Tan Payá Ramírez (they/them) is a trainee counselling psychologist in their last year of studies at the University of Manchester. Originally from Chile, Latin America, Tan migrated to Scotland 8 years ago and then to England, where they now reside and practice.
In Chile, Tan is a qualified psychologist and psychotherapist, working in public and private settings and developing a private practice for 6 years before moving to the UK. They specialised in working with children, young people and their families. Using a psychodynamic and relational approach, Tan has always been interested in clients' inner world and relationships, working collaboratively to understand their difficulties and where they may come from, to support clients to feel heard and validated, and to make any changes they would like to see in their life. In their current training, Tan has further developed their practice of person-centred/humanistic and cognitive behavioural approaches, integrating them into a pluralistic framework to respond to the various needs of different clients. Tan also works as an artist, with a specialism in photography and is comfortable working creatively during sessions if a client would like to explore this.
Since moving to the UK, Tan has led in shaping equality, diversity and inclusion efforts at the University of Manchester as well as in 3rd sector organisations. With this area being very close to their heart, they have worked in community-centred projects such as writing mental health guides aimed at supporting and educating the LGBTQIA+ Black, Brown and People of Colour community through their work with the charity Black Beetle Health which aims to address health inequalities queer people of colour experience in the UK. These guides explore the experiences of Eating Distress and Hearing Voices through a lens that integrates medical and psychological knowledge with community activism and systemic issues such as racism and queerphobia in healthcare provision. You can read them here and here.
As a queer migrant of colour, Tan has experienced the difficulties of being minoritised and re-starting their life in a different culture. These difficult experiences have motivated Tan in their work to support their clients and educate other professionals on anti-oppressive practices.
During their doctoral studies, Tan has specialised in working with gender, sexuality and relationship diversity clients as well as racialised individuals, supporting them with elaborating traumatic experiences and integrating different parts of their identity in a way that feels authentic and true to themselves. Tan centres a liberationist approach in their practice, implementing a nuanced understanding of how systemic oppression related to areas such as race, gender, sexuality, class, disability, migration status and others interact with personal, interpersonal and transgenerational trauma. They also aim to hold space to recognise and celebrate the resources people from marginalised groups have developed and how they can help us in our journey of healing.