Our vision

We are committed to understanding and working at the interface between spirituality, belief, faith and religion in relation to counselling and psychotherapy practice, training and research.

We seek to advance standards of good practice, develop and promote a climate in which the subject of spirituality can be acknowledged and discussed freely, openly and inclusively.

Our philosophy

We recognise the value of the spiritual dimension in counselling, psychotherapy and pastoral care as significant elements in the life, health and development of individuals and their communities.

We recognise spirituality, in certain circumstances, has a more harmful or 'shadow' side and work to bring understanding and challenge to these aspects also.

We encourage recognition of counselling and pastoral care as distinct yet complementary practices.

Our executive

Maureen Slattery-Marsh, Chair, MBACP (Accred)

My interest in spirituality grew through my experiences with marginalised communities in Dublin, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Birmingham. My clients have taught me that soul and spirit issues sometimes contribute to their psychological problems but more often lead to pathways towards wholeness.

I joined the exec in 2011 to promote dialogue and research on spirituality in counselling and became chair in 2016. My spirituality is rooted in the reality of human suffering. I believe we're all 'wounded healers' with the privilege of giving and receiving healing grace to one another on the journey towards greater wholeness.

I hold Masters both in Counselling and Theology. I'm currently a self-employed therapist with icap (immigrant counselling and psychotherapy) and supervisor (clinical and pastoral), as well as a trainer and visiting lecturer at Newman University, Birmingham.

Melody Cranbourne-Rosser, Previous Chair, MBACP, MBPsS, FNCS

I am an HCPC Registered Counselling Psychologist and have worked in health and education for many years, undertaking therapy, supervision and coordination roles relating to children and young people (CYP) and adults. I am a senior lecturer at the University of South Wales, external examiner for a UK based training, plus run a small practice.

I hold a number of committee posts, such as co-opted member of BPS Division of Counselling Psychology Wales and lead for BPS DCoP Spirituality Special Interest Group.

Particular areas of interest include the long-term effects of abuse, trauma-focused work with CYP engaging in harmful sexual behaviour, spiritual emergence and emergency, spiritual abuse, creative supervision, and practitioner care and secondary trauma. My core theoretical model is Humanistic/Psychosynthesis and I enjoy using creative arts therapies and therapeutic play in my work - I feel creativity and spirituality are intrinsically linked and the former offers powerful ways of communicating a sense of the latter.

Gillie Jenkinson, MBACP

I joined the Exec because I want to participate in the dialogue on religion and spirituality and therapy. While I think it is important to acknowledge the positives, it’s essential to recognise the shadow side. There are many who have been harmed, who do not have a voice, and who have not been understood.

I specialise in working with those who have left cults or coercive relationships, or who have been abused. I served two internships at the Wellspring Retreat Centre for survivors of cults and spiritual abuse in Ohio. I am a Director of Hope Valley Counselling Limited and co-ordinator for UK charity EnCourage Survivors of Cults and Abuse.

I recently completed doctoral research into what helps former cult members recover from an abusive cult experience and have presented or published numerous papers in the UK and internationally.

Valda Swinton, MBACP

My interest in counselling was born out of my Christian faith, as my spirituality began to impact my day to day encounters. It was my experience of listening to individuals in a faith context that initiated my first training in pastoral counselling. I took an undergraduate degree in Social Psychology, followed by an MA in Counselling and also completed a doctorate focusing on the spiritual dimension in counselling training.

I have worked in several counselling agencies and as a counsellor in a GP surgery, but was drawn to the idea of counselling training rather than just one to one work while studying for my MA. I became a visiting lecturer at a Further Education College and was Lecturer in Counselling at University College Warrington. I am currently programme leader for the MA in Clinical Counselling at the University of Chester. I also run a small private practice in both counselling and supervision.

Dr Kathryn Kinmond, MBACP (Accred) CPsychol, CSci, AFBPsS

I trained as a counsellor as I wanted to be able to work effectively with people who were in pain. I’m also a chartered psychologist, chartered scientist and clinical supervisor, all of which support my counselling practice which specialises in working with people who have been abused, including experiences of spiritual abuse.

I joined BACP Spirituality to contribute to the dialogue about the importance and relevance of spirituality to counselling and psychotherapy, so that I could engage in discussions about spiritual issues that really impact us. I have also been working for some time to raise awareness of the darker side of religion through national and international publications and training on spiritual abuse and child abuse linked to faith and belief.

Keith Hackwood MBACP

I’m a psychosynthesis therapist and supervisor focused on the transpersonal experience and spirituality. I’ve worked with drama and movement therapy and talking therapy approaches in schools, prisons, university environments and now work in private practice. I combine my interest in mindfulness (which I teach and lead retreats on), with an informed and open therapeutic method, studies of religious and spiritual wisdom traditions and a lifelong love of art and poetry.

Before becoming a therapist my background was in arts and literature, my first poetry collection was published in 2004. I’m currently writing a book on the life and work of Roberto Assagioli, founder of Psychosynthesis.

I’m keen to enhance the inclusion of spirituality within the therapeutic mainstream. I feel this is vital if our profession is to better meet the exceptional demands of our time.

Our history

BACP Spirituality was formerly known as APSCC - the Association for Pastoral and Spiritual Care and Counselling. It was founded back in the 1970s as the Association for Pastoral Care and Counselling - one of the first divisions of the newly formed British Association for Counselling.

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