My name is Hilary, I’m a BACP registered counsellor currently in the process of undertaking research into Ableism* in Therapy as part of my final year dissertation. The consideration of how ableism affects the therapeutic relationship is rarely examined in either therapeutic training or within research about therapy.

There is a scarcity of research in this area and in particular a lack of research around the lived experience of people who experience ableism within therapy.

The research aims to:

  1. To understand the therapeutic experiences of people who experience ableism.
  2. To understand how the therapeutic relationship is affected by the experience of ableism within therapy.
  3. To identify good practice and shortfalls in the therapeutic experiences of people who experience ableism.

I would like to invite you to take part in this research if you identify as someone who has experienced ableism in psychological therapy. You do not need to identify as disabled to take part as it is recognised that there are different perspectives around disability and human variation.

The research will take the form of a recorded interview with myself for a period of 1 - 1.5 hours, typically a phone interview or a video interview if preferred. I have received ethical approval for this research from Liverpool John Moors University.

As someone who has experienced Ableism and microaggressions I am aware that these can be difficult topics to discuss. Please be assured that you will be treated with respect and your experiences are valued as important voices in this research.

If you are interested in taking part in this study, please email me at and I will send you further information including a full participants information sheet and consent form.

Thank you


*Ableism, definitions include:
“Ableism is the unique form of discrimination experienced by people with disabilities based on their disabilities. Its expression favors people without disabilities and maintains that disability in and of itself is a negative concept, state, and experience”
(Keller, R.M. and C. Galgay (2010), Microaggressive Experiences of People with Disabilities, In Sue, D. W. (2010) Microaggressions and Marginality: Manifestation, Dynamics, and Impact, Hoboken, NJ:Wiley, pp.241-267

“Ableism represents a form of outsider privilege, one that allows nondisabled people to feel, think, and act in ways that promote their presumed superiority over insiders, that is, people with disabilities.”
(Dunn, D.S. (2019) Outsider Privileges can lead to insider disadvantages: some psychosocial aspects of ableism, Journal of Social Issues, Vol.75 (3), pp. 665-682)