5 Jun 2019

A Q&A with Dr Aileen Alleyne

Dr Alleyne is a UKCP registered psychodynamic psychotherapist, clinical supervisor and organisational consultant who will be at Wimbledon Guild on Saturday 5th September 2020.

We are delighted to have Dr Aileen Alleyne at Wimbledon Guild Counselling Training on Saturday 5th September 2020 to deliver the CPD workshop:

 Intergenerational Trauma, with particular focus on black identity wounding.

 Dr Alleyne is a UKCP registered psychodynamic psychotherapist, clinical supervisor and organisational consultant.  In addition to running her private practice in East Sussex and South East London, she is a visiting lecturer at several training institutions and a consultant on issues of race and cultural diversity within various workplace settings, such as, the NHS, Social Services, Education and the Police Services.

 Tickets for the event are available here:



What was your journey into training as a psychotherapist?

The trajectory of my journey into the profession of psychotherapy was significantly influenced by 11 years in the NHS, where I worked as a qualified practitioner in both fields of General and Psychiatric nursing. It was during the latter challenging years as a senior manager of a "psychotherapeutic community", that I became very interested in the power of talk therapies as a highly effective and humane way of dealing with, and understanding deeper emotional and psychological conditions. Deciding to move away from the nursing profession and into the therapy world was a major turning point for my career. The subsequent phase was a rich journey, negotiated via a progressive and life changing path. I first undertook a Diploma in Psychological Counselling (Roehampton Institute of Higher Education), followed by a Masters degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy (University of Hertfordshire), and latterly, a doctorate in Psycho-therapeutic Studies (Metanoia and Middlesex University), focusing on the glaringly absent area in all of the aforementioned trainings. This was and remains the unheeded dimensions of race and diversity in counselling and psychotherapy. In between my counselling and psychotherapy trainings, I also undertook a Diploma in Psychodynamic Supervision (Westminster Pastoral Foundation), and started to operate a part-time private counselling and psychotherapy practice in East Dulwich. My counselling experience was richly diversified through working in the areas of alcohol and drug addiction, pre and post test HIV/AIDS counselling, and with mental health presentations. My psychodynamic/psychoanalytic orientation, coupled with a strong principled approach to embracing difference and diversity, attracted a large clientele that enabled me to establish a full private practice. As I've deepen my knowledge and experience over the years, with good supervision and well chosen CPD, my profession has taken on a definite shape of being not only a psychotherapy practitioner in private and clinical supervisor, but a researcher, writer, lecturer/educator, facilitator, key note conference speaker, and organisational consultant. 


Why do you feel it is important for therapists to understand intergenerational trauma?

 I feel it's important for counsellors and psychotherapists to understand intergenerational trauma because everyone has a story. There's a personal story, a family story, a mythical story...and a historical story that is often a mystery. Understanding intergenerational trauma helps us to address dark secrets being passed down generations. It helps us deal with untreated pain that leaves indelible marks on our minds, emotions, and capacity for joy and intimacy. It even helps us to understand the effects on our biological and immune systems that behave in inexplicable ways when we are overly stressed and stuck. Understanding inter (and transgenerational) trauma can get to answers awaiting us in our untold ancestral stories and in the historical baggage we still carry. 


What are your hopes delegates will take away from your CPD day with Wimbledon Guild counselling training?

 Delegates can hopefully take away a deeper awareness of how the past (historical and ancestral baggage) can still be present and active in our adult functioning and passed down further generations. Delegates will increase their knowledge of how untreated inherited trauma can negatively change core beliefs and behavioural patterns. The training day will also offer skills and conceptual handles to work with this area of trauma and its related clinical presentations. 


Are there any books or resources you would recommend for therapists wanting to learn more about intergenerational trauma?

 Inter/Transgenerational Trauma, with particular focus on Black Identity Wounding. Complied by  Dr Aileen Alleyne (May 2019)


Akbar, N.  (1979). ‘African roots of Black personality’, in W. Smith et al. (Eds) Reflections on Black psychology.  Washington, DC: University Press of America.

Akbar, N.  (1996).  Breaking the chains of psychological slavery.  Tallahassee, FL: Mind Productions.

Alleyne, A.  (2004). ‘The internal oppressor and black identity wounding’, Counselling and Psychotherapy Journal, 15 (10), pp. 48–50.

DeGruy-Leary, J.  (2005). Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury & Healing.  Uptone Press.

Fanon, F. (1986) Black Skin, White Masks.  London: Pluto Press.

Fernando, S. (1991). Mental Health, Race and Culture. London: Macmillan/MIND Publications.

Fletchman Smith, B.  (2011) Transcending the Legacies of Slavery:  A Psychoanalytic View. Pub: Taylor & Francis LtdLtd.

Fletchman Smith, B.  (2000) Mental Slavery:  Psychoanalytic Studies of Caribbean People. Pub: Taylor & Francis Ltd.

Freire, P.  (1970).  Pedagogy of the Oppressed.  New York: Continuum.

Gerson, S. (2009). When the third is dead: memory, mourning, and witnessing in the aftermath of the Holocaust. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 90:1341–57.


Geertz, C. (1973). The Interpretation of Cultures: Selected Essays. New York: Basic Books.

hooks, b.  (1996).  Killing rage: ending racism.  Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.

Lipsky, S.  (1987).  Internalised Racism.  Seattle: Rational Island Publishers.

Mackenzie-Mavinga, I. (2009) Black Issues in the Therapeutic Process. Pub. Palgrave Macmillan.

Rodgers, Annie, D. A Shinning Affliction - Penguin.


Rodgers, Annie, D. The Unsayable - Penguin.

Sarup, M. (1996). Identity, Culture and The Postmodern World. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Winnicott, D. (1960) Ego distortions in terms of the true and false self. In D.W. Winnicott. The maturational process and the facilitating environment. London Hogarth Press. 

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