Welcome to BAATN
Who we are and who we serve
We are the UK’s largest independent organisation to specialise in working psychologically, informed by an understanding of intersectionality, with people who identify as Black, African, South Asian and Caribbean. Our primary focus and area of expertise is to support people from these heritages. However, we are open to other People of Colour who are affected by oppression due to the colour of their skin and global white power.
Aims and goals
One of the primary aims of BAATN is to address the inequality of access to appropriate psychological services for Black, African, South Asian and Caribbean people, which is a well-recognised reality¹. Part of the solution to addressing this inequality of access is through the provision of events and training for our members, the entire therapy community and the wider public. We acknowledge the enormity of this task; therefore we actively seek partnerships with white majority therapy and training organisations that recognise racism, and the importance of undoing the impact of racism, as an essential part of being mentally healthy. We also seek to work in partnership with other minority groups who experience global and institutional oppression.
Our overall goal is the individual and collective processing of our inner experiences for the benefit of ours and other communities, and to give a voice to a ‘black empathic approach’² in therapy and therapy education. As a body, we seek to influence the integration of this approach into mainstream psychotherapy training, literature and practice. We also encourage other organisations to work with us and support our work.
Our membership comprises mostly of counsellors, psychotherapists and psychologists of Black, African, South Asian and Caribbean heritages of various theoretical orientations. However, there are also many members of BAATN who do not identify as being from these heritages though are interested in supporting us in achieving our aims. Become a member
We have an online directory of therapists who are self-selected, experienced and qualified. They represent a range of different theoretical orientations and specialisms and are experienced in working with the distinctive African, Caribbean and South Asian experience.
BAATN offers Practitioner Spaces, which are healing and learning spaces for therapists and others in the helping professions. There are Practitioner Spaces specifically for those of Black, African, South Asian Caribbean and People of Colour heritages as well as events for therapists of all heritages. BAATN also offers healing and learning spaces for members of the public who want to benefit from the knowledge and expertise of the network and who want to engage proactively and consciously in their psychological lives.
Not for profit
BAATN is a Social Enterprise, which means that all profits are reinvested. BAATN is run mostly by volunteers and survives through membership fees, donations and crowdfunding.
¹ “Healthcare providers need relevant training and support in developing effective communication strategies to deliver individually tailored and culturally sensitive care. Improved engagement with people from BME backgrounds in the development and delivery of culturally appropriate mental health services could facilitate better understanding of mental health conditions and improve access”
Perceived barriers to accessing mental health services among black and minority ethnic (BME) communities. British Medical Journal (BMJ) 2016 – Volume 6, Issue 11
Mental Health Foundation – Mental health statistics: black, Asian and minority ethnic groups – A summary of the research to date
² Dr Isha McKenzie-Mavinga has coined the term “A black empathic approach” (Mavinga 2009). She talks about this approach as understanding and paying attention to the emotions evoked by racism. Drawing on the humanistic concept of empathy, offering a response that specifically and sensitively relates to a client’s racial and cultural experiences as they express them and as the therapist intuitively recognises them. ‘A black empathic approach’ points us towards a connection to feelings about difference and sameness, and a shared understanding of racism.