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Tue, February 14, 2023 3:28 PM | OSRP (Administrator)


Black History Month, recognized and celebrated here since 1995 following the initiative of the Honourable Jean Augustine, Canada’s first Black MP, who represented her Ontario riding for 13 years, is an opportunity for psychotherapists to continue resourcing ourselves for the work we do, and the experiences we have, all year long. We encourage all members to research (and re-re-re-search) the best sources for you.

We do have a few ideas to share below, and would love to hear yours. Please send your favourite resources to and you may see them posted on our website.

To resource, or “re-Source” ourselves, is appropriate for Ontarians. After all, the word “Ontario'' comes from the Iroquois “kanadario,” meaning “sparkling” water. Lakes and rivers make up one-fifth of Ontario’s footprint. Each lake and river is continually re-Sourced and re-Freshed by springs, aquifers, reservoirs, ponds, streams, estuaries, ice, rainfall, and waterfalls of all shapes and sizes, including at Niagara. These sources continually oxygenate and revive our water – an essential source of vitality for all human, animal and plant life. Continuous flow and circulation, and re-circulation, makes our water safe and effective. So must we as RPs, RP(Q)s, Students and Retired Members continually dip our toes, and occasionally take deep dives, into new sources that re-Fresh and re-Vive our learning and our lives.

As documented in our Annual General Report in November, the OSRP Board was moved by the February 2022 Report released by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, cited in CRPO’s February 2022 Communiqué, entitled "Shining a Light on Mental Health in Black Communities." The MHCC Report spotlighted health disparities in Black Communities that speak directly to the gaps in service and resources that OSRP identified and began responding to in 2021.

Statistics from this report include:

  • 38% of survey respondents who are Black, and reported poor or fair mental health, stated that they had used mental health services
  • 60% said they would be more willing to use mental health services if the mental health professional was Black
  • 35.4% were experiencing significant psychological distress, 34.2% of whom never sought mental health services.

Deborah Adams, Registrar and CEO of the CRPO, responded to the MHCC Report by stating, “The message that these statistics carry is clear: we need to work to reduce barriers like systemic inequities resulting from anti-Black racism and lack of representation in the profession to improve access to much-needed mental health care for the Black community in Ontario.”

Please have a look at the lived experience behind these statistics in “All Booked Up: The Frustration of Finding a Black Therapist” by Alicia Lue from The Walrus

The CRPO has clearly mandated all Registrants to continue developing our cultural competencies. For example:

Registrants are strongly encouraged to develop their learning on Canada’s Indigenous people and the ongoing effects of colonization.”  

Indigenous Healthcare Law and Policy section of Professional Practice and Jurisprudence for RPs Professional Practice and Jurisprudence for Registered Psychotherapists – College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (

“A registrant must not discriminate against any person on any prohibited ground. Examples of discrimination may include the following:

  • refusing to accept or continue to treat a new client for a prohibited reason, such as race, gender identity, or sexual orientation;
  • making a treatment decision for a prohibited reason;
  • insulting a client in relation to a prohibited reason;
  • refusing to allow a client with a disability to attend an appointment with a support person, assistive device, or service animal; and
  • making assumptions, not based on clinical observation or professional knowledge and experience, about a person’s health or abilities because of their age or another prohibited reason.

It is not discrimination to make clinical decisions for reasons other than prohibited grounds. For example, if an RP does not have the competence to treat or continue to treat a person, a registrant should not initiate or continue therapy with a client. Such a decision to refuse or discontinue services must be made in good faith, communicated sensitively, and documented. It is discriminatory to claim one lacks competence as a pretence for refusing to provide service based on protected grounds.

RPs are similarly entitled to rely on professional knowledge, judgement, and experience to comment upon clinically relevant matters that relate, for example, to a person’s age, gender, or cultural background.

Human Rights and Accessibility Legislation section of Professional Practice and Jurisprudence for RPs  - our emphasis in bold Professional Practice and Jurisprudence for Registered Psychotherapists – College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (

The OSRP Board has taken, and continues to take, our role as your elected representatives in this space very seriously. We have found ourselves and our clinical practices richly re-Sourced this past year by many currents of learning, including the following (all of which are intended for all adults):

  1. My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending our Hearts and Bodies, a NYT Bestseller by Resmaa Menakem, author, Psychotherapist and founder of Somatic Abolitionism, specialising in the effects of trauma on the human body and the relationship between trauma, white body supremacy, and racism.

    My Grandmother's Hands—Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending ... by Resmaa Menakem (Excerpt) - YouTube

    An interview with Menakem from “On Being” with Krista Tippett Resmaa Menakem — 'Notice the Rage; Notice the Silence' | The On Being Project

  2. 2022 Giller Prize winner for Fiction, Suzette Mayr’s The Sleeping Car Porter explores a crucial part of Canada’s Black History (also available as an audiobook): The Sleeping Car Porter | Coach House Books (

    An interview/Q&A with Mayr from “The Giller Book Club” with Donna Bailey Nurse, literary critic
     The Giller Book Club: The Sleeping Car Porter - YouTube

  3. Internal Racism: A Psychoanalytic Approach to Race and Difference by M. Fakhry Davids, author and Psychoanalyst, British Psychoanalytical Society Internal Racism: A Psychoanalytic Approach to Race and Difference by M. Fakhry Davids (

    An Interview with Davids from “New Books in Psychoanalysis” with Tracy D. Morgan, Psychoanalyst, LCSW-R, M.Phil  New Books in Psychoanalysis: M. Fakhry Davids, "Internal Racism: A Psychoanalytic Approach to Race and Difference" (Red Globe, 2011) on Apple Podcasts

    Short video of Davids describing his interest in the geography of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis: Fakhry Davids - YouTube

Also please consider viewing or re-Viewing this OSRP seminar:

Embodied Liberation: Facilitating Healing, Recovery & Transformation, facilitated by Shalyn Isaacs, MEd, Counselling Psychology Candidate.

She discussed how:

  • Systemic oppression experiences live in the bodies of those from marginalized groups.
  • How do we release limiting beliefs to promote healing?
  • How can we embody liberation?
  • What will happen when you start feeling like your body is a home?
  • Utilizing somatic frameworks, participants will create and embody narratives of empowerment.

Other re-Sources, flowing from far and wide:

25 books about being Black in Canada | CBC Books

25 Best Black Therapy Podcasts (chosen by FeedSpot):

Some Black Therapist directories:

Wishing all OSRP Members a re-Sourceful, re-Circulating and re-Viving Black History Month!

— The above was collected and written by Rachel Fulford, RP, Co-Vice-Chair and Chair of Advocacy, and approved by the Executive Committee.

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