This journal would not exist without the generous contributions of views and reviews, many of which come from readers like you, who are members of BACP CYPF division.
Some are seasoned authors whose names may sound familiar; others are novices, nervously composing their first pieces for public consumption. I came into post as editor of this journal in January 2019 – (two years already; time flies) – with two key aims: to co-create a contemporary and thought-provoking publication, and to nurture new writers with diverse backgrounds and experiences from all four nations of the UK. Reader feedback reassures me that I’m on point.
In order to share with you what it’s really like to write for this journal, I spoke to some of the people whose work I’ve commissioned, for this month’s special In conversation with. Six contributors share their motivations to write, as well as the (mostly) ups and (occasional) downs of the writing, editing and production processes. My hope is that these conversations will encourage other new writers to have a go too.
There are several contributors we haven’t heard from before in this issue, generously sharing their wide-ranging experiences of working with children, young people and families in varied contexts. Joanna Griffin considers the impact of Parenting a disabled child and puts forward a compelling argument for a social rather than medical model of disability and diagnosis, particularly in the context of COVID-19. While the impact of the pandemic remains ever present, Michael Coombes has looked to 9/11 for lessons in how to support children, in Coping with loss.
In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, Joy Stewart discusses the importance of talking to younger children about race, in Having ‘the talk’. Sally Hogg and Karen Bateson discuss the importance of emotional wellbeing before the age of two, in their joint article, Infant mental health matters. Sally also encourages us to join the campaign to urge the Government to invest in support for the First 1001 Days.
If you’re interested in campaigning, turn to Leading the way to see what BACP’s CYPF Lead Jo Holmes and our Executive Committee have been up to this quarter on our behalf. Lockdown doesn’t seem to have lessened the pace.
December is traditionally a time to reflect on the previous 12 months, and what a year it’s been. We’ve been physically distanced from our friends, families, colleagues and supervisors, as well as the children and young people we work with. We’ve been given the opportunity to connect and reconnect in different ways, drawing on and challenging our resilience, creativity and technical capabilities. Personal and professional relationships have been tested. We’ve been confronted by wider issues around colour, class, ethnicity and privilege, within and outside of the therapy room. We’ve learned what not to take for granted: health, holidays and hugs, work, play and education, spontaneity, socialising and celebrations.
For those of us who have survived 2020, we’re wondering if things will ever be the same again. Whatever the new year brings, I look forward to connecting with readers and writers in whatever ways the new normal allows. Thank you for being part of the process.
Jeanine Connor Editor