In this issue


In conversation with…
Eleanor Patrick shares some fascinating insights garnered over 12 years holding the reins as editor of this journal

Making sense of sensation
Georgie Bainbridge examines the role of sensory integration theory in her work with adolescents

Navigating safeguarding dilemmas
Michelle Higgins helps us to navigate safeguarding dilemmas arising from inside and outside the counselling room

In practice

Managing assumptions
Kemi Omijeh shares her experience of assumptions in the counselling room and how she responds to them when they arise 

Being bullied
Callum Jones draws on experiences to demonstrate how counselling  can enable healing from childhood bullying

Working together
Ryan Lowe begins a new series about the value of therapeutic collaboration


Weapons of mass distraction (free article)
The final instalment of Sarah Haywood’s four-part series focusing on children and young people’s digital worlds

Talking point
Counsellors and psychotherapists share their thoughts and experiences about mobile phones in sessions 

Conversations that matter
Nikki Simpson believes that the school system is failing to recognise and validate young people beyond their intellectual capacity


Considering… the catastrophising tendency
Nick Luxmoore

Thinking about… the counsellors’ role
Lynn Martin

Word for word
Nina Rye’s response to a (blind) quote from Monica Lanyado

Leading the way
Our new CYPF Lead, Jo Holmes, shares news from her first six months in role, and how you can get involved

From the Chairs

Cover of BACP CYPF June 2019

Divisional members and subscribers can download a pdf of this issue from the BACP Children, Young People and Families archive

From the editor

This time last year, I was contemplating the pros and cons of leaving a role I had held for 11 years. I still loved the work with complex children, young people and families but the job no longer made me happy. I knew what I would be leaving behind – families and familiar colleagues, regular pay and a pension, endless admin and organisational anxieties – but I had no idea what would take their place. Would it be better or worse? Would I be psychologically richer or poorer? I couldn’t know; hence my dilemma.

Change always carries elements of risk, even when it’s planned for and positive, and that provokes anxiety and requires courage to navigate. Change often precedes referrals to counselling and psychotherapy; changes within the family around separation, relocation, illness and death; changes in education due to transitions between year groups or schools, change of teachers or friends; and developmental changes to do with growing up. Change means that something familiar gets left behind (the old job, friends, or childhood) and what lies ahead is largely unknown. Unknowns are tough. For some people, they are unbearable.

I left my old job. I found the courage to expand my private practice, offer training further afield and to larger groups, and apply for the role of editor of this journal. Accepting the position felt risky and there are many unknowns; can I commission enough contributions? Will readers find them interesting? Will I strike the right balance between innovative and familiar?

My first engagement as editor was the BACP CYPF conference on (appropriately enough) Risk. This was an opportunity to meet members of our Executive and our new CYPF Lead, Jo Holmes, as well as the dozens of divisional members who said hello and shared ideas for the journal. If you were unable to attend, do read ‘Navigating safeguarding dilemmas’, by Michelle Higgins, who presented on the day and on webinar. During my transition, I spoke with the journal’s previous editor, Eleanor Patrick, about the changes she has witnessed during her time at the helm; in the journal, the division and the wider world of counselling children and young people. As you will see from our conversation, a lot has changed, but some things have stayed the same too.

The same goes for my first issue as editor. It’s bookended with familiar features, ‘News from the world of CYPF’, and reviews of new publications. You will recognise the ‘Opinions’ columns (although I’ve hung up that particular hat) and mini series ‘Word for word’ and ‘Digital worlds’. But I’m also initiating change, because it’s what helps us to grow and develop as professionals. ‘Working together’ is a new series that focuses on the endless value of therapeutic collaboration, while ‘Talking point’ offers an opportunity each From the editor issue to share thoughts on pertinent issues. This time, it’s phones in sessions. I’m delighted to introduce three new voices, who have each taken a risk to share aspects of their personal and professional experiences of bullying, racial assumptions and sensory dysregulation. Maybe their articles will encourage you to reflect on your own personal incentives, or examine aspects of your professional practice or even inspire you to write something for this journal. I hope so.

My life has changed. I’m happier and way more enthused than I was this time last year. I hope that our journal will continue to speak to you about the things that matter, that it will offer comfort and familiarity, but also that it will challenge you to take risks and maybe make a change. Do let me know what you think of my first issue at the helm and what you’d like to read in future issues. Let’s work together to make planned and positive changes that enthuse all of us to continue doing the work that we do.

Jeanine Connor
Journal editor