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Seminars, conferences and online resources on psychotherapy and human relationships

Post-Slavery Syndrome:

Intergenerational PTSD in the Consulting Room Today

With Dr Aileen Alleyne, Robert Downes, Eugene Ellis, Wayne Mertins-Brown, Judy Ryde, Foluke Taylor, Lennox Thomas

Friday 22 March (eve) + Saturday 23 March - London

This conference is about living and practicing psychotherapy in a society that is deeply damaged by the legacy of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The discussion is premised on the theory that through the mostly unconscious transmission of intergenerational trauma, affect and narratives, we continue to perpetuate a destructive power disparity between today's black and white communities; that we are locked into histories that we didn't create but which control our thinking and which need to be continually challenged in order for us to grow emotionally as a society.

We are inviting psychotherapists of all identities to come together to explore how post-slavery syndrome impacts upon our professional experience, our capacity to provide good therapy and appropriate trainings. This is not an easy discussion and it will take courage to attend, to listen to these experiences with an open heart, and to develop a deeper sense of how we as individuals are positioned by our histories. For our black community this amounts to persistent experiences of feeling unsafe, devalued and misunderstood. For white people, the other side of this dyad often involves an emotional cocktail of shame, defensiveness and unwanted responsibility - sometimes referred to as "white-complexity syndrome". We suggest, however, that feelings of guilt are not useful. We are products of a system, not its architects. Nonetheless, adopting a sense of responsibility for addressing ongoing inequalities offers white mental health practitioners greater potential for insight, empathy and adaptability and the possibility of greater affinity with black colleagues.

Our hope is that by hearing stories about how People of Colour from the African diaspora, and innovative white practitioners, have developed a theory, vocabulary and therapeutic space for the post-slavery experience we can collaborate meaningfully across cultural barriers to find a shared meta-view of the post-slavery dynamic and roles played out between the black and white communities.


Dr Aileen Alleyne
Dr Aileen Alleyne is a UKCP Registered Psychodynamic Psychotherapist and Clinical Supervisor in private practice. She is based in both East Sussex, where she lives, and in South East London, where she practices two days per week. Aileen also consults to organizations on issues of difference and diversity in the workplace and in education. Her academic career has included lectureships at several London colleges and universities, including the University of London, Goldsmiths' College for over eight years... Read more...

Robert Downes
Robert Downes is a psychotherapist, supervisor, artist and trainer. His informal training as therapist began in his family of origin then more formally at the Chiron Centre for Body Psychotherapy in the 90s. This has been extended over the last 14 years through his studies of the Diamond Approach and through an ongoing 19 year dialogue with Foluke Taylor in the company of writers, critical thinkers, artists and more immediate familiars... Read more...

Eugene Ellis
Eugene Ellis is an Integrative Arts Psychotherapist and the founder of Black and Asian Therapists Online (BAATO), a network of therapists passionately engaged in addressing the psychological needs of Black and Asian people in Britain, and in raising positive awareness of counselling and psychotherapy within the Black and Asian community... Read more...

Wayne Mertins-Brown
Wayne is a Psychotherapy Counsellor and Group Facilitator. Now working in private practice, he has spent many years working within charities, with a particular focus on the mental wellbeing and sexual health of those within the LGBT+ community. He has significant experience in counselling Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME), individuals. In particular, gay asylum seekers. Wayne is also a Nichiren Buddhist... Read more...

Judy Ryde
Judy Ryde is a psychotherapist and writes as a white woman who has undertaken doctoral research into what it is to be racially white. This led to her first book, 'Being White in the Helping Professions'. She was prompted to write this second book by the societal changes which have led to the rise of far-right political parties and much more overt racism being voiced. She feels passionately about the urgency of these issues being addressed for a more peaceful and equitable world... Read more...

Foluke Taylor
Foluke Taylor is a counsellor/psychotherapist, writer and trainer. She comes with qualifying trainings in psychodynamic counselling and social work, an interest in narrative approaches, therapeutic parenting and black studies, and 25 years of clinical practice. Her practice experience has been gathered in diverse settings including primary care and community services, international development, and education. She is currently engaged in research into therapeutic applications of creative writing in exploration of 'black being in the wake' and 'wake work' as proposed by Christina Sharpe... Read more...

Lennox Thomas
Lennox Thomas is a former Co-Director of the MSc Course in Intercultural Therapy at University College London, a former Clinical Director of the NAFSIYAT Intercultural Therapy Centre, a member of the British Association of Psychotherapists and of the Institute of Family Therapy. He is an author, trainer and supervisor in Intercultural Therapy... Read more...


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Handouts and lunch included
Self-funded: £120
Self-funded x 2: £200
Organisationally-funded: £200
Under 25's: £70
Psychotherapy trainee: £80 (Limited to 10 places)
CPD Hours

Certificates of attendance for 6 hours will be provided at the event

Resource for London
356 Holloway Road
N7 6PA

19.00 Coffee and registration
21:30 End

09.30 Registration and coffee
10.00 Start
11:30 Coffee
13:00 Lunch
15:15 Tea
17:00 End