Ordinarily, conversations with children and young people at this time of year revolve around exams, transitions, proms and plans for long, languorous summers. But June 2020 is not ordinary.
As the COVID-19 epidemic quickly became a global pandemic, life as we know it changed – for us and for all the children, young people and families we support therapeutically. I am grateful to the seven contributors who accepted my invitation to write a special feature for this issue, Counselling CYP in the time of coronavirus. They have generously shared their personal and professional experiences in ways I found candid and poignant. I’ve heard lots – in the media and in general conversation – about ‘being in it together’, but what the contributions to our feature illustrate, is that while we are all witnessing the same crisis at the same time, our experiences vary greatly, and the same is true of the children, young people and families we support. We cannot assume it’s the same for everyone. What has also been highlighted, is that while it might appear as if everything has changed, in some ways nothing has changed at all – nature still blooms, the tide still turns, the birds still sing.
And so too with the June issue of BACP CYPF. While it was vital to recognise the impact of coronavirus on our lives as psychotherapists and counsellors, it felt equally important to continue the familiar ebb and flow of the journal. The regulars are all here and we welcome a new columnist, Ryan Lowe, who shares her thoughts from supervision, in the centre spread. An incidental theme of fiction has developed in this issue, which seems timely, given the space you might have set aside for reading in your newly altered schedules.
In Reading well for child mental health, I review a recently compiled list of illustrated books designed to support early intervention and prevention. Samia Quddus describes the personal and professional experiences that led to the creation of her picture book, Freya’s funny feeling, which could well feature on a future list. I’m In conversation with … Elaine Bousfield, who is the founder and director of a small, independent company that publishes books for children and young adults to support mental health and emotional wellbeing. I hope you’ll discover – or rediscover – books to support your professional practice in these features, and in the regular Reviews section.
We’ve got plenty of other diverse reads too. Sam Clark shares her experience of transformation through the use of accelerated experiential dynamic psychotherapy, and Krystal Scott discusses the therapist’s use of congruence in Moments of epiphany. BACP CYP ethics consultant, Sarah Watson, urges us to practise self-care in Hard hat for the soul. Never has that message felt more important than in the here and now.
In whatever ways you have been personally and professionally impacted by the pandemic, I hope that you experience a sense of connection as you read this journal and that you feel supported by our exceptional division and by BACP as a whole. Until September, I wish you well.
Jeanine Connor Editor