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

Kath Lock-Giddy, Chair

Kathryn Lock

My background is working and volunteering with adults and children in health and social care. I qualified as an integrative counsellor in 2013 and have a MA in Counselling and Psychotherapy. I currently work at Cardiff University as a counsellor, supervisor and have a small private practice. 

I’m passionate about counselling and spirituality and what it means to be able to bring all of myself to this role. For me, counselling represents an opportunity to listen to all aspects of people’s lives, including spirituality, faith and religion. As part of my role, I aim to deliver the spirituality divisions strategic aims within the BACP’s Equality Diversity and Inclusion framework and encourage discourse on spirituality, research and its importance in counselling and psychotherapy. I’m interested in members’ views on what you feel is important within this area and look forward to working with you.

Email: kathrynlock@msn.com
Website: www.kathrynlockgiddy.com

Sukhi Sian, Joint Deputy Chair

Sukhi Sian

I'm a BACP accredited counsellor, qualified supervisor, Reiki master therapist and a consultant numerologist (AIN - Association of International Numerologists) working in private practice under Enlight. I also deliver workshops and facilitate support groups around developing self love.

I qualified as a counsellor in 2006 and worked predominantly with women, children and young people in areas such as sexual abuse and rape, sexual exploitation, substance misuse and offending behaviour, naturally falling into management and leadership roles.

I currently work four days a week as Head of Therapy for SV2 - Supporting Victims of Sexual Violence.

In 2017 I began to train in holistic therapies. I believe that spirituality and counselling go hand in hand and I am passionate about developing a holistic practice that creates space for the mind, the body and the soul/spirit.

Website: www.sukhisian.com

Jane Hunt

Jane Hunt

I’m an integrative counsellor, trainer, researcher and academic and work as a Joint Programme Leader for the BSc and MSc Humanistic programmes at Metanoia Institute in West London. I  joined the Executive in June 2019 and have been asked to take a lead on promoting a continuing research culture and network for the division.

I've been involved in training therapists in the university sector for the last fifteen years and have particular research interests in exploring the relationship between psychotherapeutic theory and religious constructs, as well as considering how well therapeutic training programmes train therapists to work with spirituality, religion and mental health.

As a profession, I believe, we need greater research and training on the interface between spirituality and therapy, from defining the terms we use to understanding the associated benefits and problems for our clients. I look forward to hearing about research members are involved in and exploring ways of sharing relevant research.

Email: jane.hunt@metanoia.ac.uk

Amy McCormack

Amy McCormack

I'm the editor of the BACP’s spirituality journal, Thresholds, and a counsellor working in private practice. I started out as a bereavement worker with Cruse.

Spirituality is a rich and often integral aspect of self. Yet it can sometimes be the quiet, if not silent voice in a therapeutic exchange. As the editor of the journal, and as a human being with a soul, I am aware that it is very hard to apply a quick label or to sum it up in a few words. That is one of its challenges. It is also one of its wonders.

Throughout my career in communications, I have worked with voluntary and community sector groups to build links, develop networks, and connect people. I would like to draw upon those experiences in my work as an executive member.

Please get in touch if you would like to talk about how we can work together to do this: thresholds.editorial@bacp.co.uk

Nichola Hartshorne

I qualified as an integrative therapist in 2001, and as a clinical supervisor in 2006. Although I've worked in a variety of settings, including youth offending, substance misuse and at a women’s centre, most of my career has been working for a mental health trust within the NHS, both in primary and secondary care settings. Working with individuals, couples and families, I now work in private practice offering therapy and supervision.

My work is underpinned by a transpersonal philosophy, recognising the whole of the person. I'm interested in how spirituality connects people and our shared commonalities, while still respecting differences. I also have a curiosity about how spirituality can enhance wellbeing, which is the motivation for my current doctoral research around spirituality, counselling and psychotherapy.  

I'd like to promote conversations around spirituality in all its forms and help therapists feel more comfortable working with it.

Cemil Egeli

I am excited by the prospect of joining the spirituality executive at the BACP. I originally trained as an integrative therapist at Manchester University. During my training I remember making connections between spirituality and counselling. On reflection I sense my training was in some ways a spiritual process. My personal development, in all its turbulent glory, could be likened to an awakening, a dark night of the soul or even a re-birth of sorts. If training was partly about what Carl Rogers describes as “becoming a person”, then for me, this holistically included facets of mind, body and spirit and has been a valuable aspect of my awareness as a practitioner.

For me, spirituality can have a multiplicity of meanings and many experiences could be described as spiritual; from meditative practices or physical exercises to playing music or being in nature. Therapy itself can at times, be compared to, or experienced as, a spiritual pursuit. Spirituality can also be an aspect of religion, faith and beliefs. It is important to recognise this and whatever these areas may mean (or not) to clients, especially if we are to embrace a global perspective and diverse approach within our work.

I value the work of the spirituality division and I hope that I can play some part in raising the awareness of spirituality within counselling. I bring a range of experiences to the role; I come from a mixed cultural and multi-faith background, being of dual Turkish and English heritage. My continuing explorations into my own faith and beliefs are an important aspect of my development. I am currently studying for a PhD at the University of Warwick using autoethnographic and biographical methods to explore the experiences of students coming from mixed cultural backgrounds. I have a passion for the expressive arts and spent some years working as a school music teacher. I am also interested in martial arts, qigong and yogic practices.

I am currently senior lecturer and programme leader for the MA in Clinical Counselling at Chester University. I believe in the transformative potential of education and seek to include spirituality in the educational and training work I do. I have recently co-authored a chapter with William West on religion and spirituality in counselling and psychotherapy:

Egeli, C., & West, W. (2023). Religion and spirituality. In T. Hanley & L. A. Winter (Eds.) The SAGE handbook of counselling and psychotherapy (5th ed., pp. 62-66). Sage.

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.