WHAT ABOUT US?
What about us? Cultural Awareness in Clinical Psychology is a podcast hosted by Dr Afsana Faheem (Lecturer) and Dr Kate Cooper (Clinical Psychologist and Researcher). Each month, we chat with people from diverse backgrounds who have a keen interest in diversifying the clinical psychology profession and mental health services. We cover topics relating to experiences of racism, discrimination, structural inequalities, power dynamics, social class differences, working with refugee and asylum seeker communities, plus many more.
Stay tuned in every month, where we bring you new episodes to amplify the voices of those who are committed to their professional development, as well as providing the best possible care and positive regard to service users, their colleagues, and many others.
More information about us can be found here https://www.bath.ac.uk/announcements/new-podcast-highlights-challenges-in-cultural-awareness-for-clinical-psychology/
The hosts also feature in The Psychologist where they discuss the importance of raising cultural awareness and diversifying clinical psychology https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/its-about-giving-voice-people-who-can-bring-so-much-table
How the podcast got started: As part of the ongoing plans to diversify Clinical Psychology and to be more inclusive, in the early part of 2020 we planned to launch a cultural awareness symposium showcasing the work of diverse clinical psychologist for students at University of Bath. However, in the midst of a global pandemic, and termination of face-to-face teaching, plans for the symposium were cancelled.
Given that this event was particularly planned as part of teaching for students on the MSc Applied Clinical Psychology programme, Afsana decided to embrace this opportunity and to think creatively about ways in which the voices of clinical psychologist could be reached to students. This was imperative since inclusion of cultural and racial differences tend to be minimised in the curriculum and clinical psychology training. As such, Afsana and Kate got together and developed the What About Us podcast.
Afsana and Kate decided to put a call out on social media for clinical psychologists and mental health professionals who had experience of working with diverse communities to share their expertise with us. They were overwhelmed with the response. Since then, the podcast has evolved and has been used as part of teaching, as well as in a range of settings including clinical psychology training programmes and NHS trusts.
About Dr Afsana Faheem
Current Role: Clinical Psychology Lecturer & Host
Afsana Faheem is a lecturer in the Department of Psychology at University of Bath, teaching predominately on the MSc Applied Clinical Psychology programme. Afsana’s teaching tends to focus on working with diversity and cultural competence. Afsana is also the co-organiser of the University of Bath BAME Mentor Scheme which has been developed for aspiring clinical psychologist from ethnic minority backgrounds.
Afsana’s PhD research explored the cross-cultural validity of evidence-based psychological therapies offered by Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service. Her research
included examination of therapeutic effectiveness for ethnic minority communities; BAME service user experience of therapy; and cultural competence of IAPT practitioners. Afsana has a special interest in working with people from disadvantaged and ethnically diverse communities. In the past, Afsana has worked in community mental health outreach services, counselling, and mentorship programmes for students from socially disadvantaged BAME backgrounds.
About Dr Kate Cooper
Current Role: Research Fellow, Clinical Psychologist & Host
Kate Cooper is an NIHR clinical doctoral research fellow working in the Department of Psychology at the University of Bath. Kate is a BABCP accredited Cognitive Behavioural Therapist and a HCPC registered Clinical Psychologist.
Kate’s interest in diversity in clinical psychology deepened when working with refugees and asylum seekers in both the UK and Greece. These experiences, along with a commitment to helping diversify the clinical psychology profession, meant that she was delighted to be able to support her colleague Afsana in developing the What About Us podcast. Kate is keen to learn from the guests about how the profession can be diversified, and is committed to
learning about her own biases and preconceptions as a white clinical psychologist. She hopes that other clinical psychologists who are from dominant groups within the profession will be motivated to listen to the podcast to learn more about what those in positions of power can do to change the face of clinical psychology.