National Diversity - Power, Position and Privilege

On the one hand, within the Psychoanalytic and Psychotherapeutic Community, Group Analysts can perhaps be proud of an awareness of and sensitivity to issues of diversity which might be thought to sit integrally at the heart of group analytic theory. For example, the concept of social unconscious processes which pervades much of group analytic theory essentially captures issues of differences in power and incumbent inclusion and exclusion. Indeed, many members originally chose the Group Analytic training precisely because of more radical theoretical underpinnings of this sort which capture issues of diversity in an integrated way rather than as ‘bolt on’ additions.

On the other hand, in the wider context of mental health and social care trainings, Group Analysis is often correctly perceived and experienced to be exclusive with a culture which has yet to develop a sensitivity to the integral inclusion of students form a range of social and ethnic backgrounds. This suggests that prejudice may reside in the social unconscious of the IGA. It is true that many students on our courses are white, middle class and heterosexual as they are on other analytic psychotherapy trainings. Little changes despite discussions over recent years with students and members, and despite ongoing nodding, sometimes guilty agreement about the monoculture within the IGA. The IGA needs to reflect 21st Century Britain in all its diversity. As part of the work of the National Training Management Committee this National Diversity Working Group will take action to begin to address this intransigent culture around diversity in the IGA and start to make much needed changes. This working group will come together to consider key areas within the institution where issues of difference can be better address and held in mind.

This is an open group to students at the IGA and qualified group analyst and we welcome all who are willing to participate and contribute to this important dialogue which aims to contribute to Institutional change

For further information, please contact Chair Anthea Benjamin,


Please find below a dynamic list of educational resources on racism both in and out of therapeutic practice.

IGA  National Diversity Working Group on Power, Privilege, and Position [PPP]:  Dynamic Resource List

Event: A discussion on the relationship between race, imperialism and psychotherapy 


This discussion will explore both the oppressive legacy of the clinic and how its contradictions can lead to a transformative and liberatory practice.


Date: 24 September 2020

Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Location: online. Book tickets via link below for details.


Reflective Booklet:

Please note before sharing this resource beyond the IGA, please get in contact with the creator Guilaine Kinouani at

RACE REFLECTIONS: Anti-racism reflective booklet


BBC1 Imagine:  Lemn Sissay:  the memory of me:

11 months left to watch, 1 hour, 6 minutes

Sissay, Lemn [2020] My name is Why, Edinburgh, Canongate Books.

Latest addition: Video:

The British Empire DDN Video:
Recommended by Vivienne Harte as ‘Not a pleasant watch but vital’

Upcoming Conferences and Webinars:

  •  Racism and COVID-19 Webinar
    30 June 2020 from 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm
    With Speakers: Matiangai Sirleaf, Gargi Bhattacharyya, Nira Yuval-Davis, Sivamohan Valluvan, Vivian Shaw, Colin Clark


Six articles co-authored by Erica Burman:

  • Erica Burman, Jaya Gowrisunkur, Kuljeet Sangha (1998) Conceptualizing cultural and gendered identities in psychological therapies, European Journal of Psychotherapy & Counselling, Vol.1, No.2, pp. 231 – 255
  • Aitken, Gill, Burman, Erica (1999) Keeping and crossing professional and racialized boundaries:  implications for feminist practice, Psychology of Women Quarterly, Vol. 23, pp. 277 – 297
  • Gowrisunkur, Jaya, Burman, Erica, Walker, Kanta (2002) Working in the mother-tongue:  first language provision and cultural matching in inter-cultural therapy, British Journal of Psychotherapy, Vol 19, No. 1, pp. 45 – 58
  • Kanta Walker, Erica Burman, Jaya Gowrisunkur (2002) Counting black sheep: Contextualizing therapeutic relations, Psychodynamic Practice: Individuals, Groups and Organisations, Vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 55 -57
  • Erica Burman, Jaya Gowrisunkur, Kanta Walker (2003) Sanjhe Rang/Shared colours, shared lives: a multicultural approach to mental health practice, Journal of Social Work Practice: Psychotherapeutic Approaches in Health, Welfare and the Community, Vol. 17, No.1, pp. 63 – 76
  • Eric Burman, Sophie L Smailes, Khatidja Chantler (2004) ‘Culture’ as a barrier to service provision and delivery:  domestic violence services for minoritized women, Critical Social Policy Ltd. , Vol. 24, No, 3, pp. 332 – 357

On Attachment, Place and Otherness
Neuroses of Whiteness, White Envy and Racial Violence
Culturally Biased therapy, Epistemic Violence and CBT

  • Abernethy, Alexis D (1998) Working with racial themes in group psychotherapy, Group, Vol. 22, No, 1, pp. 1 - 13
  • Azu-Okeke, Okeke (1993) conflict in the search for an ‘individual self’ as opposed to a traditional ‘group self’: a consequence od undertaking group-analytic training, Group Analysis, Vol. 36, No, 4, pp. 465 – 476. [Kenneth Bledin notes ’Okeke Azu-Okeke, the first (and at that time only) Black student at the IGA, was active in the IGA when I was doing my training >20 years ago’]
  • Blackwell, Dick (2020) The impenetrable wall of whiteness. A response to Guilaine Kinouani, Group Analysis, Vol. 53, No. 1, pp. 92 -101
  • Blackwell, Dick (2020) Black Power–White Halos. A response to Guilaine Kinouani’s ‘Silencing, power and racial trauma in groups’, Group Analysis, Vol. 53, No. 2, pp. 255 - 265
  • Brickman, Celia (2017) Race in Psychoanalysis: Aboriginal Populations in the Mind, Routledge
  • Gitterman, Paul  (2019) Social identities, power and privilege:  the importance of difference in establishing early group cohesion, International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Vol. 69, No 1., pp. 99 - 125
  • Kinouani, Guilaine {2020) Difference, whiteness and the group analytic matrix: An integrated formulation, Group Analysis, Vol., 53, No.1, pp. 60 – 74
  • Kinouani, Guilaine (2020) Silencing, power and racial trauma in groups, Group Analysis, Vol., 53, No, 2, pp. 145 - 161
  • Knight, Zelda Gillian (2013) Black client, white therapist: Working with race in psychoanalytic psychotherapy in South Africa, International Journal of Psychoanalysis, Vol. 94, Iss. 1, pp. 17 – 32

  • Osbourne, A. and Vernon, P. (2020) 100 Great Black Britons. Great Britain: Robinson. A book recognising the lives and achievements of British Black people who have previously been overlooked or dismissed. For further information on its origins, please visit the 100 Great Black Britons website at:
  • Schmidt, Christine (2018) Anatomy of racial micro-aggressions, International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Vol. 68, No. 4, pp. 1 – 23
  • Schmidt, Christine (2018) Don’t shy away from race prejudice, Group, Vol. 41, No. 1, pp. 9 – 22

Curated content from across all of their journals
Free to view

  •  New Blog Series: ‘Amplifying Black Voices'

We have started a new blog series on The Source to serve as a platform for Black authors to share their life experiences in research and academia, including any inherent biases and racism they may have encountered in their professional or personal lives and the challenges they may have experienced, as well as discussing ways for the research community to do better. Discover the personal blogs below:

Amplifying Black Voices: Education and critical thinking skills are the root of societal change

Amplifying Black Voices: The third Black President of the United States, a story of Black women in academia

Amplifying Black Voices: Sankofa– learning from the past for a better future Part 1


  • Azu-Okeke, Okeke (2020) Perspectives on Intercultural Psychotherapy: An Igbo Group Analyst’s Search for Social and Cultural Identity, London, Routledge.
  • NB The Library holds the precursor to this:  the author’s dissertation:   Implications of social cultural and psychological factors for group analytic psychotherapy treatment of the Igbo people of South East Central Nigeria, 1990 [ISW U4L HJV [AZU]] – see Library catalogue database for abstract]
  • Bellkin, Max, White, Cleonie (2020) Intersectionality and Relational Psychoanalysis New Perspectives on Race, Gender, and Sexuality, Abingdon, Routledge
  • Eddo-Lodge, Reni, (2017) Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race, London, Bloomsbury
  • Kendi, Ibram X (2019) How to be Anti-Racist, London, Bodley Head
  • Menakem, Resmaa (2017) My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies, Las Vegas,  Central Recovery Press, (Link to interview with author.) [link invalid 24/06/2020]
  • Nayak, Suryia (2015) Race, Gender, and the Activism of Black Feminist Theory: Working with Audre Lorde, Routledge
  • Turner, Lou, Neville, Helen A., (2020) eHFranz Fanon’s Psychotherapeutic Approaches to Clinical Work: Practicing Internationally with Marginalized Communities, Abingdon, Routledge

Cultural Resources:

  • Author, broadcaster and academic: Gary Younge
  • Poem: I have privilege as a white person by author unknown
  • Poem: Poem About My Rights by June Jordan. Link to You Tube Video (5 minutes)
  • Film: 13th, Ava Duvernay - available on Netflix
  • Film: Get Out, Jordan Peele – available on Amazon Prime
  • Film: I am not your Negro, James Baldwin - available on Amazon Prime
  • Film: OJ Made in America - currently available on BBC IPlayer
  • Anti-racist activists and organisations have come together and created resources for people to educate themselves better
  • A performance of ‘the mask’ by Maya Angelou:

This dynamic spreadsheet contains a world of resources and tools regarding racism – including: 
> Articles on whiteness, racism, liberation, and police violence.
> Compilations of guides and further resources 
> Lists of books, podcasts, films, videos, and social media accounts to follow to make sure that you continue learning beyond the movement. 


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