National Counsellors’ Day Conference 2023

National Counsellors’ Day Conference 2023. – ‘Social and Political Issues in Counselling and Psychotherapy. Holding...

Last updated 20 May 2024

National Counsellors’ Day Conference 2023. – ‘Social and Political Issues in Counselling and Psychotherapy. Holding space for difficult but necessary conversations!’


Davinder Kaur

Davinder Kaur is Rethink Mental Illness’ Head of Campaigns. She mobilises supporters and members of the public to target decision makers to create change for everyone severely affected by mental illness. She has campaigned at the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), World Development Movement (now Global Justice Now), ActionAid UK and Jubilee 2000.

Dr. Dwight Turner

Dr Dwight Turner is Course Leader on the Humanistic Counselling and Psychotherapy Course at the University of Brighton, a PhD Supervisor at their Doctoral College, a psychotherapist and supervisor in private practice. His latest book Intersections of Privilege and Otherness in Counselling and Psychotherapy was released in February 2021 and is published by Routledge.

An activist, writer and public speaker on issues of race, difference and intersectionality in counselling and psychotherapy.

Dr. Elizabeth Cotton

Dr Elizabeth Cotton is a researcher and educator in the fields of employment relations and mental health at work based at Cardiff School of Management. Elizabeth is currently writing her book UberTherapy: The weaponisation of Wellbeing to be published in 2023.

Erin Stevens

Erin is a neurodivergent (autistic and ADHD) counsellor and psychotherapist based in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, working chiefly with neurodivergent clients, and clients who have had previous experiences of harmful therapy. She is one of the founding members of the Association of Neurodivergent Therapists steering committee and co-organises meet-ups and events for and by neurodivergent therapists. Erin is interested in social justice, anti-oppressive psychotherapeutic practice, and honouring the political foundations of the therapy profession.

Jay Beichman

Jay Beichman PhD. has been practising as a therapist for over 20 years. In 2019, Jay was awarded a PhD in counselling and psychotherapy from the University of Brighton in 2019. His thesis, available for free at is title “How Counsellors and Psychotherapists Make Sense of Pluralistic Approaches to Therapy.”

Lesley Dougan

Lesley Dougan (She/Her). Hi, I am a Neurodivergent person-centred therapist, supervisor and educator. I began working in mental health in 1996 and am experienced in working with children, young people, and adults across the lifespan. I spent 18 years working within a Learning Disabilities CAMHS Team and am passionate about providing equitable access to disenfranchised clients. I qualified as a counsellor in 2012 and as a supervisor in 2021. Until February 2022, I worked as a specialist counsellor at The Alder Centre, working with anyone impacted by the death of a child. I have been the programme lead MA Counselling & Psychotherapy Practice at LJMU since 2017, and I have a small private practice. I am completing a Professional Doctorate in Counselling and Psychotherapy Studies at Chester University.

Mamood Ahmad

Mamood Ahmad (He/Him) is a therapist, author, trainer, and founder of The Anti-Discrimination focus (TADF). He has extensive experience in client mental health advocacy work, including the book ‘client perspectives of therapy’ and more recently in supporting counselling and psychotherapy training providers to embed difference and diversity as standard. He specialises in diversity studies, trauma, and antidiscrimination practice. He holds a private practice in Binfield, Berkshire since 2014.

Mel Ciavucco

Mel Ciavucco is a writer, trainer and group facilitator, and has just qualified as an Integrative Pluralistic counsellor. Mel’s passions and experiences lie in eating disorders, body image and weight stigma, as well as in her group work with perpetrators of domestic abuse. She was published in Therapy Today with an article about fatphobia (June 2021 edition) and she writes about disordered eating, weight stigma, class, and more on her website.

Rahil Virik

Rahil (They/Them) is a Trans Non- Binary Counsellor, having begun their transition in 2015 as part of their journey to live as their authentic self. They recognise the struggle of existing in between a multitude of identities. Thus bringing this passion into developing support for and within the LGBT+ and POC communities. As well as working for GI, they are Head of Therapeutic Service at Galop supporting LGBT+ survivors of abuse and violence. Along with holding a small private practice.