There are too few Black psychotherapists in the UK. More Black trainees need to be recruited and their training journey needs to be improved to reduce the numbers dropping out because of racism, socioeconomics and inequality.
We launched a campaign to fund the start-up of Black Therapy Matters in the summer of 2019 and thanks to our loyal supporters, we were in a position to formally incorporate as a Community Interest Company by autumn of the same year. We are now ready to scale up and support Black trainee therapists across the UK.
Why Black students are dropping out
Black counselling and psychotherapy trainees are more likely to drop out or take longer to qualify than our White peers because during our training we are required to undertake a level of self-exposure and self-examination so that we can conduct a similar process with our future clients. For us this means:
- We must face and acknowledge our lived and current experience of racism at both personal and institutional levels
- We become re-traumatised as our white peers and tutors struggle to understand our racial traumas.
Once qualified, we can help up to 900 individuals heal from various traumas and improve their mental health in the span of a 25-year career.
Black Therapy Matters exists to create change for trainee Black counsellors and psychotherapists because the difficulties we currently face in becoming qualified are unacceptable. By addressing some of these issues, you can assist in creating a better environment for us to train and more incentive to do so.
We aim to increase the number of Black people training to become psychotherapists and provide practical support to at least 40% of newly enrolled trainees, in the areas with the greatest need across the UK.
- Curate and contribute to scholarships at reputable therapy training organisations;
- Develop Black student-led networks that offer resources and provide emotional support to deal with the damaging impacts of training a Black therapy student;
- Provide advocacy and signposts to Black students to support their training;
- Provide guidance and consultancy to therapy training institutions to help them improve the environment in which Black students train;
- Offer practical help, such as memberships to Black-led organisations and books to financially struggling Black students;
- Promote counselling and psychotherapy training to prospective Black students.
How you can help us
We developed our solution based on feedback from our network of over 50 BME counselling and therapy students.
We need your help to raise the funds to roll out this programme. Specifically, we need £35,000 towards the cost of setting up and administering the programme for the 2020/2021 academic year.
In addition, we want to set up scholarships for Black psychotherapy trainees. Here’s how you can contribute to a scholarship for one person:
- £20 would pay for a textbook so a trainee can study at home rather than travelling back and forth to the library
- £35 would get 1 person a year’s membership to the Black, African and Asian Therapy Network to make connections with like-minded people
- £60 would pay for an academic tutor to help a Black trainee write quality essays
- £200 would give a month’s worth of personal therapy to a Black trainee to help work through the issues that come up during training
- £1,900 would pay for a term’s worth of psychotherapy training for 1 Black trainee at a leading integrative psychotherapy training.