A note from the guest editor

It is an honour to be the guest editor for this special Spring edition of ETQ, focusing on equality, equity, diversity and inclusion (EEDI). Throughout my career, I have heard many times that core training (and EMDR standard training) does not address or explore diversity in its content or application. Dr Joanne Porter highlights this omission of content on intellectual disability when she trained, and Amal Wartalska writes about the omission of socially inflicted trauma; namely race, ethnicity and culture. Understanding how oppressive and often Eurocentric ideals contribute to health inequalities among vulnerable, marginalised and minoritised groups requires us as practitioners to engage in reflection and action on the work that we do. It is the responsibility of all of us to create places and spaces for voices to be heard, and this edition gives a voice to those who have otherwise been easy to ignore. 

Noticing the vulnerability, allyship, passion, bravery and dedication of authors throughout this edition demonstrates only some of the diverse experience and interests within the EMDR UK membership.Russell Hurn, now president-elect, reflects on his development and practice through his drive towards anti-oppressive practice. Robin Logie, a past president of the EMDR Association UK, shares (in his regular supervision column) his experiences and considerations in clinical supervision when working within difference, a term coined by Mirya Khan. Mirya delivered a keynote speech  at the annual conference in York this year, and her book has been reviewed by Debbie Brewin

We are all invited to engage in open dialogue about our own and others’ differences. Notice how these conversations have previously been silenced, stigmatised, ignored and brought with them shame in various forms. The authors have highlighted intergenerational and societal narratives. In her first part of two articles, Amal Wartalska focuses on socially inflicted traumas and provides applications in clinical practice. Peter Pruyn advocates for and gives a voice to individuals with endometriosis and he discusses treating endometriosis pain. He encourages others to destigmatise, honour and validate experiences rather than shaming, which many people with endometriosis experience. Dr Joanne Porter highlights the challenges and possibilities of working with intellectual disabilities using EMDR psychotherapy and calls for more research in this marginalised community. And I ask readers to consider the importance of EEDI in our work and our ethical obligations in research and clinical practice.  

Acknowledging and understanding the existence of systemic oppression and the impact it has on those from marginalised groups enables bias to be transparent and strive towards the development of inclusive and attuned therapeutic practice. If we, however, choose to diffuse or continue to ignore this responsibility, we may be engaging in not only unethical practice but also causing harm through our ‘helping’ profession. The authors have provided some action points to consider in therapeutic practice, reflective practice, clinical supervision and research.  

Of course, EEDI cannot be limited to this edition, and perhaps this is the start of how ETQ will evolve going forward by overtly integrating EEDI through its publications and how we individually and collectively disseminate anti-oppressive practice. To this end, all authors have been asked to write a positionality statement to allow biases to be known and transparent. This will now be practice going forward, and further details can be found in the updated instructions for authors section, which can be found here.  

Heena Chudasama, Chairperson of the EDI Committee hchudasama@emdrassociation.org.uk