The word “Aashna” is an Indian word meaning ‘devoted to love.’ Pretish Raja-Helm and Shammi Kohli set up Aashna in recognition of the struggle diverse groups face in finding therapy that meets their needs, with practitioners from diverse backgrounds reaching and supporting their communities. Aashna’s ethos is “embracing difference and diversity in all its forms” by building a community that supports the counselling and psychotherapy field in proactively understanding and recognising the needs of diverse groups and working with intersectionality.
At its heart, Aashna+ is a social justice project. Our aim is to develop a communal approach to individual therapy, inspired by the ethos of Aashna and the spirit of the home group. Aashna+ will offer the possibility of a longer-term, low-cost service for people diverse in race, culture, social background, religion, sexuality, age, gender, disability and other diversity, who may otherwise struggle to access therapy. Intertwined in this vision is supporting therapists to develop a practice that is sensitive to difference and the implications of existing power structures within the psychotherapy field and beyond.
All involved; clients, therapists and supervisors are participants in a bigger social experiment. They will contribute to a ‘communal pot’. Clients are invited to contribute between £1 - £30+ and upward to full fee for those who can afford and wish to contribute. Therapists and supervisors will earn between £1-£30, each according to their means and desire to contribute to this vision.
Our mission is to offer a psychotherapy service that embraces difference and affirms interconnectedness, to creatively challenge existing power structures within the field, empower all participants involved, develop a sense of belonging to a shared project and inspire the vision that psychotherapy can no longer be separate from the urgent need for social change. It is in our hands!
We are delighted to have Hannah El-Sayed, Samia Nelson, Emma Bull and Anna Patel join the Aashna + therapist team. Already their presence has been invaluable.
To inquire about accessing the Aashna+ service email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are in the process of expanding Aashna+ to include clients who are drawn to the ethos of Aashna, who can afford to pay full fee for their individual therapy with the knowledge that 50% of their payment will go to the communal pot to enable those who can’t afford it to have access to long term therapy.
We invite our friends, family and Aashna community to donate Aashna+ via our GoFundMe page to support therapy to be accessible to our communities.