Understanding Black Issues in the Therapeutic Process


  • Isha McKenzie-Mavinga


For some cultural and ethnic groups availability of services depends on how appropriate services are to their needs and well being; for example services for African, Caribbean and Asian communities must take into account their origins and experiences of being black in Britain. Availability in this context would mean the use of appropriate models that contradict institutional racism and the impact of racism and acknowledgement of the personal development processes specific to these groups.


This kind of provision poses a challenge because there is great sensitivity about addressing black issues in therapeutic relationships, particularly in the training and supervision of counsellors. Counsellor training programmes and provision in mainstream institutions have been lacking in direction and theory on how to process these issues. This has meant that qualified counsellors as well as students have not been facilitated to voice their experience of black issues.


Over the last two decades interest in multicultural dimensions of therapeutic practice has increased, reflecting political and social change, so that approaches to counsellor training are no longer confined to the page. However some responses of black counsellors and clients indicate that what has been, and continues to be produced, in transcultural literature has not sufficiently transferred into practice. The following research question was discovered at the heart of this gap. How do trainee counsellors in Britain understand concerns about black issues-raised by themselves during their training or about clients during the therapeutic process? Mckenzie-Mavinga, I. (Study, 2005)

Author Biography

Isha McKenzie-Mavinga

Isha McKenzie-Mavinga BSc, MA, is a psychotherapist, writer and poet. She has published ‘Creative Writing in a Black Woman’s Group’ in Dupont Joshua A, (ed) Working Inter-Culturally in Counseling Settings (Brunner-Routledge) and ‘Linking Social History and the Therapeutic Process in Research and Practice on Black Issues’, CPR June 2003.


For contact regarding this article or related issues: i.mckenziemavinga@londonmet.ac.uk



How to Cite

McKenzie-Mavinga, I. (2007). Understanding Black Issues in the Therapeutic Process. European Journal for Qualitative Research in Psychotherapy, (2), 1–8. Retrieved from https://ejqrp.org/index.php/ejqrp/article/view/10