In this issue

Inside out and back to front (free article)
Alan Burnell explains the neurosequential approach used by Family Futures when working with adopted young people

Animated protagonists
The importance of puppets in child therapy, discussed by Eleanor Patrick, Eileen Wilson, Monika Jephcott and Augene Nanning

When the State is parent
What should we bear in mind with looked after children? asks Joanna North

Monitoring growth
Allan Hunter relates the six archetypes in literature to our tracking of client progress

Bob Burden has researched how the potential emotional consequences can be combated

Coaching for young people
Debra Jinks introduces herself and her role within the new BACP Coaching division

Lies, all lies
Why do adults tend to dismiss young people’s accounts as lies? Jeanine Connor takes a psychodynamic look at some cases

The big O: prejudice and discrimination
Patricia Sadio challenges our perspectives on obesity

Destination PhD
Val Taylor ventures into ‘search’ and ‘reference’ territory in her ongoing studies

Beyond reach?
Science can be used metaphorically and therapeutically with young people, writes Lynne Harmon

Getting together
Working with families within the school has met a need and facilitated progress. Mark Griffiths reports

From the chair

Cover of Counselling Children and Young People, March 2011

Not all articles from this issue are available online. Divisional members and subscribers can download the pdf from the BACP Children, Young People and Families archive.

Welcome from the editor

The major story at the moment is the Government’s cash-backed promise to expand IAPT therapy to more children1. Involving young people themselves in decisions – tick. CBT and other therapies – tick. Emphasis on early intervention – tick. And certainly, it sounds good to label the document: No Health Without Mental Health – three ticks.

Mind you, I’m not sure where and how the current funds-slashing will affect all this good will. As I said on Radio Newcastle on the day of the announcement (that’s not blatant namedropping, just encouragement to you all to be ready when the media ring; I was only picked as a local children’s counsellor), the stringent cuts are removing youth services such as clubs and other provision that would prevent some mental health issues arising in the first place. But still, when asked at the end of the interview what I’d do if I had a magic wand and all this cash, I said I’d put a counselling service in every school where it could be integrated and non-stigmatising and used. What help will all the children’s IAPT in the world be, if no one takes up the offer?

We focus strongly this issue on taking up with the wider stories from the environment that pertain to our work. We have articles about in-school support of families (who are significantly entwined with a child’s presenting issues), understanding and working with the looked after system, neuro-developmental aspects of helping adopted children (why do so many adoptions break down with no offer of therapy for the children? – see this recent Telegraph article2), and even dyslexia (it’s not all about reading strategies – do we fully understand the psychological ramifications?). What’s going on when the referrer insists the client is lying and expects us to ‘sort it’? And exactly how do the succession of life tasks or archetypes follow one another imaginatively? Because if we know that, we can maybe see where our client is, metaphorically, when they come to us, and work with that narrative.

But we haven’t neglected the practical stories from our professional involvement. It’s a great idea to use science experiments to engage with young people who might not realise they need help. We’re challenging obesity prejudice…looking at a coaching perspective…learning PhD research tactics… 

And then, puppets. In recent issues, we’ve focused on sand, clay and paint. Puppets is the other biggie in the playroom, and the writing this time is shared between a group of us. This series is a sort of choose-your-own-ending type. If you fancy writing with a focus on doll houses or on building blocks or on miniature figures or… well, anything at all that is relevant really, then do contact me. What is this particular story about? Play media. What happens? That’s what we show in the content of each article. How does the series end? Over to you.

Eleanor Patrick


1 See the pdf of the report at