Issued: 4 June, 2020
BABCP Anti-Racism Statement
The British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) is
the lead organisation for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) in the UK and Ireland.
We are releasing this statement in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, which
has highlighted the ongoing and systemic nature of racism in the United States and
the rest of the world including the UK and Europe. We wish to be clear that the
BABCP is an Anti-Racist organisation and stands against all forms of discrimination
and discriminatory practice. We are committed to challenging and eradicating racism.
We recognise that as well as being abhorrent, racism in itself has a marked and
significant negative impact on the mental health of Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic
(BAME) communities that our members are part of and that members serve as therapists.
We recognise that racism can be both overt, as in the case of the murder of George
Floyd and other people of colour, and covert in the form of oppression, aggression
and systemic bias. We recognise that systemic racism has contributed to there being
fewer Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic therapists, and to therapy being less accessible
to BAME communities. We are committed to trying to improve this.
Some of the actions which BABCP have been taking to try to improve the status quo
include the work of the Equality & Culture SIG, resources for members including
the special issue of our journal highlighting work with BAME communities, the BAME
Positive Practice Guide, outreach event and related podcast, and a recent external
consultation on our own organisational equality & diversity practices which we are
committed to acting upon.
We encourage all members of the BABCP who have been affected by the events of this
week to please seek support from your employing organisation, from colleagues and
professional networks, and from structures such as clinical supervision. This is
especially important if you are working with clients who as part of therapy share
their grief, sadness and fear as a result of George Floyd’s death or have lost loved
ones as a result of institutional racism.
We encourage our BAME members to seek support at what is likely to be a difficult
time in terms of the racism you may be or may have been exposed to in your own lives
and workplaces. It is important that you are supported for the sake of your own
well-being and mental health as well as to be able to support clients in therapy,
in the eventuality that they disclose their own experiences of systemic racism or
discrimination. We encourage our white members to seek out opportunities to become
allies of anti-racism practice and for learning and reflection on how you can improve
the way that you support BAME colleagues and clients. It is vital to ensure that
the impact of racism in BAME individuals’ daily lives and globally is mitigated
by the supportive responses and understanding of white colleagues. There are several
resources including the BAME Positive Practice Guide available on the BABCP website,
Journals and CBT Today articles and Twitter account which may be a helpful beginning.
Recently members and service users from BAME communities will also have been disproportionally
affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic and we are aware of the cumulative impact of these
experiences on the emotional and physical health of communities and individuals.
We recognise that inequality is killing people.
We call for an end to inequalities in mental healthcare provision. This can only
occur when we end social inequalities and move to a society where racism is a thing
of the past. We are committed as an organisation to doing all we can to work towards
We are receptive to hearing from anyone about ideas for how we can improve our practices
and support. Please don’t hesitate to contact us.