My name is Yema Ferreira, I am Angolan, and I am a healer, psychotherapist, and life coach. My mission is to spiritually liberate black and African people all over the world and to be part of the movement to heal the collective trauma of black people and people of African descent resultant from slavery, colonization, and neo-colonialism. Part of this process is to retrieve our History – our individual personal histories, our family and community histories, our national histories and, importantly, our pre-colonial history as a People.
I have known from a very early age that I was here to work with people therapeutically to resolve trauma. To that end, I studied Psychology at the undergraduate level at Temple University in Philadelphia (USA) and later began my training in Existential Psychotherapy at Psykoterapeutisk Institut in Denmark. I have since obtained a Certificate in Psychotherapy and Counselling from Regents University London, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Integrative Psychotherapy and Counselling from the same university. I was formerly a registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) but decided subsequently to detach myself from this and other professional bodies as I did not find them to be supportive of my chosen approach and path. I am, however, a member of the Black, African and Asian Psychotherapy Network (BAATN) based in the UK.
Although psychotherapy helped me to develop my practice in important ways, it turned out to be only part of what I needed to take on my task. And so, I went on to do some Coaching training and to study and explore spirituality as well, in order to further develop my natural gifts. As a result, I use a blend of all these skills acquired and deepened in different ways in my work with women.
My professional roots are in the women’s movement, working as a counsellor for women survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse. I worked for a community organisation called Women Organized Against Rape, Philadelphia’s official Rape Crisis Centre, doing crisis counselling for rape survivors on a help line and hospital emergency room (A&E). I also worked for the Bilingual Domestic Violence Project, in another Philadelphia organisation, providing domestic violence counselling on an individual and group basis for women experiencing or recovering from domestic violence.
In other capacities which involved using my organising and facilitating skills, I worked for the Angolan network of women’s organisations, Rede Mulher, a refuge for women fleeing domestic violence situations in Denmark, and an HIV testing and counselling point for minorities in Denmark.
In the UK, as a counsellor/psychotherapist, I worked with migrant women who experienced various forms of Violence Against Women, such as domestic violence, sexual abuse, and trafficking, to name a few. I have also helped diverse clients through trauma, depression, anxiety, self-esteem issues, coping with a chronic illness among other difficulties.
As a black and African woman in the psychotherapeutic and coaching worlds, I have been very aware of the great insufficiencies in addressing the specific needs of black women, and I have made it my mission to fill that gap. Click here to learn more about how I work.