Understanding the Workings of “The Internal Oppressor”

Book tickets

17 September 2022

Time: 10:00 - 13:00

Price: Qualified Practitioners: £60 Counselling/Psychotherapy Trainee: £50 WPF Therapy Trainees/Staff: £45

Location: online


Maximum number of places – 25

This workshop will be delivered via Zoom online.

If you are interested in WPF Therapy upcoming events, please book your tickets on our Eventbrite page.

  • What is “the internal oppressor”? This will be introduced as an inevitable impact of generational and present day racialised trauma.
  • How do we work with “the internal oppressor” and can we recognise its psychological impact to identity?
  • Would you like to deepen and widen your knowledge of the concept of identity trauma?

Workshop Aims

By the end of this workshop you will:

  • Gain an understanding of the workings of “The Internal Oppressor”.
  • Understand how it links to struggles with identity shame, the imposter syndrome and generational trauma.
  • Be equipped with some therapeutic tools for addressing the limiting effects of this presentation in the work with clients.


This workshop that will introduce the facilitator’s own clinical concept of “The Internal Oppressor” (Alleyne 2004). The concept must be distinguished from internalised oppression, as it is part of the self; a part of the ego-structure that functions as an inhibitor and interferes with the moving on process of black lives. Understanding this internal enemy and how it is created, can help in the development of internal resources to reframe, and change the inhibiting impact of racialised trauma.

The workshop will be interactive. In preparation for the workshop, please identify beforehand some of your internalised scripts and how they were formed. Focus on generational and personal scripts that are influenced by what you have inherited and internalised from parents, and those that have been shaped by your societal and cultural experiences. These will help you in the workshop to see what might be influencing your life and shaping your actualisation process.

The day will be facilitated via a mixture of tutorial input, paired exercises, small group work, clinical vignettes, PowerPoint, and video.

Dr Aileen Alleyne is a UKCP registered psychodynamic psychotherapist, clinical supervisor and organisational consultant. She lecturers at several training institutions and is a consultant on issues of race and cultural diversity to organisations, such as the NHS, Social Services, Education and the Police Services. Her clinical research examining black workers’ experiences in three institutional settings, makes a significant contribution to the discourse on race.  Highlighting the concept of ‘the internal oppressor’, it offers ways of deepening understanding of black psychological reactions to the negative impact of racism. Aileen is the author of several book chapters and journal papers exploring themes on black/white dynamics, shame, and identity wounding, and working with issues of Difference and Diversity in the Workplace. Her first published book, The Burden of Heritage: Hauntings of Generational Trauma on Black Lives. Pub: Karnac/Confer Books (2022), is available online at Amazon.

Target Audience:

Practitioners in areas of counselling, psychotherapy, group work, family therapy, psychology, sociology, social work, education, teaching, youth work, pastoral care, psychiatry, mentoring, mediation.

Reading list:

Alleyne, A.  (2004).  The internal oppressor and black identity wounding. In Counselling and Psychotherapy Journal Vol (15) No 10.

Alleyne, A. (2005).  The Internal Oppressor – the veiled companion of external racial oppression. In UKCP The Psychotherapist, Issue 26, Spring.

Alleyne, A (2022).  The Burden of Heritage: Hauntings of Generational Trauma on Black Lives. Pub: Karnac/Confer Books.

Comments from previous participants

“If you are considering doing CPD around shame and racism and feeling apprehensive, this is a thorough, thought provoking and containing introduction to an essential undertaking.”

“This is a very “of the moment” course, directly addressing both internal shame, and the implications of working with current and historical racism”.

“Dr Alleyne’s warm and authoritative approach meant we were free to speak from our embodied, lived experience without fear or hesitation. Truly enlightening”.

“Reaffirming, validatory and eye-opening course!”.

Please note that by booking a ticket for this event, you are agreeing to our Terms and Conditions for CPD events, so please read through them carefully before making your purchase – https://wpf.org.uk/cpd-events-terms-and-conditions-2020-2021/

If you experience any problems during the application process then please contact events@wpf.org.uk.

Book tickets



Find out more about upcoming events.
Read more