I believe that the quality of psychotherapy is based on the principles of diversity. It is impossible to be a therapist whilst discriminating some groups of people as therapeutic work requires openness and a deep interest in what is diverse, personal and often marginalised. There are however different ways of approaching diversity in practice and my approach is based on equality and attention to prejudices, which I think we all bring.
Firstly, I find it important to build relationships which are equal and which allow open and diverse dialogue. I do not view the therapist as an expert who will give advice but as a human being who can assist in the process of moving through life’s crises and other problems.
Secondly, I believe that we all bring a small degree of prejudice and can only learn through having them verified in a dialogue with the other. It is through the realisatory moments we experience with other people that we can address some of the most profound issues around diversity. True and lasting openness and tolerance is created through personal contact with the other.
I have experience working with people from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds, disabilities and from across the spectrum of sexual and gender identification. Over the last few years I have facilitated groups with visually impaired people and prior to that managed a mental health day centre specialised in working with ethnic minorities. I have also facilitated cultural capability training events for mental health professionals.