Taiwo Afuape, Ph.D.

Email: drtaiwoafuape@yahoo.co.uk
Web: https://ift.org.uk/

Taiwo is first and foremost a creative individual who values creativity in all its forms, as a form of expression, celebration and resistance as well as resistance as a form of creativity; with respect to its powerful ability to tell stories, transform moods, mobilise and inspire; with respect to the ‘absorbed self’, where we become something other than ourselves, as we immerse ourselves in art; and the joy of something new being brought into existence; of opening, expanding, and becoming more human.

She is incredibly passionate about social justice, social transformation, and addressing all forms of harm. As a Black African, British-born Nigerian, working class woman, she is dedicated to naming and addressing the relationship between distress and structural oppression. She is an experienced clinician with vision, and a deeply shy and introverted individual who pushes herself beyond her comfort zone in order to try to contribute to making a world that belongs to everybody.

She is a Clinical Psychologist and Family Systemic Psychotherapist and currently Director of Training at IFT.  She has twenty-one years post-qualification experience working in NHS and non-NHS settings, with people across the life span, from babies to older adults, people with learning difficulties and extensive experience working with adults and young people with complex psycho-social difficulties (otherwise known as ‘severe and enduring mental health problems’). She has a particular interest in social constructionist approaches that are overtly political in their agenda, such as community psychology, liberation psychology, Narrative Therapy, Coordinated Management of Meaning (CMM) and radical systemic approaches, that addresses the social, cultural, structural and relational issues that cause people distress. 

She trained at the University of East London (UEL) because of its emphasis on social constructionist critiques of mainstream psychology and psychological practice, and because she did not want to be socialised into doing therapy uncritically. Her training at the Kensington Consultation Centre (KCC) as a Family and Systemic Psychotherapist built on the critical skills she learnt at UEL and enabled her to develop her identity as a critical psychotherapist, who addresses wider social factors in mental health, rather than being limited by a restricted consideration of individuals and the micro-social environment immediately surrounding them. This led her to further training in Narrative Therapy and Community Work at the Institute of Narrative Therapy.

She has worked within mental health and social care systems:

  • setting up community psychology services for transitional populations – women escaping domestic violence, homeless people, people misusing substances, travelling communities of Roma and Irish heritage and refugee people;
  • in a Human Rights charity for survivors of torture; 
  • Managing adult mental health Systemic consultation Services in East and South London
  • Leading teams in CAMHS in North and East London
  • She is currently Director of Training at the Institute of Family Therapy and Systemic Social Action (IFT)

She is a sole parent of two vibrant balls, of energy, warmth and light. Creating a female-headed family to nurture these souls and choosing to have her children without having a partner, further entrenches her in the category of ‘other’ – something for which she is proud.