Since the 1950s there has been a massive development in privatesector counselling and therapy in this country. This is a response to the overwhelming unmet needs of people, and is often in opposition to the official agencies of medicine, psychiatry and social welfare work which, however benevolent they may appear, still aim to confine and control. Institutionally, and particularly if we are women (especially working-class and/or black women), we are encouraged to accept situations which we should resist. Women’s working and domestic situations are often awful, but the resultant depression or anger is often so well contained that eventually many of us become silenced or ill. Rather, we need forms of assertiveness training to assess our needs better and to try to get them met, individually and collectively. Our work is an intervention into the field (and a redefinition) of ‘health education’, since it engages with the institutionalized mind and body split of western culture.