A note from the Editor

Welcome to the Spring edition of ETQ, where the spotlight is focused on equality, equity, diversity and inclusion (EEDI). I have invited Heena Chudasama to be the guest editor. She is the chair of the Association EDI committee and brings a wealth of knowledge and personal experience to this topic. Heena puts in a lot of work behind the scenes to raise awareness about EEDI, to network and run the committee. In the two years I have known her, she has been willing to share her knowledge and gently teach me about issues that I must confess to being somewhat ignorant of, and I am grateful for that.

More learning has come to me from Olatunde Spence, who shared the infographic below in her previous article. I printed it out, and I keep it on the pinboard above my desk as a reminder.

I think the biggest shift in understanding for me came from Robin DiAngelo’s book ‘White Fragility.’ DiAngelo talks about the ‘racist = bad, not racist = good’ binary that exists for so many people. “Racism is bad, and I am a good person; therefore, I cannot be racist” is the reasoning that frequently causes a defensive response. As soon as we acknowledge the possibility that we can be both racist and not bad, the door is opened for apology, learning and new anti-racist behaviour (we can substitute racism for ableism, sexism, ageism or any other oppressive -ism).

While at the annual conference in York, I spent a delightful hour talking with Myira Khan after her keynote speech, in which she addressed the issue of anti-oppressive therapy and of working ‘within’ diversity as opposed to ‘with’ diversity.

Myira gave me some ad hoc supervision, which can be summed up in four words: ‘Show your working out.’ She asked why I felt the need to dedicate an issue to EEDI and suggested that it could be seen as mere tokenism. I explained that I wanted to create a space for the diverse voices within the Association that are not normally heard or that are somewhat diminished by other content when they are aired. Myira pointed out that implicit in that statement was that ETQ does not already consistently honour diverse voices, and I acknowledged the truth of that.

This special issue marks a line in the sand and is part of a wider EEDI initiative. Working with the EDI Committee, the Scientific and Research Committee has adopted a statement of intent for the research that we, as an Association, commission, support and disseminate. This has been developed because we recognise our ethical obligations as researchers, commissioners and funders of research and because we commit to fostering a research environment that is truly inclusive, representative and considerate of the unique healthcare needs and experiences of underserved groups.

ETQ is a publisher of research and a commissioner of articles about EMDR practice, and it is only right therefore that it adopts the same consideration to EEDI as the Association. To this end, I have revised the instructions for authors. Going forward, it will be a requirement for authors to consider their positionality and unconscious bias and how this shapes their research, practice and writing, and to make it explicit in the form of a positionality statement. The authors in this issue have done this, and as Editor, I think it is important that I do the same, and my statement follows:

“I am a straight, white, cisgender female from a working-class background. I have benefitted immeasurably from a free state education, including as an undergraduate. My view of the patriarchal nature of psychological and medical research and practice informs my own clinical practice and how I consume research.”

I did not find this an easy exercise. For the first time, I was asking myself how my knowledge and experience have come about, what influenced my worldview, and how this influences the work that I do. By bringing this into awareness, I hope I can train myself to override the implicit and unconscious biases that are, of course, present.

I would like to draw your attention to the disclaimer that can be found at the bottom of every page of every ETQ article. It is this:

The views expressed in this publication are entirely the views of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Editor or EMDR UK.

This is, of course, paradoxical when it appears in an article that contains opinions with which EMDR UK and the Editor do agree, but it is a necessary legal protection and standard practice. When this statement was juxtaposed with an article asking, “Is EMDR an anti-racist therapy?” it caused offence, for which I am sorry. It is not intended to deny an author or reader’s truth, and it is included as ever in this current issue. ETQ aims to disseminate and promote effective practice of EMDR therapy to encourage research and best practice and to stimulate debate and discussion without censorship. We do insist upon the use of inclusive language that is free from sexism, racism, ableism, bias and stereotyping, and we would encourage readers who spot anything that is inadvertently present to draw it to our attention. It is in this way that we learn.

You may notice what appear to be inconsistencies in editing, particularly with respect to capitalisations of words such as black, brown, of colour and so on. I have followed UK editing conventions, except where authors have used a direct quote from a source.

The copy deadline for the Summer edition is 10th  July. We would like to bring the annual conference to life for members who were unable to attend. It took place in York in March and was attended online and in person by nearly 800 members. The feedback that I heard was overwhelmingly positive, so if you attended and were inspired, surprised or even outraged by any of the presentations and would like to share your views in ETQ, please do get in touch.

I hope that you enjoy this issue and that it inspires you to work within diversity.


DiAngelo, R. (2018). White fragility. Why it’s so hard to talk to white people about racism. Beacon Press, Boston