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Justice & Liberation in the Therapy Room

September 11 @ 10:00 am 1:00 pm

As therapists, how do we support clients that have been through adverse experiences relating to structural oppression and discrimination? Can we do this in a way that does not reproduce dynamics of oppression, silencing, or missing parts of their experience in the room?

Unfortunately, many of our current theories and practices do not help us understand and address these issues directly. Nor do they give us the skills to reflect in ways that will help us develop safer spaces and limit the potential for harm.

Therapeutic relationships can be a space to examine links between the social context and a person’s inner process, as well as the direct impact it might be having on a person’s mental and emotional wellbeing. In this workshop we will examine what working towards epistemic and social justice for our clients might look like in the room with the help of theories like liberation psychology and decolonial approaches. We will also reflect together and challenge ourselves gently, to consider our roles: being part of the problem, and how we can become part of the solution.


The workshop will consist of two presentation blocks followed by two group discussions and reflective time with the aid of prompts and questions. Duration is 2h30 with a 15 to 20 min break in the middle. Attendance numbers will be limited to facilitate a discussion.


The goal of this workshop is to support mental health practitioners in embedding social justice principles and practices in their work with clients in a directly applicable way.What will be covered:

  • Learning about Epistemic Justice and Injustice in and out of the therapy room
  • Exploring Liberation psychology principles
  • Examining frameworks and interventions that can help us practice from social justice and decolonial lens
  • Develop a self-reflective stance to integrate this knowledge into our practice

(This is a live event that will be most beneficial for participants who engage with the material and discussions. It will not be recorded, but a short handout with definitions and references will be provided)

About the facilitator:

Lucia Sarmiento Verano is a humanistic psychotherapist in private practice in Oxford and online. With a background in sociology and Political Science, she has worked as an anti-racism trainer and consultant with mental health organisations. She has experience delivering training and facilitating reflective discussions around topics of anti-racism and decolonial thinking in mental health. In addition to her practice and training activities, Lucia is now preparing to undertake research on the topics of anti-oppression and resistance as a Ph.D. student at the Birkbeck University of London.

What attendees have said about Lucia’s events:

I would recommend, it is an accessible way to gain valuable insight on topics that are essential for counsellors (but sadly not included within most training)


“Appreciation for the sensitivity brought to social/cultural/historical power in the real world and how this is present in clinical interactions.”


“I would highly recommend. Lucia’s presentation was paced perfectly, she was easy to listen to and understand and therefore I felt engaged and learnt some new things without feeling overwhelmed.”


Pay what you can afford

Lucia Sarmiento Verano

Online via Zoom

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