We would like to apologise for the sharing of our Decolonising Tool

A miniature world resting on an open book

We would like to apologise for the sharing of our Decolonising Tool.

In 2020, a group of trainees were tasked with considering how the programme could decolonise our curriculum as part of an assignment on the course.

What resulted was the beginnings of a template tool, titled ‘Decolonising the Curriculum: Promoting Cultural Humility’. The trainees encouraged critical reflection on the tool and asked that people adapt and develop the tool further. They were clear that as a group of white trainees, with only three days to work on the project, this was only the very, very start of creating a decolonising tool.

We put the tool on our website and shared via Twitter and Facebook. The tool got a lot of attention and there were many shares, likes and retweets. The tool picked up momentum and many in the Clinical Psychology community became aware of it. We received a lot of praise for the tool, and benefited from the praise we received in that we looked like a programme that knew more and was doing more about decolonisation than we were.

We need to apologise for this because there is potential for this to negatively impact on the carefully considered work of scholars and activists in this field, and cause harm to people.

The harm being that the tool fails to explore the colonial roots of clinical psychology and the tool does not include questions for users to reflect on the ongoing impact of coloniality, white supremacy within the topic/theory explored. It should never have been shared as a decolonising tool.

Since the sharing of this tool, it is clear we still need to learn and develop our understanding of whiteness, white supremacy, decoloniality and anti-racism. We have learnt from this experience that we need sustained knowledge development and that we cannot rush this process.

We have agreed that this tool should no longer be called a Decolonising tool.

We suggest that the tool is helpful to start conversations around cultural humility to promote a lifelong commitment to self-critique and self-evaluation. In addition, the tool would support the development of cultural competence. The tool has now been amended to reflect that.

We would like to thank the trainees who developed the tool for enabling the start of conversations and developing a useful tool for reflecting on cultural humility. They worked incredibly hard on this assignment, and indeed since.

We also need to thank representatives from the course who have helped us to understand why it is important to adapt the tool and apologise for the sharing.

Download the revised critical reflection tool here.

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