We joined educational institutions, trainers and programme leaders to discuss diversity and inclusion needs within counselling and psychotherapy training.

More than 100 people attended the virtual event held by the Diversity and Inclusion Coalition, which represents professional bodies and organisations wanting to improve the diversity in the counselling professions.

It brought together a panel of experts , including Dwight Turner, Faisal Mahmood, Anthea Benjamin, Sharon McLean, Eugene Ellis, Myira Khan and Joan Sadler.

And it featured group discussions addressing common themes, such as challenges and barriers experienced in counselling and psychotherapy training by diverse communities.

The main focus of discussion was on race and ethnicity.

The coalition will now pool together feedback from the discussions and plan its next steps.

It aims to help to inform future diversity and inclusion standards and competences within training, the industry and professional practice.

We were represented at the event by Suky Kaur, our Head of Stakeholder Relations, who is leading on our EDI strategy, and Caroline Jesper, our Head of Professional Standards.

Suky said: “This was a really productive and valuable discussion. It brought together a range of voices sharing experiences and views on how diversity can be better embedded into counselling and psychotherapy training.

“Addressing barriers to training for diverse communities is an important part of our developing EDI strategy and we’ll continue to work alongside with the coalition to move the points discussed from talking to actions.

“This is a collaborative effort across the industry and everyone involved in this event and coalition is determined this leads to real and positive change in counselling and psychotherapy training.”

Our EDI strategy is in the early stages of development and we’re working together with our members, staff, board of trustees and stakeholders to respond to challenges around equality, diversity and inclusion in the professions.  We’ve recently recruitment members to join our Task and Finish group as part of this.