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BAATN Conference 2016

The BAATN conference in April 2016 was themed ‘Crossing the Line’ and explored the interplay between belonging in relation to identity and Intersectionality.

Introduction to the conference

Eugene opens this years conference entitled Crossing The Line – Shame and Belonging in the therapeutic space and outlines this theme in relation to the presenting speakers. Eugene also gives an update of what is happening behind the scenes at BAATN.

Eugene Ellis 

Eugene Ellis is founder and director of The Black and Asian Therapist Network (BAATN).

Challenge and opportunity as Black co-trainers

Paulette Gibson and Patmarie Coleman are both black women who co-run a two-year Diploma in Counselling. This, as you can imagine, is a rare situation in counselling training which has truly crossed the line. Paulette and Patmarie talk about the opportunities and challenges they were presented with in becoming co-trainers and leave us encouraged that we could do the same.

Paulette Gibson

Paulette has been a counsellor in private practice for 17 years, a supervisor for 7 years and is currently employed as a counsellor at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA).  She works with clients from a diverse range of cultural backgrounds and has an interest in the impact and meaning of race, gender, sexuality and culture.  Paulette is also a mosaic artist and writes poetry in her spare time.

Patmarie Coleman

Patmarie is a person-centred counsellor/psychotherapist and supervisor and has worked for 22 years in a range of educational institutions in addition to working for charities and in welfare rights.  She has an interest in difference and inequality and works with clients from a wide range of cultural backgrounds.  Patmarie enjoys gardening as a way of relaxing and being creative.

Working with Asian women and domestic violence

Poppy shares her many years of experience working with Asian Women in domestic violence where the barriers to crossing the line and seeking help are monumental and where shame and belonging are very powerful and curial organisers within the family system.

Poppy Banerjee

Poppy has been instrumental in setting up and developing counselling services specifically for Asian women (mental health, students and domestic violence services, including the counselling services in the East End of London – Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Newham).

In 1995 Poppy has initiated and developed a national forum for Asian counsellors and professionals working in the counselling & mental health field (Asian Mental Health Forum) and facilitated as chair for number of years. She is also a member of the leadership group of BAATN.

Poppy has been in practice as a counsellor/psychotherapist since 1994 and has been trained in Person-Centred/Existential therapies and has substantial experience of working with people from diverse background including Asian women and girls. She is also a trainer, group worker and a qualified clinical supervisor.

Poppy has worked as a manager in mental health services and in an FE College as a senior counsellor and group worker and currently works in various voluntary sectors as a senior clinician and manager.

BAATN Conference 2017

The BAATN conference in April 2017 was themed ‘Anger, Rage & Outrage: Working creatively with these dynamics in our communities’.

“Anger unvented, becomes pain unspoken, becomes rage released, becomes violence,

cha, cha, cha!”

In The Life: Brother to Brother: Words from the heart – Joseph Beam

The Uses and Misuses of Anger: What We Might Tell The Young

A consideration of rage helps open the lock that holds us in the position of unthinking, simplistic solutions. Dr Begum Maitra contests that what we, the older generation, might want to speak to the younger generation about may be about understanding that there are great greater complexities to why one might rage. For confidentiality reasons the case material has been edited out of this recording. This makes the recording only 9 mins 20 seconds long but it still offers powerful food for thought.

Dr Begum Maitra

Dr Begum Maitra is currently a psychotherapist in private practice following a long career in child psychiatry in the NHS. Her interest in difference began in India, developing with her training there in medicine and psychiatry, and subsequently in Britain, into an exploration of why culture and meaning-systems might be a more useful way of thinking about the possibilities of change.

Apart from numerous publications in books and journals she made a film Does Culture Matter with Morag Livingstone in 2010, co-edited Critical Voices in Child and Adolescent Mental Health with Sami Timimi in 1996, and co-authored Culture and Madness with Inga-Britt Krause in 2014. Her publications reflect her longstanding commitment to thinking critically about what we do as clinicians and therapists when we intervene in others people’s lives.

Self as Source of Own Creativity: An Exploration of The Art of Outrage

In this talk Carmen Joanne Ablack will explore her journey with creative processes and the ways in which she has utilised her rage, anger and outrage to express herself creatively and to support others in finding their creative expression. She will speak of mentors inspiration and guidance and of the journey to finding her / our authentic creative voice.

Her exploration will include her experiences of working with somatic, situational and contextual aspects of anger and rage and fostering creativity arising from finding one’s outrage.

Carmen Joanne Ablack

Carmen Joanne Ablack is a group, couples and relationship, and individual psychotherapist. Also a trainer supervisor and writer published on clinical contemporary practice, intercultural communications, dilemmas, and access and on regulation. An honorary fellow and former UKCP trustee she was recently elected (October 2016) President of the European Association for Body Psychotherapy. Carmen is a member of the BAATN Leadership Group and co-facilitates the Women Practitioners Gathering with Poppy Banerjee.
Websites: |

Colonialism, Violence, Father and Me: A Young Black Man’s Initiation Into Manhood In Mid 20th Century UK

A Spoken word performance. A story of violence within the home to toughen up a young boy for a tough world.


Arike has been in practice as a counsellor since 1986. He is also a trainer, coach and supervisor. He uses creativity to assist people to look at and understand themselves and make sense of their interaction with others. Arike is a member of the BAATN Leadership team and co-facilitates the BAATN Men’s gathering and the Trainer’s Forum.