BACP was commissioned by NHS England and the Department for Health to undertake a survey of members to gauge their awareness and understanding of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), examples of best therapeutic practice when working with survivors of FGM and training needs.

This report summarises the findings from an online survey completed by 2,073 BACP members. 

Key findings

Many counsellors and psychotherapists are lacking confidence in their awareness and understanding of FGM, including their safeguarding responsibilities. Only around 10% of respondents had knowingly worked with survivors of FGM. 

Helpful factors when working with survivors of FGM included having cultural respect, knowledge and understanding, being non-judgmental and accepting and listening to the client. The most unhelpful was having a general lack, or assumption, of awareness or understanding.

Less than a quarter of respondents had undertaken any training with regards to FGM, although the vast majority expressed a desire to do so.