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ACTO wishes to align itself with “Black Lives Matter” – this powerful cry of outrage, of despair, of anguish and of injustice. As therapists working interpersonally, inter-culturally and internationally, we reject all forms of discrimination and will work to expose, challenge and eradicate it within our society, within our relationships, within our work – within ourselves. Black lives matter. ACTO rejects discrimination of any kind – whether it be in the context of race, colour, sexuality, physical or mental attributes, age or religion.

As counsellors and psychotherapists, ACTO members are drawn into areas of darkness daily – in the lives shared with us, in the experiences brought to us – and indeed, within ourselves. We know that within all humanity, there are themes of prejudice, of anger, of judgment and bias. Daily, we endeavour to bring into these places of darkness, the light of all that is best about humanity: our compassion, our love for others, our delight in the goodness of the life – of ourselves and of others.

Perhaps our familiarity with these dynamics inure us to the real, awful, lived experience of prejudice and discrimination in the world. It is awful that it takes the brutal reality of events such as the death of George Floyd, to shake us from our lethargy to realise how terrible the blight of prejudice and injustice is. How all-pervasive; how shameful; how appalling that we have, actively or passively, bought into systems of prejudice.

ACTO will itself look at ways in which our principles and standards fall short of full openness and acceptance – and how they can be improved. Particularly because we often work internationally, online therapists must be acutely aware of their own cultural bias, their ignorance and their assumptions in their therapeutic relationships. ACTO will identify and appoint an “Equality and Diversity Director” to enable us to keep this matter central to our work and to our message. We will give active consideration to how we can further equalities and challenge inequality in our areas of interest.

ACTO actively invites contributions from members and beyond, which enable us to understand more fully the anguish and the issued raised by the “Black Lives Matter movement.

Adrian M. Rhodes,

Chair,

p.p. The Directors,

ACTO

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