Examining Whiteness: White identity and Racism Sat 15th Dec 2018

Examining Whiteness: White identity and Racism

   Saturday 15th December 2018     11am – 2pm

Marchmont Community Centre, 62 Marchmont Street, London WC1 1AB

http://www.kcbna.org.uk/contact/

FREE    – donations on the day much appreciated.

Please email  beatrice@bmillar.com to book your place.

‘Whiteness, as a set of normative cultural practices, is visible most clearly to those it definitely excludes and those to whom it does violence. Those who are housed securely within its borders usually do not examine it.’ (Ruth Frankenberg,1993)

For too long Black, African and Asian therapists and trainees have been experiencing racism and exclusion within the therapy profession. Change in the culture of therapy and training is slow and there are still trainees who are discriminated against: unheard, invisible, hurt, excluded. There has recently been an issue of Therapy Today dedicated to Black Matters which is very welcome, and we feel a need to keep up the work to continue to confront racism in the profession and in the world.

 

As part of addressing this oppression within the therapy professions, Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility (www.pcsr.org.uk) have organised a series of meetings for therapists who identify as White to explore Whiteness and White aspects of themselves within the context of their own identity and skin. Being part of group conversations about racism, organised by BAATN (Black, African and Asian Therapists’ Network) we have seen how much work is being done by people of colour. The Examining Whiteness meetings were initially conceived by White therapists attempting to own responsibility, expand their awareness, and strengthen their potential to become allies.

The meetings are a space to explore and process what it means to be White, and working as a White therapist in a racist society, or to be read or misread as a person of mixed heritage and have identities ascribed. We invite you to come and share your experiences and deepen your understanding of the many complex aspects of White identity in a supportive environment.

These Whiteness meetings offer an opportunity to encourage and stimulate personal and collective work on White identity, power, privilege and entitlement and to address the injustices and inequalities of racism.

Useful resources to check out online:

‘Witnessing the wound’ (20 min video)          https://vimeo.com/262194819

‘How I learned to stop worrying and love discussing Race’  (10 min TED talk)         https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=MbdxeFcQtaU

Tim Wise, US anti-racism activist, Helm’s White racial identity development model and Peggy McIntosh on White privilege.

Recent relevant books:

Being White in the helping professions                                 Judy Ryde            2009

Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race     Reni Eddo Lodge      2017

Natives: race and class in the ruins of empire                     Akala       2018

White Fragility: why it’s so hard for white people to talk about racism  Robin DiAngelo 2018

Being White in the helping professions                                 Judy Ryde            2009

 

 

PCSR’s 10th Psychotherapy and Politics Conference 11th May 2019

Saturday 11th May 2019       9.30 – 5.00

NCVO,  Kings Cross,  London

https://www.ncvo.org.uk/about-us/venue-hire/find-us

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dissent-and-collusion-therapy-in-an-age-of-austerity-tickets-51244723347

Queries:   beatrice@bmillar.com

Dissent and Collusion: therapy in an age of austerity

Although our professions are founded on a belief that people will find their own best ways forward in a trusting relationship, therapy itself is immersed in the dominant beliefs and attitudes of the cultures within which it  functions.

This conference will explore what these beliefs and attitudes may be and offer counter-narratives in an environment of curiosity and openness. In an era of increasing rigidity and conformity this is an opportunity to scrutinise, critique and develop what we offer clients, and why. 

Speakers   Jocelyn Chaplin, Dwight Turner, Seb Randall                Plus discussion groups, workshops and plenary.

Therapists and Equality      Jocelyn Chaplin

Therapists, like everybody else, are living in a world driven insane by the imbalances of late Capitalism. We are ruled by the prevailing paradigm of ruthless competition in which one person or group must win while another loses, one is superior while another is inferior. People are primarily valued as consumers rather than as human beings. The idea of endless economic growth at any cost, targets for everything and life as a series of ladders, pushes us ever upwards to some imagined rich heaven, with no counterbalancing.

We are faced with the disastrous results every day in our professional as well as personal lives. Depression is on the increase as some people find that more material wealth doesn’t make them happy. For others social and economic ‘failure’ is experienced as their personal fault.

Many of us feel frustrated by the limitations of the work we do, whether it’s private or public. All too often we are simply holding people in desperate situations largely created by the external structures of society. Or we are helping others through ‘quick fixes’ to return to ‘normality’ and be good consumers and workers.

Instead, we need to go to the very root of the paradigm/model that underlies it all and replace it with an alternative one. This means moving from hierarchy, competition and even aspiration to equality, co-operation and satisfaction. We all have both paradigms deeply embedded in our conscious and unconscious minds. Noticing the many complex, often subtle, hierarchies within and outside us, without shaming or blaming ourselves or others, is a start. Then we can promote the equality model as the heart of what we do. It can be in relationships with clients/people, as well as in our more overtly political activism outside.

Jocelyn Chaplin is a Feminist, Anarchist, Integrative Psychotherapist in Private Practice. She co-founded The Serpent Institute with John Rowan in 1989 to train therapists in both Humanistic and Psychodynamic approaches within a framework of Natural Spirituality. Her books include ‘Feminist Counselling in Action’, ‘Love in an Age of Uncertainty’ and ‘Deep Equality’.       www.serpentinstitute.com

Untouchable: Privilege, Supremacy and Shame in Counselling and Psychotherapy         Dwight Turner

Since its inception, the major thinkers within the world of Counselling and Psychotherapy have regularly emerged from positions of privilege.   More often than not, these great names, be they Freud, Jung, or Adler, were middle or upper class, white, heterosexual men. This also often meant that at varying times during its history our profession has itself medicalised and marginalised the other, be they women, gender minorities or of a different culture. This has led to a collective struggle for our differences to be seen and respected, actions which mimic society as a whole.

So, whilst the worlds of feminism, cultural and whiteness studies, and LGBTQ rights, to name a few, have often considered the positioning of privilege against the other, there has been little engagement within the counselling and psychotherapy mainstream as to what privilege actually is, how it creates and therefore oppresses the other, and how the difficult and often painful interaction of being othered for our clients appears within the consulting room.

Through the lenses of my own research and practice, this presentation considers how privilege has come into being, together with its deeper unconscious roots, before offering an exploration of how privilege and supremacy unconsciously form and interact within counselling and psychotherapy. This presentation then looks at how we can better recognise the inner oppressor within each of us, before offering a plea for counselling organisations to consider privilege studies as an integral aspect of their trainings, recognising that the decolonization and the decentralisation of the privileged then becomes a route towards greater engagement with the other both for ourselves as trainees and therefore for our future potential clients.

Senior Lecturer, University of Brighton

Psychotherapist and Supervisor in Private Practice

Lecturer at the Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy Education (CCPE) in London

www.dwightturnercounselling.co.uk

Pseudoscience and Psychotherapy – oppression by numbers                                Dr Seb Randall

The privileging of evidence-based interventions for the rationing of therapy and justification of novel ‘branded’ methods is a form of oppression meted out to increasing numbers of therapists and their clients under the guise of empirical science.

Conjuring an illusion of certainty through an emphasis on measurement at the expense of meaning by attempting to represent human experience numerically contradicts genuine scientific scholarship. The commodification of therapy through the ‘payment by results’ scheme within IAPT is an example of this naïve doctrine in practice. Further concerns are the range of psychometric ‘tools’ used to assess subjective states of mind by following the epistemological contours of outdated psychologistic scientisms.

In this presentation I will argue that once these philosophically incoherent protocols are accepted and established they become ends in themselves – numerical methodologies predominate, and any notion of the client as humanly embedded within their social circumstances fades. Distressed people’s experiences are reduced to numbers, and the therapist-client relationship is reduced to ‘criterion adherence’. Under these oppressive, dehumanising and non-negotiable training and working conditions, it is unsurprising that there are high levels of therapist burnout in some therapy sectors.

This research-based presentation will illustrate the ways in which pseudoscience can tear the heart out of therapy – and offer some proposals for resistance.

Dr Seb Randall, heterodox psychotherapist, lecturer, sociologist

PCSR Seminar and Annual General Meeting Sat 17th November 2018

Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility

            Annual Gathering and Annual General Meeting

                        Saturday 17th November 2018

9.30   Refreshments

10am – 4pm    AG and AGM

At St Pancras Community Centre
67 Plender Street, London NW1 0LG   www.spca.org.uk                          15mins walk from Kings Cross, Euston and Camden Road overground stations
Nearest tube: Mornington Crescent

The day will be in two parts
10 -1pm   Seminar by Arlene Audergon & Jean-Claude Audergon

2 – 4pm       AGM

It’s FREE to everyone.  Non-members welcome too.

Lunch can be eaten on the premises and there are plenty of shops and cafes around.

BUT YOU NEED TO BOOK. THERE IS A MAX OF 50 PLACES FOR THE SEMINAR

Click below to book

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pcsr-seminar-agm-2018-tickets-45891211850

 

10 – 1pm     Arlene Audergon and Jean-Claude Audergon are founders and directors of CFOR    http://www.cfor.info/

‘Our aim and hope is to contribute to conflict resolution, truth and reconciliation, transitional justice and violence prevention.  CFOR refers to the ‘force of community’ that comes through personal and collective awareness of how we each are part, and how we each make a difference.

Our methods are ‘Worldwork’, the application of Arnold Mindell’s Process Oriented Psychology to collective processes and conflict facilitation.’

Arlene and Jean-Claude are also co-founders and lead faculty of Processwork UK    http://www.processworkuk.org/

We are delighted that they are offering a seminar giving an introduction to the work they do – in the UK and Europe, the Balkans, Rwanda, Zimbabwe and South Africa, and to the underlying ideas and practices.  The seminar will include opportunities for experiential work.

1- 2pm    Lunch

2 – 4pm     Annual General Meeting.

All welcome at the AGM. Theres no limit on numbers,  but please register  – click on Eventbrite link above – if you’re coming.

Queries:   adrianscott@counsellingme.co.uk

Info about PCSR:    http://www.pcsr.org.uk

Workshops for PCSR’s Change, Transition, Transformation Conference     

Sat 12th May 2018 in York  10am – 6pm 

More details and to book

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/change-transition-transformation-is-another-world-possible-12th-may-2018-1000-1800-tickets-41205183814

The Go Deep Game: Play for Change!  A game developed to encourage people to make real sustainable community development.     Pat Black and Andy Smith

We are delicious    Turning up the volume on the voice of the silenced body to resource our incredible capacities for change.   Mo Brown and Fae Bee

Playback Theatre    A ritual space where a story of Change, Transition, Transformation can be told and made into theatre.   Leslie Davidoff

Racism in Therapeutic Spaces   How is the awareness and experience of racism changing in the 21st century?  Wayne Mertins -Brown

Change your story   Using storytelling, mindfulness and creative writing to take you on your own ‘Hero’s Journey’     Adam Sargant

Being present: the Transformational, Healing Power of ‘I am’   Access to the emotional body through gesture and sound.    Graham Kennish

The Free Psychotherapy Network    A discussion about therapy for and by activists – where are we now in our passion to transform?  Paul Atkinson

The Shape of Change and Transformation   How we hold the notion of change and transformation within ourselves? Create a model of yourself using materials.  Christopher Alderton

Frack Free Ryedale  Local activists talk about the transition from concerned citizen to activist and how they sustain themselves

Temple of Janus:  The spectrum of positions embedded in our collective psyche – living the experience of the interface between politics, society and psychotherapy Mandy Carr and Roshmi Lovatt

Descriptions of workshops

  1. The Go Deep Game: Play for Change! Pat Black and Andy Smith, from Diversity Matters and The Go Deep Project

The Game was developed in 2016 to support young-people to develop personal awareness, facilitation and leadership skills and make real sustainable community transformation. It was created by partner organisations in Spain, Scotland, Netherlands, Italy and Brazil, using a Deep Democracy approach to explore diversity inside ourselves as well as in community. Go Deep is played by a group over 2-4 days, building on successful community development tools and Processwork methods. Individuals and groups discover a freedom about how to deal with the difficulties and edges both within themselves and in other citizens that impact community transformation. The game values all voices, ideas and communication styles. It can involve, theatre, arts, music and more.

New versions are in preparation funded by the European Union and European Commission and its impact is being researched by University of Lisbon. It won a GENE award for innovation in global education in 2017, has run 14 times in different neighbourhoods with 18 more planned internationally. This workshop, run by two of the game’s designers, includes a short video, a chance to play a little and time for questions and discussion.

Andy Smith and Pat Black are Processwork facilitators and UKCP registered Psychotherapists and are co-founders of Diversity Matters, that has been working in Scotland since 2001 to find more inclusive ways to engage marginalised groups in change, particularly in the social care, health systems and community development. They are part of the original design team for Go Deep and are developing new versions to work on diversity and greater inclusivity. Both are registered training supervisors and teach in the Processwork schools in UK and Spain.

  1. We are delicious!    Mo Brown and Fae Bee

Our complex social challenges, conditioning and the old body-mind split thinking, still profoundly undermine the health of our vital animal selves and interfere with our natural psychophysical balance. 1968 offered hope of a beautiful new world, but while there are new freedoms, much suffering still abounds, including within our own healing fields.

Neuroscientific work provides clear evidence – many are burnt out and even perhaps dying from preventable diseases, simply because we cannot switch off from our anxious brains. We urgently need to find values and methods that restore more inner serenity and gently resource our incredible capacities.

Drawing on the diverse pedagogy of East and Western somatic dance-movement education, this session offers the opportunity to turn up the volume on the voice of the silenced body, source of our intuition, evolutionary wisdom, and personal developmental story.   Within a deeply warm and safe structure, each participant will be invited to find more sensitivity to and familiarity with their immediate, moment to moment somatic experience.

Previous participants report an increased sense of pleasure, more openness to connect and mentalise, and more imaginative freedom from mental constraints.  This work can be emotional but participants are carefully supported in their self-care.

The session content    We move from a gradual process of breathing and deepening inner listening, into offering opportunities for movement, sometimes with music, sometimes alone or perhaps with others depending on the individual. The invitation is to then take our experiences into imaginative expression through drawing or making, and finally a coming together to share our experience.

Facililtators: Monkeyspirit Collective is based in the North-West. We use the tools of dance, touch, play and improvisation to help awaken soma. We seek to arouse embodied imagination and stir curiosity and discovery.

Mo Brown is a mover who is passionate about the need for more mindful somatic awareness for healing, recovery and interconnection. She works as a psychoanalytic Intercultural psychotherapist, and as a NHS manager and trainer in staff wellbeing.

Fae Bee is a Chakra dance teacher. She works creatively with adults and children using movement as a form of expression. She also works holistically with young adults who experience emotional and behavioural difficulties. Mo and Fae are current students on the M.A in Dance and somatic wellbeing at UCLAN, Preston

  1. Playback Theatre Leslie Davidoff

I am proposing a 90-minute experiential Playback Theatre workshop. Playback Theatre is not therapy, but it has therapeutic, social, and spiritual dimensions.  It creates a ritual space where any story – however ordinary, extraordinary, hidden or difficult – can be told and immediately made into theatre.   Someone tells a story or moment from their life, chooses actors to play the different roles, then watches as their story is immediately recreated and given artistic shape and coherence.

The workshop involves movement, music, games and exercises leading to the acquisition of Playback Theatre skills.  Games and exercises provide a safe emotional container in which the skills of improvisation – basically, the skills of being present – are tried out, played with, and learnt.   A collective empathy develops, enabling trust.   Participants tell stories to each other.   They learn to listen and to express and reflect back the stories, the feelings, and the meanings they hear.

Playback Theatre creates a sacred/ritual/therapeutic space for people to share experiences, moments, and stories.  They are usually linked to a theme – in this case, the broad and easy-to-evoke theme of the conference, Change, Transition, Transformation.  And we can dramatically embody – show, not tell – a possible future world.

I am a counsellor, supervisor, and trainer of over 20 years’ standing (UKCP).  Previously Senior Lecturer in Counselling at Burnley College, Director of FACILITATE (personal development and counsellor training), and currently in private practice.  I am also trained in Playback Theatre, and Co-Director of Threadbear Playback Theatre (www.threadbeartheatre.com) which has been serving the West Yorkshire community for the last 5 years.

  1.  Racism in  Therapeutic Spaces     Wayne Mertins-Brown

In most therapeutic spaces there is still a glaring lack of awareness and therefore unwillingness to address the racism in the therapy profession. People of colour who want to train as counsellors and psychotherapists face a barrage of obstacles in the form of implicit and sometimes explicit racism in the processes in training.  Many therapists who speak and write about therapy and many of the people who run our professional bodies are unable or unwilling to recognise the pervasive impact of colonialism and slavery, and the ongoing racism that affects the dynamics between people of colour and white people. Theories are rooted in White Western thinking and assumptions, and finding a therapist whom you can trust to work with these dynamics is not easy.

There have been valiant attempts by individuals and groups of people to change this over the past 30 years, but is anything changing?  How do we transition from being a profession that simply reflects the racism in the culture around us, to one that actively challenges and dismantles that racism.

I will be facilitating a discussion where we can share our thoughts, feelings and experiences as people of colour and as white people, about what the situation is now and what we need to do to change it.

Wayne is a Psychotherapy Counsellor and Group-work Facilitator. Now working mostly in private practice, he has spent many years working within charitable organisations, focussed on the mental wellbeing and sexual health of those who identify within the LGBT+ family. In particular, he has developed a speciality in counselling Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME), gay asylum seekers. To date, he has found this work to be incredibly rewarding; the most impactful of his career.

As a practicing Nichiren Buddhist, Wayne is embracing of his spirituality and has recently started a journey to explore this further through studying ancient African philosophies. In doing so, his intention is to develop himself and his practice, by incorporating these ancient principles into his clinical work.

  1. Change your story   Adam Sargant

Change Your Story is a programme developed by Adam Sargant and Sita Brand, bringing together traditional storytelling, mindfulness practice and elements of NLP. Core to the programme is a creative writing exercise in which participants are invited to answer a series of questions identifying core beliefs about themselves and then coming up with metaphorical representations of these beliefs. They then use these metaphors to construct a story patterned on the Hero’s Journey, a story in which they enter the unknown and face a series of personal challenges, before achieving the goal of their quest and returning to the world, both personally transformed and able to transform the world. The programme has been externally evaluated and participants on average showed an overall increase of 7 points on the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS) over the duration of the programme. Participant’s feedback included statements like ● …it has actually improved my life so much and therefore the lives of all I come into contact with. ● It has changed my self- worth…gratitude for how we are all dependent on each other and interconnected. The proposed workshop would include a presentation of the evaluation and take participants through their own Hero’s Journey as a creative writing exercise, along with an overview of some of the other exercises used and a brief introduction to some of the mindfulness practices.

Adam Sargant has a background of over two decades in mental health nursing. He has trained in Family Behavioural Therapy (FBT) and Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) and is a NLP Master Practitioner. He is also a storyteller and has told stories at festivals and hosted the Haworth Storytelling Circle since 2012.

  1. Being present: the Transformational, Healing Power of ‘I am’   Graham Kennish

    I work with a little-known modality, which allows access to the emotional body through gesture and sound. Patterns of fear, anger and anxiety can be accessed safely through gesture. New gestures can be created which counteract them in the way that the immune system matches the protein structure of a disease organism.

    We can emotionally immunise ourselves against ‘reptilian instincts’ by discovering the gestures that exactly match our own emotional patterns. The effects are immediate – we actually see our own patterns, experience them and work creatively to match them, watching them dissolve. We find we can respond and no longer just react. We become more present as ‘Captains of our ship’.

    The path is a self-directed one. It can be self-care for the carer and self-help for the sufferer. Above all it is experiential proof that we are an “I am” living in a mammal body. I am not my body. This becomes a direct experience, not a philosophy or a religious belief but an experience of Empathy which deepens through this universal language of gesture.

    I think it has the potential to unite human beings across cultural and social divides.

    No-one (myself as practitioner included) does anything to anyone else in a workshop. Everyone can follow their own process in emotional freedom, with no pressure, interpretation or analysis. It is entirely self-activated, with simple suggestions that one may choose to follow or not. It explains itself wordlessly, beyond language.

    Graham Kennish is a BACP Accredited psychotherapist, working with stress and anxiety issues, mainly among teachers and parents of schools, which he visits as a trainer of Steiner teachers in science in the UK, now also in Taiwan and Hong Kong. In all three countries, he gives talks on science and on Steiner education as well as conducting workshops and personal sessions in a little-known modality called Psychophonetics. This uses gesture to access emotional issues in one-off sessions, in which a client can, beyond language, create a gesture pattern to take away and practice, until a new habit of emotional response displaces the old reaction. Graham is a grandfather and lives in Gloucester with his partner Jane. He is also a Driving Instructor!

  2. The Free Psychotherapy Network Paul Atkinson

The Free Psychotherapy Network was set up by activists, and activists are one of its main user groups. Is it a transformative experience? Does it change anything to work for free as a public political act? Apart from the Occupy moment, nothing for me has had the transformational energy of the post-68 decade –  but that was my twenties and it too was a moment. FPN has definitely played a part in transforming my practice as a therapist, and it has helped me integrate personal and political life in ways I would not have been able to imagine a decade ago. I’d say another world is not only possible, it’s in front of our noses. I suspect this may not be an experience unique to me (though I’m sure it helps if you’ve paid off your mortgage). If we look back a decade I wonder how many of us feel both a terrible penetration of futility and powerlessness and, alongside it, a growing sense of political empowerment and the threshold of big change. I’d like to talk about my experience of FPN and working with mental health activists and others over the last few years (hopefully with another FPN person or two) with the aim of encouraging a workshop group to share their own experience of the last decade and where they feel they are now in their passion to transform.

Paul Atkinson is an optimist, a father, husband and grandfather, a psychotherapist, a political activist and the rest – roughly in that order of priority, except “the rest” actually comes first.

  1. The Shape of Change and Transformation   Christopher Alderton

I set out to creatively explore how we hold the notion of change and transformation within ourselves as therapists/activists, exploring the impact this has on our clients and society. I believe that in order for change and transformation to take place we first need to look inwards to see: where we have come from, where we are presently and how we view our futures.

This will be an immersive exploration into our inner-world. I invite participants to hold the idea of how they are in the present moment in mind as they create a model of themselves using materials. Forming a group synthesis to reflect and discuss their change/transformation. How this impacts clinical work and whether or not this moves us toward more equality and freedom.

I ask what is the impact on our clients and the wider field, if we as therapists are unable to hold that we are moving towards a fairer world as a fully functioning person. Also, we consider how 21st century living impacts the rate of change. Considering how technology is shaping how we view change in society; whether or not change is dependent on technology or physical relationships.

About Me: I work as a counsellor for RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art) and NAZ, a charity that specialises in supporting people from ethnic minority backgrounds. I’ve also worked across several Counselling Centres in London. I’m in my final year of training in Humanistic Counselling at Metanoia Institute.

I’m particularly interested in using a creative approach to express our ‘inner-world’ through materials and objects. I also focus on supporting people with their sexual health, sexuality and healing from the effects of sexual trauma. As a survivor of sexual abuse I’m a keen advocate of rising awareness while supporting other survivors.

  1. Frack Free Ryedale   Local activists talk about the transition from concerned citizen to activist and how they sustain themselves in the activism.
  2.  Temple of Janus: a creative exploration  Mandy Carr and Roshmi Lovatt

Has political life become polarised in the twenty first century with Brexit and proposed walls between peoples? Have we further deepened the sense of us and them, of the powerless and the powerful, of the articulate and the voiceless? If politics is about the power of the collective and psychotherapy about personal empowerment, how does the political respect the individual and how do individuals respect the political collective?

This workshop sets out to creatively explore a spectrum of positions, beliefs and ideas which are deeply embedded in our collective psyche. From oppressor to oppressed, activist to passive-ist, stuckness to transformation, how do we individually and collectively hold different aspects within this spectrum, and how do we flow between them, within ourselves and in relation to others? These notions will be explored playfully, as the group are encouraged to creatively devise their own spectrum through movement, artwork and drama, bringing into focus the lived experience of the interface between politics, society and psychotherapy. This workshop aims to begin with polarities and move towards finding balance within this creative spectrum.

With our openness, warmth and humour, we will draw from our joint experience of working relationally with groups, cultural story and archetypal meaning.

Mandy Carr is a dramatherapist, clinical supervisor and senior lecturer in dramatherapy at Anglia Ruskin University. Her background as a Liberal Jew from Liverpool is a key factor driving her passion for widening inclusion in society. She is fascinated by intercultural work and is currently convenor of the BADth Equality and Diversity Sub-Committee. A number of chapters and articles include her most recent (2016) ‘Dramatherapy across languages’ in D.Dokter and M. Hills De Zarate (eds.) Intercultural Arts Therapies Research: issues and methodologies. Routledge, Oxon. She is currently undertaking a professional doctorate in Practical Theology and is interested in the connections between politics, religion and dramatherapy.

Roshmi Lovatt is an Integrative Arts Psychotherapist working in private practice in the UK. She is a qualified clinical supervisor and runs arts psychotherapy-based trainings and workshops around the UK. She is an Associate Lecturer Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge running experiential groupwork on the MA dramatherapy course, and also Associate Lecturer at the University of Northampton, teaching on postgraduate counselling courses. Previously she has worked within Asian Women’s organisations, with refugees and asylum seekers, including unaccompanied minors, with children looked after. Roshmi is a first generation British Asian of Indian parentage, having grown up in Singapore and then lived in the UK for the past 40 years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12th May 2018 PCSR’s 9th Psychotherapy and Politics Conference. Change, Transition, Transformation: is another world possible

Saturday 12th May 2018    York St Johns University

10.00am – 6pm       More details and to book:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/change-transition-transformation-is-another-world-possible-12th-may-2018-1000-1800-tickets-41205183814

 Speakers

Claire Fox: writer and Director of the Institute of Ideas. Building Resilience amongst Generation Snowflake            http://instituteofideas.com/aboutus/person/claire_fox

Kris Blackpsychotherapist, supervisor.  Prejudice, Pride and Psychotherapy  http://www.arctherapy.co.uk/

Leyla Hussein: activist, Founder of the Dahlia Project, psychotherapist. Breaking the Cycle http://leylahussein.com/

Manu Bazzano: writer, psychotherapist.     Against Humanism: on Therapy and the Transhuman        www.manubazzano.com

 

Workshops 

The Go Deep Game: Play for Change!  A game developed to encourage people to make real sustainable community development.     Pat Black and Andy Smith

We are delicious    Turning up the volume on the voice of the silenced body to resource our incredible capacities for change.   Mo Brown and Fae Bee

Playback Theatre    A ritual space where a story of Change, Transition, Transformation can be told and made into theatre.   Leslie Davidoff

Racism in Therapeutic Spaces   How is the awareness and experience of racism changing in the 21st century.  Wayne Mertins -Brown

Change your story   Using storytelling, mindfulness and creative writing to take you on your own ‘Hero’s Journey’     Adam Sargant and Sita Brand

Disabled Peoples’ Rights – the struggle continues    York Independent Living Network

The Free Psychotherapy Network    A discussion about therapy for and by activists – where are we now in our passion to transform?  Paul Atkinson

The Shape of Change and Transformation   How we hold the notion of change and transformation within ourselves, creating a model of yourself using materials.  Christopher Alderton

Frack Free Ryedale  Local activists talk about the transition from concerned citizen to activist and how they sustain themselves

Temple of Janus:  The spectrum of positions embedded in our collective psyche – living the experience of the interface between politics, society and psychotherapy Mandy Carr and Roshmi Lovatt

Descriptions of workshops

  1. The Go Deep Game: Play for Change! Pat Black and Andy Smith, from Diversity Matters and The Go Deep Project

The Game was developed in 2016 to support young-people to develop personal awareness, facilitation and leadership skills and make real sustainable community transformation. It was created by partner organisations in Spain, Scotland, Netherlands, Italy and Brazil, using a Deep Democracy approach to explore diversity inside ourselves as well as in community. Go Deep is played by a group over 2-4 days, building on successful community development tools and Processwork methods. Individuals and groups discover a freedom about how to deal with the difficulties and edges both within themselves and in other citizens that impact community transformation. The game values all voices, ideas and communication styles. It can involve, theatre, arts, music and more.

New versions are in preparation funded by the European Union and European Commission and it’s impact is being researched by University of Lisbon. It won a GENE award for innovation in global education in 2017, has run 14 times in different neighbourhoods with 18 more planned internationally. This workshop, run by two of the game’s designers, includes a short video, a chance to play a little and time for questions and discussion.

Andy Smith and Pat Black are Processwork facilitators and UKCP registered Psychotherapists and are co-founders of Diversity Matters, that has been working in Scotland since 2001 to find more inclusive ways to engage marginalised groups in change, particularly in the social care, health systems and community development. They are part of the original design team for Go Deep and are developing new versions to work on diversity and greater inclusivity. Both are registered training supervisors and teach in the Processwork schools in UK and Spain.

2   We are delicious!    Mo Brown and Fae Bee

Our complex social challenges, conditioning and the old body-mind split thinking, still profoundly undermine the health of our vital animal selves and interfere with our natural psychophysical balance. 1968 offered hope of a beautiful new world, but while there are new freedoms, much suffering still abounds, including within our own healing fields.

Neuroscientific work provides clear evidence – many are burnt out and even perhaps dying from preventable diseases, simply because we cannot switch off from our anxious brains. We urgently need to find values and methods that restore more inner serenity and gently resource our incredible capacities.

Drawing on the diverse pedagogy of East and Western somatic dance-movement education, this session offers the opportunity to turn up the volume on the voice of the silenced body, source of our intuition, evolutionary wisdom, and personal developmental story.   Within a deeply warm and safe structure, each participant will be invited to find more sensitivity to and familiarity with their immediate, moment to moment somatic experience.

Previous participants report an increased sense of pleasure, more openness to connect and mentalise, and more imaginative freedom from mental constraints.  This work can be emotional but participants are carefully supported in their self-care.

The session content    We move from a gradual process of breathing and deepening inner listening, into offering opportunities for movement, sometimes with music, sometimes alone or perhaps with others depending on the individual. The invitation is to then take our experiences into imaginative expression through drawing or making, and finally a coming together to share our experience.

Facililtators: Monkeyspirit Collective is based in the North-West. We use the tools of dance, touch, play and improvisation to help awaken soma. We seek to arouse embodied imagination and stir curiosity and discovery.

Mo Brown is a mover who is passionate about the need for more mindful somatic awareness for healing, recovery and interconnection. She works as a psychoanalytic Intercultural psychotherapist, and as a NHS manager and trainer in staff wellbeing.

Fae Bee is a Chakra dance teacher. She works creatively with adults and children using movement as a form of expression. She also works holistically with young adults who experience emotional and behavioural difficulties. Mo and Fae are current students on the M.A in Dance and somatic wellbeing at UCLAN, Preston

  1. Playback Theatre Leslie Davidoff

I am proposing a 90-minute experiential Playback Theatre workshop. Playback Theatre is not therapy, but it has therapeutic, social, and spiritual dimensions.  It creates a ritual space where any story – however ordinary, extraordinary, hidden or difficult – can be told and immediately made into theatre.   Someone tells a story or moment from their life, chooses actors to play the different roles, then watches as their story is immediately recreated and given artistic shape and coherence.

The workshop involves movement, music, games and exercises leading to the acquisition of Playback Theatre skills.  Games and exercises provide a safe emotional container in which the skills of improvisation – basically, the skills of being present – are tried out, played with, and learnt.   A collective empathy develops, enabling trust.   Participants tell stories to each other.   They learn to listen and to express and reflect back the stories, the feelings, and the meanings they hear.

Playback Theatre creates a sacred/ritual/therapeutic space for people to share experiences, moments, and stories.  They are usually linked to a theme – in this case, the broad and easy-to-evoke theme of the conference, Change, Transition, Transformation.  And we can dramatically embody – show, not tell – a possible future world.

I am a counsellor, supervisor, and trainer of over 20 years’ standing (UKCP).  Previously Senior Lecturer in Counselling at Burnley College, Director of FACILITATE (personal development and counsellor training), and currently in private practice.  I am also trained in Playback Theatre, and Co-Director of Threadbear Playback Theatre (www.threadbeartheatre.com) which has been serving the West Yorkshire community for the last 5 years.

  1. Racism in Therapeutics Spaces   Wayne Mertins-Brown
  2. Change your story  Sita Brand and Adam Sargant

Change Your Story is a programme developed by Adam Sargant and Sita Brand, bringing together traditional storytelling, mindfulness practice and elements of NLP. Core to the programme is a creative writing exercise in which participants are invited to answer a series of questions identifying core beliefs about themselves and then coming up with metaphorical representations of these beliefs. They then use these metaphors to construct a story patterned on the Hero’s Journey, a story in which they enter the unknown and face a series of personal challenges, before achieving the goal of their quest and returning to the world, both personally transformed and able to transform the world. The programme has been externally evaluated and participants on average showed an overall increase of 7 points on the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS) over the duration of the programme. Participant’s feedback included statements like ● …it has actually improved my life so much and therefore the lives of all I come into contact with. ● It has changed my self- worth…gratitude for how we are all dependent on each other and interconnected. The proposed workshop would include a presentation of the evaluation and take participants through their own Hero’s Journey as a creative writing exercise, along with an overview of some of the other exercises used and a brief introduction to some of the mindfulness practices.

Facilitator Biographies Sita Brand is a storyteller with 30 years experience and is the founding Director of the charity Settle Stories. She is trained in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). She has practiced mindfulness meditation for over 20 years. She has a Diploma in Positive Impact Coaching and is trained in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). Adam Sargant has a background of over two decades in mental health nursing. He has trained in Family Behavioural Therapy (FBT) and Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) and is a NLP Master Practitioner. He is also a storyteller and has told stories at festivals and hosted the Hawo

  1. Disabled Peoples Rights– the struggle continues  York Independent living Network
  2. The Free Psychotherapy Network Paul Atkinson

The Free Psychotherapy Network was set up by activists, and activists are one of its main user groups. Is it a transformative experience? Does it change anything to work for free as a public political act? Apart from the Occupy moment, nothing for me has had the transformational energy of the post-68 decade –  but that was my twenties and it too was a moment. FPN has definitely played a part in transforming my practice as a therapist, and it has helped me integrate personal and political life in ways I would not have been able to imagine a decade ago. I’d say another world is not only possible, it’s in front of our noses. I suspect this may not be an experience unique to me (though I’m sure it helps if you’ve paid off your mortgage). If we look back a decade I wonder how many of us feel both a terrible penetration of futility and powerlessness and, alongside it, a growing sense of political empowerment and the threshold of big change. I’d like to talk about my experience of FPN and working with mental health activists and others over the last few years (hopefully with another FPN person or two) with the aim of encouraging a workshop group to share their own experience of the last decade and where they feel they are now in their passion to transform.

Paul Atkinson is an optimist, a father, husband and grandfather, a psychotherapist, a political activist and the rest – roughly in that order of priority, except “the rest” actually comes first.

  1. The Shape of Change and Transformation   Christopher Alderton

I set out to creatively explore how we hold the notion of change and transformation within ourselves as therapists/activists, exploring the impact this has on our clients and society. I believe that in order for change and transformation to take place we first need to look inwards to see: where we have come from, where we are presently and how we view our futures.

This will be an immersive exploration into our inner-world. I invite participants to hold the idea of how they are in the present moment in mind as they create a model of themselves using materials. Forming a group synthesis to reflect and discuss their change/transformation. How this impacts clinical work and whether or not this moves us toward more equality and freedom.

I ask what is the impact on our clients and the wider field, if we as therapists are unable to hold that we are moving towards a fairer world as a fully functioning person. Also, we consider how 21st century living impacts the rate of change. Considering how technology is shaping how we view change in society; whether or not change is dependent on technology or physical relationships.

About Me: I work as a counsellor for RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art) and NAZ, a charity that specialises in supporting people from ethnic minority backgrounds. I’ve also worked across several Counselling Centres in London. I’m in my final year of training in Humanistic Counselling at Metanoia Institute.

I’m particularly interested in using a creative approach to express our ‘inner-world’ through materials and objects. I also focus on supporting people with their sexual health, sexuality and healing from the effects of sexual trauma. As a survivor of sexual abuse I’m a keen advocate of rising awareness while supporting other survivors.

  1. Frack Free Ryedale   Local activists talk about the transition from concerned citizen to activist and how they sustain themselves in the activism.  Tim Thornton
  2. Temple of Janus: a creative exploration  Mandy Carr and Roshmi Lovatt

Has political life become polarised in the twenty first century with Brexit and proposed walls between peoples? Have we further deepened the sense of us and them, of the powerless and the powerful, of the articulate and the voiceless? If politics is about the power of the collective and psychotherapy about personal empowerment, how does the political respect the individual and how do individuals respect the political collective?

This workshop sets out to creatively explore a spectrum of positions, beliefs and ideas which are deeply embedded in our collective psyche. From oppressor to oppressed, activist to passive-ist, stuckness to transformation, how do we individually and collectively hold different aspects within this spectrum, and how do we flow between them, within ourselves and in relation to others? These notions will be explored playfully, as the group are encouraged to creatively devise their own spectrum through movement, artwork and drama, bringing into focus the lived experience of the interface between politics, society and psychotherapy. This workshop aims to begin with polarities and move towards finding balance within this creative spectrum.

With our openness, warmth and humour, we will draw from our joint experience of working relationally with groups, cultural story and archetypal meaning.

Mandy Carr is a dramatherapist, clinical supervisor and senior lecturer in dramatherapy at Anglia Ruskin University. Her background as a Liberal Jew from Liverpool is a key factor driving her passion for widening inclusion in society. She is fascinated by intercultural work and is currently convenor of the BADth Equality and Diversity Sub-Committee. A number of chapters and articles include her most recent (2016) ‘Dramatherapy across languages’ in D.Dokter and M. Hills De Zarate (eds.) Intercultural Arts Therapies Research: issues and methodologies. Routledge, Oxon. She is currently undertaking a professional doctorate in Practical Theology and is interested in the connections between politics, religion and dramatherapy.

Roshmi Lovatt is an Integrative Arts Psychotherapist working in private practice in the UK. She is a qualified clinical supervisor and runs arts psychotherapy-based trainings and workshops around the UK. She is an Associate Lecturer Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge running experiential groupwork on the MA dramatherapy course, and also Associate Lecturer at the University of Northampton, teaching on postgraduate counselling courses. Previously she has worked within Asian Women’s organisations, with refugees and asylum seekers, including unaccompanied minors, with children looked after. Roshmi is a first generation British Asian of Indian parentage, having grown up in Singapore and then lived in the UK for the past 40 years.

 

The Impact of IAPT on clients, practitioners the therapy professions and society 17th Feb (fully booked), 17th March 2018

The Impact of IAPT on clients, practitioners, the therapy professions and society.
 17th February (fully booked) and 17th March 2018  10am – 2pm

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-impact-of-iapt-tickets-39812242489

PCSR  (Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility   www.pcsr.org) is hosting a series of 3 monthly focused encounter groups for IAPT practitioners, counsellors,  psychotherapists and other psychological professionals, to explore the impact of IAPT.

The introduction of IAPT in 2007 has touched thousands of people’s lives, affected the shape of the talking therapy world, and influenced the ways in which the general population views mental health and talking therapies.

After a decade of IAPT, research has shown that nationally less than half of Clinical Commissioning Groups in England are meeting the national target for providing talking therapy to local populations, with just 7% of the population accessing the IAPT programme. Only 17% of that 7% completed a course of treatment and were judged to have achieved recovery.1

Research by the British Psychological Society showed that IAPT is positively harmful to practitioners.2 Nearly half of psychological professionals reported depression and feelings of failure and 70% say they are finding their jobs stressful. Incidents of bullying and harassment had more than doubled in two years.

Lord Layard, who introduced IAPT, is an economist specialising in the costs of unemployment. The implementation of IAPT was based on the understanding that it would pay for itself by increasing productivity and reducing state benefits.

Unemployment has become a symptom of mental illness.
Employment is now a cure for mental illness.

We feel a need to spend some time together as practitioners, counsellors, psychotherapists to explore, express and witness what our experiences have been, what our responses to the growth of IAPT has been, and what questions, advantages and dilemmas IAPT might raise.

We aim to create a safe, confidential space, facilitated by person-centred therapists, Clare Slaney and Beatrice Millar, with time to reflect, speak, listen and process, with a month in between meetings to digest the experience. The purpose is to gain information and understanding of the experience of IAPT practitioners and other therapists, and through observing what arises in the group, imagine how the discussion might play out in the wider field of counselling/psychotherapy.

http://healthcareleadernews.com/article/over-half-ccgs-fail-meet-talking-therapies-target-under-iapt

 2 http://www.bps.org.uk/system/files/Public%20files/Comms-media/press_release_and_charter.pdf

17th February and 17th March 2018  10am – 2pm

The Tabernacle, 35, Powis Square, off Portobello Rd, London W11 2AY   https://www.tabernaclew11.com/visit-us

There is a café on site for refreshments.  We are asked not to consume our own food and drink on the premises.  Wheelchair accessible.

FREE   Donations towards costs appreciated

 Queries:  clareslaneycounselling@gmail.com    or beatrice@bmillar.com

Book:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-impact-of-iapt-tickets-39812242489

Examining Whiteness: White identity and racism

PCSR pop-up

Examining Whiteness: White identity and racism

Saturday 23d September 2017   10am -1pm

Chadswell Healthy Living Centre

Lower ground floor, Chadswell, Harrison Street, London WC1H 8JE

5-10 mins from Kings Cross and Euston mainline stations, wheelchair accessible

FREE – donations on the day for venue hire and refreshments much appreciated.

Please book your place in advance to know numbers for refreshments: beatrice@bmillar.com

 

‘Whiteness, as a set of normative cultural practices, is visible most clearly to those it definitely excludes and those to whom it does violence. Those who are housed securely within its borders usually do not examine it.’ (Ruth Frankenberg,1993)

For too long Black African and Asian therapists and trainees have been experiencing racism and exclusion within the therapy profession. The PCSR open letter and petition protesting about this and asking for change was sent to all therapy organisations and trainings in 2014 but had a very limited response. Change in the culture of therapy and training is slow and there are still trainees who are discriminated against: unheard, invisible, hurt, excluded.

As part of addressing this oppression within the therapy profession PCSR is having a pop up in London on 23rd September for therapists who identify as White to explore and process what it means to them to be White and working as a White therapist in a racist society. We would like to invite you to come and share your experiences and deepen your understanding of White identity in a supportive environment.

The idea for this pop-up comes from 2 white members of PCSR, Suzanne and Bea, who are also currently on the steering group. Having participated in conversations about racism through BAATN (Black African and Asian Therapists’ Network) they have seen how much work is being done by those who are a minority in the profession. This pop up is an opportunity to encourage and stimulate personal and collective work on White identity, power, privilege and entitlement and to address the injustices and inequalities of racism.

If you haven’t already heard or seen Tim Wise, US anti-racism activist, he is worth checking out online as is Helm’s White racial identity development model and Peggy McIntosh on White privilege. Also, UK journalist Reni Eddo-Lodge’s 2017 book Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race based on her blog.

Please remember that if you have an idea for a PCSR pop-up you are very welcome to put it forward. You do not have to be on the steering group or in London. PCSR will cover the costs of a venue anywhere in the UK for PCSR members to meet around a political subject they feel is important to discuss face to face.

 

PCSR AG and AGM Saturday 18th November 2017

PCSR AG and AGM Saturday 18th November 2017 9.30 for 10-4pm

BOOK HERE ON EVENTBRITE

At St Pancras Community Centre
67 Plender Street, London NW1 0LB           www.spca.org.uk                        15mins walk from Kings Cross, Euston and Camden Road overground stations
Nearest tube: Mornington Crescent

The day will be in two parts
10-1pm     Societal Constellation
2-4pm       AGM

It’s FREE to everyone.  Non-members welcome too.

Lunch can be eaten on the premises and there are plenty of shops and cafes around.

BUT YOU NEED TO BOOK FOR THE MORNING. THERE IS A MAX OF 30 PLACES

10-1pm
PCSR invites you to participate in a Societal Constellation facilitated by Janet Herman and Lynn Stoney, on a relevant political issue.

Systemic constellations is a powerful experiential process through which we can gain insight into systems and dynamics within them that have been hidden. The method is phenomenological and can be used to reveal dynamics in any system. It has the potential to clarify and transform embedded patterns.   Originally applied to family systems, it now has many applications, including wider societal and ecological issues.

The work draws on our embodied knowledge and participants often report gaining a deep experience of our interconnected nature as well as insights into the particular issue being explored.

In this short workshop, we hope that together, having agreed on a particular issue to explore, we will be able to uncover some of the underlying patterns and explore our own relationship to a large issue in which we are all involved.

1-2pm  Lunch

2-4pm   Annual General Meeting. All welcome, but please let us know if you’re coming so that we have numbers for refreshments

Reports and agenda will be sent out to all members nearer the time.

Queries:   adrianscott@counsellingme.co.uk

 

POST-ELECTION POP-UP Sat 24th June 2017

Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility 

invite you to a

POST-ELECTION POP-UP EVENT

an open space to share thoughts, feelings and reflections on the election 

Saturday 24th June 2017

                    10am – 1pm

Marchmont Community Centre

62 Marchmont Street, London WC1N

Disabled access       www.kcbna.org.uk

5minutes walk from Russell Square underground station

8minutes walk from Kings Cross and Euston underground and mainline stations

FREE to PCSR members        Non-members £5 –  pay on the day.

Donations on the day also appreciated. 

Please book your place so that we know numbers for seating and refreshments.

 To book your place email: beatrice@bmillar.com

 

 

 

 

Britain at economic and moral crisis point – letter in Guardian 2.6.17

Britain at economic and moral crisis point

Clare Slaney, Richard House and 73 others involved in the mental health field say that voters face an unusually grave choice on 8 June
Pic:  Commuters on London Bridge during rush hour. ‘Workplace stress is at epidemic proportions,’ write Clare Slaney, Richard House and others. Photograph: Alamy
British society is in crisis. Suicide is now the leading cause of death in men under 45. The Royal Society of Medicine tells us that “relentless cuts” have led to an extra 30,000 deaths. A report to the UN from the Equality and Human Rights Commission noted that work capability assessments “have been linked to suicides and cases of deteriorating mental health”. Benefit sanctions have caused hunger, hypothermia, homelessness and deaths. It is scarcely believable that food banks have become a societal norm. Workplace stress is at epidemic proportions, with working conditions increasingly amounting to servitude. People work for pitiful wages and uncertain numbers of hours, while the highly paid are expected to work a 70-plus hour week. Increasingly, people have to fit sleep around their working life. Employment and wealth have become the primary arbiters of a person’s value and character.

In our view, voters need to revisit fundamental values. Are human beings nothing more than economic units? Are some people valued more than others? Are vulnerable people deserving of public expenditure, or are they disposable? Do neighbours and communities matter – or are we merely people in housing units? Poverty creates chronic mental and physical illnesses that cost a great deal across the life cycle. UK productivity is the lowest in the G7, in part because of stress, because increasing numbers of people hate their jobs, but also because employers refuse to meaningfully invest in their workforce. Treating people as objects has destructive economic effects at every level.

Britain is at economic and moral crisis point. The election on 8 June offers voters an unusually grave choice: continuing further into a social Darwinist future; or looking critically at what this model of society has generated and choosing something different. England recently ranked 13th out of 16 countries for children’s life satisfaction. Does it have to be like this? You can use your vote on 8 June to address these questions.
Clare Slaney Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility, Richard House Alliance for Counselling and Psychotherapy, Roy Bard Mental Wealth Alliance, Richard Bagnall-Oakeley Psychotherapy and Counselling Union, Eugene Ellis Black African and Asian Therapy Network, Paula Peters Disabled People Against Cuts, Denise McKenna Mental Health Resistance, Tamsin CurnowPsychologists for Social ChangePaul Atkinson Free Psychotherapy Network, Alec Mcfadden Salford TUC, Rich Moth Social Work Action Network, Helen SpandlerAsylum magazine, Susie Orbach, Andrew Samuels, Alexandra Chalfont, Andy Metcalf, Anita Bellows, Anna Rose, Barbara Bentham, Beatrice Millar, Beth Glanville, Birgitta Heiller, Bruce Scott, Cath Collins, Chris Wise, David Morgan, Dean Kester, Debbie Porteous, Doron Levene, Edward Garner, Eileen Short, Elizabeth Bubez, Els van Ooijen, Gillian Proctor, Gordon Jones, Gottfried Heuer, Greg Madison, Helen Edwards, Ian Parker, Irris Singer, Jack Youd, Jane Clement, Janice Acquah, Jay Watts, Jenny Secretan, Jeremy Weinstein, Jon Blend, Judith Anderson, Kate O’Halloran, Libby Kerr, Linda Burnip, Lynne Friedll, Lynne Lacock, Maggie Fisher, Mary-Jayne Rust, Matthew Bowes, Matthew Henson, Marion Winslow, Michael Caton, Mike Shallcross, Natasha Stuc, Nicola Saunders, Olivia Cunningham, Peter Cruickshank, Peter Dinsmore, Riva Joffe, Robert Stearn, Roger Lewis, Ros Howell, Salma Siddique, Seb Randall, Suzanne Keys, Trudi Macagnino, Val Allen, Viviane Carneiro

 Join the debate – email guardian.letters@theguardian.com