Working with Diversity - A free online conference exploring issues and good practice when working with individuals from diverse groups - Tuesday 12th October

  • Thursday 7th October 2021

Join us for a free online conference on "Working with Diversity" on Tuesday 12th October from 10:00-16:30 GMT

The New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling will be running a free online conference on examining the experiences of individuals from diverse groups and how professionals can best support them. 

To register for the event please use this link:

Working with Diversity Programme 12th October 10-4.30pm


Welcome and Introduction


Prof. Martin Milton

Resistance is futile: Reflections on diversity

(live presentation)


Prof. Martin Milton



Dr Tarek Younis

Colourblindness and Liberal Racism in Psychology

(live presentation)


Dr Tarek Younis



Dr Ramesh Pattni

Diversity and dignity in difference

(short video)




Stella Duffy

Intersecting around the Edges

(live presentation)


Stella Duffy



Dr Jackie Sewell

“We are not all the same:  The diversity of experiences among black people to anti-black racism” 

(pre-recorded presentation)



General Q & A


Prof. Divine Charura & Prof. Colin Lago

Interview with Divine Charura and Colin Lago about their new book Black identities and white therapies

(pre-recorded interview)


Ending comments and promotion of Diversity Course


Professor Martin Milton

A person wearing glassesDescription automatically generated with medium confidence

Prof. Martin Milton CPsychol, FBPsS, UKCP Reg, is Professor of Counselling Psychology at Regents University London. He also runs an independent practice in psychotherapy and supervision.

Martin’s research and specialist interests include Lesbian and Gay Affirmative Psychology and Psychotherapy, Existential Psychotherapy and eco-therapy and the therapeutic aspects of the natural world.

As well as being an academic, Martin worked in the British National Health Service for over a decade. He has also been involved in the British Psychological Society and continues this work by chairing the Division of Counselling Psychology’s Climate and Environmental Crisis workstream.

Martin’s most recent books are both published by Palgrave. They are: The personal is political: Stories of difference and psychotherapy and Balancing on Quicksand: Reflections on power, politics and the relational.


In this presentation Prof. Milton will offer some thoughts on the ubiquity of ‘difference’, of ‘diversity’ and of the ways we make sense different experiences of shared species-hood. He will suggest that denying difference – as we are encouraged to do by discourses such as ‘colour-blindness’ or by various ‘culture wars’ – is ultimately unhelpful. He will reflect on the importance of relationality. He will also address dilemmas in teaching where ‘diversity’ is the focus.  


Dr Tarek Younis                               

A person smiling in front of a bookshelfDescription automatically generated                          

Dr Tarek Younis is a Lecturer in Psychology at Middlesex University. He researches and writes on Islamophobia, racism in mental health, and the securitisation of clinical settings. He teaches on the impact of culture, religion, globalization and security policies on mental health. 


This presentation serves as a reflection on the challenges of making sense of racism in mental health settings. Using Islamophobia as an example, it will explore how colour-blindness and representation politics evades how racism is legitimised through psychological practices and institutional policies. It will provide some thoughts for professional practice.                     


Dr Ramesh Pattni                                                                           

A person with a beard and glassesDescription automatically generated with low confidence

Dr Ramesh Pattni is a psychologist and a Hindu theologian whose research is in the intersection of these traditions. He has deep interest in presenting the psychological concepts, tools and techniques of the ancient traditions in today’s world for psychological well-being. He obtained a doctorate from the University of Oxford, Faculty of Theology and Religion, based on his research into Patanjali’s text on Classical Yoga – the Yogasūtra, and Western Positive Psychology, comparing the phenomenology of Flow and altered states of consciousness experienced in the meditation of Samādhi. He is considered an authority in Yoga Psychology based on the ancient text of Patañjali. 

He also has three master’s degrees in psychology, psychology of religion, and study of religion. After successfully running a family business in Kenya for 23 years, he decided to go back to his passion of learning and teaching. He completed his Oxford doctorate in 2016. He is currently at the New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling/Middlesex University studying for a doctorate and works as a counsellor and psychotherapist and assists many people with mental health issues. 

He tutors at the University of Oxford at both the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and is registered as a tutor with the Faculty of Theology and Religion. He gives public talks on Hinduism and holds regular weekly classes through the Chinmaya Mission UK on Hindu scriptures including and the Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads and the texts and commentaries by Swami Chinmayananda.  He has extensively lectured and conducted workshops and retreats on diverse subjects over the past two decades in Yoga and the Non-Dual (Advaita Vedanta) traditions, including self-development and meditation retreats. 

He holds or has held many public positions, including, Trustee and Vice President of Chinmaya Mission UK, Vice President of Hindu Forum of Britain, Trustee of DAWN Counselling Services, Trustee of Hindu Education Board UK, Founder and former Co-Chair of the Hindu Christian Forum, former Trustee of Interfaith Network and continues to serve the wider community in the UK and abroad.  

He has been recently appointed as Assistant Professor of Psychology at the Chinmaya University in India and will be teaching course to undergraduates and postgraduates. 

For his voluntary work in interfaith relations and community services in the UK, he was bestowed an OBE in the New Year’s Honours 2020 by Her Majesty the Queen. 

(September 2021) 


Diversity and dignity in difference:
We may be aware of, or indeed experienced, what Lord Jonathan Sacks spoke about in his book, Dignity of Difference, that there is ‘dislike for the unlike’. This is indeed our experience many times in a globalised humanity where we meet difference and diversity at every step. How do we respond? What do we think, feel and do? The Existential way is an answer to these questions: to be present in the presence of the uniqueness of the different other, and share the dignity of difference.


Stella Duffy

A picture containing person, wall, smiling, indoorDescription automatically generated

Stella Duffy is an award-winning writer of 17 novels, over 70 short stories and 14 plays. She worked in theatre for many decades, most recently on dance/movement psychotherapist Dr Beatrice Allegranti’s new work exploring the experiences of people living with young onset dementia. She is a yoga teacher and runs monthly yoga for writing workshops. Stella co-founded and co-directed the UK-wide charity Fun Palaces from 2013-2021, supporting over 650,000 participants across the UK to co-create their own community cultural events. She was awarded the OBE for Services to the Arts in 2016. Through her involvement in LGBTQ+, arts, and women’s activism, Stella has been involved in equalities work for many decades. She is finishing her second year on the DProf course at NSPC and her doctoral research is in the embodied experience of postmenopause.  


Intersecting around the Edges 

Finding value in our multiplicities – especially in a culture that prefers us to be one thing, one label, one title. 

In ‘label’ terms I am female, cisgender, woman, queer, twice a cancer patient, infertile, postmenopausal, middle aged, working class, in a mixed ethnicities relationship for over 30 years; in existential terms I am all and none of these, at the same time. 

In this talk I will consider how valuable I have found it to question my multiplicitous identities, both those I have found difficult and those in which I have found refuge – and how this complex, useful, constant self-questioning might support clients in their own journeys of self-re/discovery. 

I welcome your questions. I may not have any answers.  

Dr Jackie Sewell

A picture containing person, wall, indoor, smilingDescription automatically generated

Dr Jackie Sewell is a counselling psychologist, researcher, coach, and workplace conflict mediator.  She specialises in providing psychological support to clients who are high achievers and perfectionists at work.  She works with clients experiencing a wide range of psychological issues such as over identification with work, anxiety, depression work related stress, and burnout.  Jackie also has expertise in helping clients with issues around race, culture, and identity. ​  

For her a doctoral thesis, Jackie undertook research into the meaning of achievement (in a work context) to high achieving British born women of Jamaican heritage.  

Jackie has delivered workshops and presentations on black existential philosophy and on the experiences of the Windrush Generation and their children.  She has also given talks to public bodies on the impact of Covid-19 on the mental health and wellbeing of healthcare staff in the NHS and delivered mental health workshops to groups within industry. 

​Before re-training as a counselling psychologist, Jackie worked as a management consultant. ​ She currently works as a psychologist with a private psychology service provider and has her own private practice in London. 


“We are not all the same:  The diversity of experiences among black people to anti-black racism” 

Dr Jackie Sewell 

Within the diversity ‘industry’ there appears to be a dominant narrative that is predicated on the belief that all black people are impacted by anti-black racism in exactly the same way; they are traumatised.   This narrative stresses how the experience of racism can lead to lifelong and even intergenerational trauma, self-hatred, feelings of low self- worth and oppression. 

In this presentation, I will seek to challenge the view that there is an inevitable lifelong trauma among black people to the experience of anti-black racism.  I argue that this homogenisation of the impact of racism on black people perpetuates the stereotype that all black people are the same. 

I will discuss my recent research into the experiences of a group of professional black women of Jamaican heritage, who were born in the UK to parents of the Windrush Generation.  The results of my research did not dispute that some black people succumb to racism in ways that do lead to lifelong trauma - but the emphasis is on the word ‘some’.  The research revealed a wide range of responses and experiences as each of my participants tried to negotiate general human concerns about identity, meaning, value, freedom, responsibility, choice, and agency. 

It is my belief that we need another narrative; one that truly emphasises the diversity of black experiences; one that includes experiences that show how the heinous phenomenon of anti-black racism does not necessarily rob an individual of their own agency as they strive to create an enriching and meaningful life. 


Professor Divine Charura           

A picture containing person, building, person, outdoorDescription automatically generated                                                     

Professor Divine Charura is a full Professor of Counselling Psychology at York St John University (England). He is a Chartered Psychologist, and Counselling Psychologist with the British Psychological Society. He is registered as a Practitioner Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council in England. Divine is also an Honorary Fellow of  the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy and an Adult Psychotherapist.  

Divine’s psychotherapeutic interests are in exploring the therapeutic relationship when working with, loss, diversity, psychological distress, Trauma, love, relationships and their impact of on being. Divine has co-authored and edited numerous books in counselling, psychology and psychotherapy. These include  Love and Therapy: In relationship [co-edited with Stephen Paul] and with Colin Lago has co-edited the following books: The Person-Centred Counselling and Psychotherapy Handbook: Origins, Developments and Current Applications,(2016) and: Black Identities + White therapies : Race respect and diversity, (2021).  

Divine is a lover of photography, art, music and outdoor pursuits. 

For Divine’s Publications please see  

Professor Colin Lago

Colin Lago, D. Litt, was Director of the Counselling Service at the University of Sheffield, U.K., from 1987 – 2003. He now works as an independent counsellor/psychotherapist, trainer, supervisor and consultant. Trained initially as an engineer, Colin went on to become a full time youth worker in London and a teacher in Jamaica before becoming a counselling practitioner. He is a Fellow of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, an accredited counsellor and trainer and UKRC registered practitioner. Deeply committed to transcultural concerns within psychotherapy, he has published articles, videos and books on the subject.


Sasha van Deurzen Smith and Ruth Millman interview Professor Divine Charura and Professor Colin Lago about their new book “Black identities and white therapies”.  This is a pre-recorded interview.