In this issue
Training to become a counsellor
Thoughts from… a trainer about the new academic year
Thoughts from… a supervisor about theory
Thoughts from… a counsellor about seeing the light
Leading the way
BACP’s CYPF Lead, Jo Holmes
From the Chairs
Maggie Robson and Sue Pattison
Internet sex and pornography: what is it doing to young people? (free article)
Graham Music examines the effects of internet sex and pornography on adolescent development
In conversation with…
Psychotherapist, author, agony aunt, columnist and broadcaster, Philippa Perry
Competences for counselling children and young people: updated and developed
Caroline Jesper shares progress on the new BACP competences for counselling four to 10 year olds
What’s the harm? (free article)
Jeanine Connor busts some of the myths and examines the meaning of self-harm
To the lighthouse
In the second article of our Working together series, Alix Hearn argues the importance of connection
Gender identity and suicidal ideation
Highlighted by adolescents accessing digital counselling via Kooth
Missing boys – the unacceptable norm
Benjamin Nuss explores the reasons why referrals of young men to counselling services do not accurately reflect the level of need
Word for word
Judith Sonnenberg responds to a (blind) quote from Chris Scalzo about therapy as treatment for illness or ‘malfunction’
From the editor
A question I ask of every new referrer is, ‘Why have you decided to seek therapeutic support for this person now?’. We might ask the ‘why now?’ question in all kinds of contexts. Why have you started/ended that relationship now? Why have you moved house now? Why have you included that piece in the journal now?
There is a theme running gently and quietly though this issue and I think the first clue is in the now. It’s September – a new academic year, new classes and courses, new hopes and dreams, new anxieties and insecurities. Much of the content has been specifically selected with that in mind; the journal isn’t just thrown together willly nilly, you know!
For ‘Talking point’, two members share recollections of learning from their counsellor training and consider how well (or not) it prepared them for the work they do now. I’m thrilled to introduce two new regular columnists. Course director Sue Kegerreis speaks from a training perspective, with a focus this time on the new academic year, while Lucy-Jean Lloyd shares thoughts from the counselling room. Regular contributor Nick Luxmoore has moved into the supervisor’s slot and has been thinking about learning too.
Meanwhile, I’ve been poring over the results of the recent reader’s survey and have discovered that our members are interested to learn both about each other and from each other’s perspectives. This issue ticks both those boxes. In the second part of our ‘Working together’ series, Alix Hearn urges us to do away with hierarchy and learn from (and support) each other in our work. I’ve been ‘In conversation with’ Philippa Perry, who generously shared her experience as a psychotherapist, writer and broadcaster. The celebrity therapist insisted she doesn’t perceive herself as famous or prolific, but did admit to narcissistic motivations for her first book.
The reader’s survey communicated a desire to learn more about bigger issues also, such as young people’s use of pornography and self-harm, as well as working with transgender clients. You will find all of that in this issue too.
I wrote ‘What’s the harm?’ for Therapy Today in February 2018 – yes, I’m that person who has written articles for BACP journals for over a decade, about sex, adolescent fetishes, transgender and sh*tty systems, as well as a regular column in this journal, often decorated with asterisks! I’m responding to the request to revisit this anxiety-provoking topic by republishing the article in this journal, in the hope it will provide solace. Elsewhere, Charlotte Mindel explores the shocking statistic that 92 per cent of transgender young people have thought about taking their own lives, and looks at ways of learning from the data to improve services. Seasoned author Graham Music accepted the challenge of writing our lead article, which poses the question, ‘Internet sex and pornography: what is it doing to young people?’. He draws together learning from psychoanalytic, trauma and body-focused perspectives in an effort to provide answers.
There is much to learn from our munificent contributors and I would love to hear your responses to their articles. Do share experiences of learning in other contexts too; perhaps you’ve attended a fabulous CPD event or a wonderful workshop? Let’s spread the word about the learning that’s happening across the UK so that others can be inspired to learn too. Learning is an integral part of the September zeitgeist. As I make the finishing touches to my second issue as editor, I am mindful of a quote from the author, poet and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou: ‘I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.’ I think we would all do well to remember this, no matter whether we are just embarking on a preliminary counsellor training, or whether we have been doing the work for decades. Happy learning all.
Jeanine Connor, Editor
If you would like to contribute to Letters, Reviews, Talking point, or submit an article, please contact me at cypf.editorial@ bacp.co.uk