BAME youth and their identity in hostile environments

Event overview

Can psychoanalysis help adolescents from a BAME background negotiate positive identities and personality development in a hostile environment? 

A Thinking Space Special Event


Adolescence can be a difficult time of life. But in addition to its myriad of hurdles, BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) teens are forced to encounter some additional challenges. They are twice as likely to be forced to access mental health services compared to their white counterparts.

In light of this, how do BAME youth cope with being ‘othered’ in society? How do they negotiate their identity in hostile environments? And what role can psychoanalysis help in navigating this?

If you work with young people of ethnicity, our next Thinking Space is for you. It will seek to unpack these questions in a safe and reflective environment. 

20 June 2019 

18:30 to 20:30 with refreshments and registration from 6pm

This event will take place in the lecture theatre (fifth floor), The Tavistock Centre, London.  

Adolescents tasked with negotiating their adolescent development are having to do so in environments, (social, cultural, religious and political) that at times often posit very different views of their self to the ones that they themselves hold.  The adolescent from a BME background is now having to negotiate their identity within these environments as well as the ‘hostile environment’ implemented by the Home Office and the polarising political and social climates stemming from Brexit.  One can argue that these environments and climates have the effect of a BME identity (especially an adolescent identity) being ‘othered’ in society. This presentation will explore whether these types of social and political environments and climates are having a bearing on the identity development of the adolescent from a BME background and whether psychoanalysis can help in this regard.  The speaker will draw on his research in this area to explore this question.  

Speaker: Dr Sean Junor-Sheppard

Dr Sean Junor-Sheppard is a Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist working in the NHS and in private practice. He is passionate about psychoanalysis’ potential to respond to how issues of race, culture and diversity can be thought of in psychoanalytic treatment. His Ph.D. on the investigation of the transference in cross-cultural psychoanalytic psychotherapy is an example of this, as it explores the transference relationship’s usefulness in tending to the effect on the patient’s self from the social, political and religious contexts they inhabit.

£40 (£20 concessionary rate for students, unwaged, Trust staff)

To book the full rate click here

To book the concessionary rate click here

Despite championing talking therapies, we know that some things can be really difficult to talk about. The Thinking Space specialises in taking the difficult topics and distilling them down for discussion and enabling reflection.   

It aims to go beyond the superficial to develop understanding not only of a subject but also ourselves.

Thinking Space was developed at the Tavistock Centre in 2002 as a safe and supportive space to talk and think as honestly as possible about diversity in ourselves and in our practice. It gradually evolved to address other complex and anxiety provoking subjects that are difficult to talk and think about.

It’s unique in that it combines individual wellbeing along with community development

The events tackle different weighty topics several times a year and draws on the rich tradition of group work at the Tavistock, enabling participants to discuss, reflect and learn and combines it with individual and community wellbeing. Click here to view other past and future Thinking Space events. 

The Tavistock Centre, London
20 June 2019 18:30 to 20:30

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