Happy New Year friends, colleagues, readers. I know it’s March (already!), but I think it’s fair to use this salutation for my first editorial greeting of 2023, and I do hope the year will be happy.
There’s something very ‘new’ about spring (when this goes to print) that it’s difficult to contemplate during the dank January days (when I write it). By now, there’ll be new shoots poking through the soil, new blossom on the trees, more daylight hours and warmer temperatures; hopefully. Perhaps we’ll be more grateful than ever for the warmth and the light as we continue to manage the cost of living, a theme that is picked up in this issue by Sue Kegerreis in The cost of training, as well as in Leading the way and News.
I’m excited to begin my fourth new year as editor of this journal, and look forward to working with both new and familiar contributors on new and familiar themes. For our featured article, Road trip to recovery, Marilyn McGowan considers the benefits of radio-controlled toys (RCTs) in counselling with boys who have experienced trauma. She suggests that RCTs can provide access to the child’s inner world and become a representation of the self. Perhaps this article will whet your appetite for our divisional conference later this month, on the theme of ‘Breaking the cycle of trauma and promoting healing and hope’. I will be attending, so please do come and say hello.
Emily Harrison’s thought-provoking article, Agency in action, examines the concepts of psychological and embodied agency for clients and therapists. This links nicely with her previous article, To be somebody (BACP CYPF, June 2022), which is worth another read. Equally thought-provoking is David Cook’s article, True to my beliefs, in which he
questions whether his evolving practice still aligns congruently with his person-centred values. This serves as a useful prompt for us all, especially those of us whose training has disappeared over the horizon. Working from a different perspective, Florence Nadaud applies a psychodynamic lens to the ways that family dynamics can get re-enacted in professional systems in her article No such thing as a baby.
Alongside thinking about new beginnings, I’ve also been reflecting on the past, while working with Samantha Johnson on an emotive piece, influenced by her late supervisor, Nick Luxmoore. The crocodile on the couch demonstrates the power of the transitional object, as Samantha reflects on Nick’s grief following the loss of his daughter, its impact on supervision and, later, her own grieving for Nick. She links the personal with the professional, which life sometimes compels us to do.
Nick died, suddenly and tragically, in November 2019. One of the last things he wrote was his column for this journal, in which he said, ‘Some of my best supervision sessions have happened when we’ve dared to look at [the] personal stuff and tried to unpick a little’ (BACP CYPF, December 2019). Nick and I ‘met’ as columnists for this journal; supporting each other, but not immune to rivalry. I’d often read his column and think, ‘Damn, that’s good’. He told me he did the same with mine. I was therefore honoured to review his final book, Supporting Young People Through Everyday Chaos: counselling when things fall apart, published posthumously, and be reminded of the enormous legacy Nick left to our profession – through his writing, training, supervision and direct work with young people.
New and old, beginnings and endings, births and deaths – the themes of writing, therapy, life, ad infinitum. I’m eager to see how we will develop this journal together in 2023, and how we will respond to everyday chaos as the year unfolds.
Jeanine Connor, Editor