Meet the first-ever Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead Associate Editor of the International Journal of Art Therapy
We are delighted to introduce Trish Bedford as Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Lead Associate Editor, and extend to her a very warm welcome to the Board of the International Journal of Art Therapy (IJAT).
Trish is an Art Therapist, clinical supervisor, lecturer, activist, research consultant, artist and recently published author, who is based in the UK and Qatar.
We asked Trish to share her thoughts on future developments for the profession of art therapy, as well as her vision for the new role of EDI Lead Associate Editor.
‘This is an exciting time for art therapy! For the art therapy world, this is just the beginning of its journey to becoming progressive, inclusive and diverse.
The catalyst for creating this role and other changes in the British Association of Art Therapists (BAAT) and IJAT was from 25 May 2020, the murder of George Floyd and the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, which forced global protests and demands against all types of discrimination, oppression and racism.
This ripple effect of pain, anger and exclusion felt by many in the art therapy world was voiced.
Amongst other collectives, the Art Therapy Race and Culture (ARC) special interest group, which is for art therapists who are members of BAAT, worked hard by meeting weekly during 2020 to hold a space for authentic and often difficult reflections of pain, trauma, grief, insecurities, hopes, resilience, fears and then the call to action.
In July 2020, I co-presented suggested changes to the Educators of Art Therapy in the UK on behalf of ARC. I also took part in the IJAT ‘Actions for Change’ focus group this year to support the diversification of the journal’s networks and update the peer review system towards anti-bias and anti-racist practice.
Being part of the shift so far, I felt I wanted to continue to develop this momentum, having been in these spaces and to apply it to this role. My experience of publishing a chapter opened up a whole new world and I want to share this, with the intention of helping art therapists who don’t feel they fit academia, don’t feel confident to express themselves in their language, or simply don’t understand the processes or support they will receive.
Reflecting on my identity as a multi-racial woman of colour, often ‘othered’ through the lens of intersectionality, and as an art therapist, a profession which is also ‘othered’, raises a question for me:
‘Given our diverse identities and cultures, what does equality across the complexity and intersectionality of art therapists’ lived experiences look like?’
We need to hear more that speaks to this! Your voice, diversity, perspectives, and backgrounds in art therapy contribute towards greater innovation and enable IJAT to be inclusive, accessible and authentic. Publishing your voice, your ideas and experiences will hold space for others to recognise and validate their own and implement changes.
There is still so much to unlearn. The work needs to be done, bottom up and top down, to abolish the existing discriminatory hierarchies, which have made many of us feel excluded, and for art therapy to become a more progressive, inclusive and diverse profession.
I am looking forward to developing this role alongside Editor-in-Chief Alex McDonald and EDI Advisor Corrina Eastwood, IJAT Board members, but most importantly, all of you.
Individually or with other art therapists, we urge you to contribute towards the narrative of intersectional art therapy, which shapes us individually and collectively, by submitting to the upcoming IJAT Special Issue on Intersectionality. The Special Issue will be part of a multi-journal collaboration with Art Therapy, the journal of the American Art Therapy Association and the journal of the Canadian Art Therapy Association: “International Examinations of Anti-oppressive Art Therapy: Intersectionality, Anti-colonialism, and Cultural Humility”. The IJAT Special Issue will be edited by Alex McDonald, Corrina Eastwood, Dwight Turner and Patrick Vernon. The deadline is March 2022, and we very much look forward to reading your submissions.’ Trish Bedford
To learn more about the upcoming IJAT Special Issue on Intersectionality, please click here.
To read the outcomes of the IJAT ‘Action for Change’ focus group, please click here.
To see everyone on the IJAT Board, please click here.
How to get involved with IJAT
Keep up to date with the latest art therapy articles published in IJAT by setting up email alerts here.
Follow IJAT on Twitter @IJATInscape.
Join in with the conversation using the hashtag #IJATInscape. We’d love to hear which papers have influenced your practice or research.
Become an IJAT Peer Reviewer by booking on training here.
Submit a paper using the IJAT templates for research and practice papers here.
Your voice, diversity, perspectives, and backgrounds in art therapy contribute towards greater innovation and enable IJAT to be inclusive, accessible and authentic.Trish Bedford, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead Associate Editor