Some clients touch my heart. I think about them, take them to supervision more often, and wonder how they are, long after the work has ended.
As editor of BACP Workplace, I work with writers (sometimes for many months) to help them tell their stories of their professional lives with clients and employers, to make the work visible and to give it a new form. It might seem a strange analogy, but this issue of BACP Workplace is akin to the clients that I hold in mind more often, coming as it does at the end of 2020 and the start of another year.
I appreciate how each writer has adapted to the pandemic; the personal and professional challenges and the changes to their work. Feeling ‘boxed in’, experiencing eye strain and aware that something was missing from her practice, Una Cavanagh was compelled to undertake outdoor therapy training. Una makes a robust case for why employers and EAPs need to be offering face-to-face therapy in nature to the workforce.
A call in the last issue for readers to help grow our BACP Workplace community, was answered by Caroline Gwilym, and I’m delighted to interview her for My Workplace. Pre pandemic, Caroline’s workplace was based at the football stadium in Swansea, overlooking the pitch where ‘the Swans’ do what they do best. As Health and Wellbeing Officer for the club’s charity, Caroline works at grassroots level in hard-to-reach parts of the community, using local knowledge, creativity and the power of football to improve mental health. If, reading this, you’d like to share your story about your workplace, please get in touch.
In Bristol, Nathalie Griffin reflects on a year supporting the people who work with the homeless at St Mungo’s. I oscillate between feeling humbled by the work that these key workers do, caring for people who have absolutely nothing, and fury that they have to do it at all. Nathalie’s article reveals just what’s possible with the political will and means.
The Bristol music scene has long been a thing – and, as Nathalie notes, its absence last year was felt by the workers at St Mungo’s. So, I was interested to read that Eric Clarke, a professor with an interest in the psychology of music, describes the cultural losses of COVID-19 as feeding our sense of dehumanisation. I recognise myself in his description: ‘We are all living like boil-in-a-bag rice, closed off from the world in a plastic envelope of one sort or another’.1
I hear and feel the longing to step out of the envelope. And, as we start a new year, I’m thankful to the therapists who bring us hope and share their stories in this issue of BACP Workplace.
Nicola Banning, Editor,
BACP Workplace firstname.lastname@example.org