we focus here specifically on black African and African-Caribbean therapy.

‘We’ are BACP President David Weaver, BACP trustees Myira Khan and Natalie Bailey, Helen George, and TT editor Catherine Jackson.

Putting together this issue has been an exciting adventure into new places and new networks. Black counsellors and psychotherapists have gladly shared their thinking and their work. There are articles on counselling young people in inner-city areas where knife crime and violence have become so normalised that many barely think to mention it; on the Windrush generation, exploring how easily this resilient, proud group of (now) elders can slip through the safety net of social justice; on African-centred therapies, which draw on ancestral, spiritual and community traditions that have great resonance for many black people living here in the UK today; and on naming racism in our counselling rooms and training institutions, where it is still too often an unspoken, retraumatising presence, a source of pain and rage for the client, and a source of anxiety and even fear for therapists.

This issue is not a one-off; nor do we see it as in any way a ‘best of’ collection of black thinking in counselling and psychotherapy today. It is a launch pad that will, we hope, inspire more writing by therapists of all ethnicities about issues of race, diversity and culture. We also hope it will be a catalyst for further discussion within BACP about how the Association can help support all its members to feel confident and equipped to work with race and diversity. As a profession, we need to tackle what is widely regarded as a failure in our education and training to adequately address race. We need to ensure that the profession is truly representative of all ethnicities and that all practitioners are better equipped in terms of cultural competence and confidence.

We sincerely hope you enjoy this issue.

Natalie Bailey, Helen George, Myira Khan, Catherine Jackson and David Weaver