Self-care workshops: Resistance through self-compassion and connection

Monday 19-12-2016 - 13:00

This is a guest blog by Guilaine Kinouani a writer, independent trainer and consultant on race, culture and equality.

Being exposed to trauma, suffering and injustice is a recurrent experience for women of colour, particularly in the current economic climate. Hate crimes and Islamophobia are on the rise and 'Brexit' has laid bare the xenophobia and racism that is still rampant in our society. Via social media, we are often bombarded with images of dehumanisation. Distressed or dead Black and Brown bodies recurrently appear on our social media 'timelines' sometimes triggering us or taking us back to painful places.  As if that was not enough, we also have to navigate everyday indignities, micro-aggressions and/or structural violence. 

At times surviving and thriving can feel like impossible tasks. Our trying socio-political conditions and our history can have significant effects on our wellbeing, our sense of safety and our ability to feel connected. Most therapy models unfortunately, still take little account of race and racism or sexism and their impact upon the psychological world of people of colour. Indeed, many have asserted that white (male-centric) culture forms the foundation of the theory, research and practice of mainstream therapeutic provisions, as a result many of us are reluctant to seek support for our wellbeing. 

We feel therapists may not get us or our structural realities, we fear that we may get pathologised, we fear being re-traumatised. So we stay silent. We stay alone. Often too we stay ashamed. Increasing our isolation and at times distress. The self-care workshops have been designed to address the above experiences for those who want to seek support from their peers and/or wish to empower themselves to better look after themselves.

The workshops will offer us, women of colour, an opportunity to examine our condition, social realities and histories and their impact on our experiences of the world. They will provide us an opportunity to connect and together, to reflect on the current challenges to our identity, humanity and wellbeing. Using a Framework, Blackness Centred Self-compassion, that is rooted in our lived experience, a framework that aims to start from our vantage point. 

There are very few spaces where we can speak honestly about ourselves, where we can connect and we can feel heard, valued and validated without having to educate and make disclaimers about parts of ourselves.  We wish to facilitate such a space. But first and foremost, we aim to encourage each other to better attend to our needs, to centre our experiences and to practice self-kindness and self-compassion not only as a way to practice self-care but also as a strategy to actively resist the continued social devaluation of our bodies. 

Guilaine Kinouani 


Details of the workshops

Two initial workshops are being scheduled to take place on Friday 20 December and Friday 27 December, at the TindleManor, London as follow: 

A morning workshop
From 10:30 to 13:00


An afternoon workshop*
From 14:00 to 16:30

*The afternoon workshop is for women who identify as Black only.
If you would like to find more about the workshop please click here


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