At the Sherwood Psychotherapy Training Institute, we recognise and value the fact that we exist in a community rich in diversity and difference. We take it as self-evident that people are to be valued regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation or social class and we appreciate these characteristics as part of the unique make-up of the individual. We also recognise that both direct and indirect discrimination against differences exist in society and take seriously the disadvantage that can adversely affect individuals and groups as a result.

At the Institute we are actively committed, within the resources at our disposal, to pursue a positive strategy that goes beyond an undertaking not to discriminate or oppress. This applies to the services we provide for our trainees, to all relationships within the Institute, and to the therapeutic relationship that we promote in our training.

We are opposed to any display of prejudice, either by word or conduct, by any member of the Institute.

We seek to ensure that services provided by us do not exclude or discriminate against individuals or groups on criteria other than suitability.

We believe it is important to be aware of our own cultural identity both as individuals and as an organisation, and to understand the implications of this for ourselves and others.

Starting in Year 1 and continuing through to Year 3 or 4, all our training groups receive training related to issues of diversity and oppression, so that throughout, students develop their practice in response to an enhanced awareness of these matters.

The Sherwood Institute recognises its sphere of influence as an organisation and we seek to offer a positive contribution to the debate on therapy/counselling and equality.

The Institute is constantly developing its research role, and we encourage the development of knowledge on equal opportunities issues.

Our equal opportunities policy is implemented in accordance with the appropriate statutory requirements and account is taken of available guidance, in particular the Commission for Racial Equality Code of Practice, the Equal Opportunities Code and the guidance and advice of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy and the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Issues surrounding diversity, oppression and equal opportunities can be particularly sensitive, and except in those cases where behaviour is deemed to be totally unacceptable, we encourage the use of sensitive interventions in exploring these matters or where difficulties arise.

Awareness and practice in relation to issues of diversity and equal opportunities, we regard as matters for ongoing development. We set particular targets and aim to constantly monitor our own development in this respect.

About the SPTI Unity Focus Group

This brief video introduces the work of the SPTI Unity Focus Group an advisory group made up of students, graduates, and staff who meet to discuss and work on ongoing projects to increase inclusion and drive diversity and equality activities within SPTI.