You may have read that the word chosen by the Collins dictionary to sum up 2022 was ‘perma-crisis’.1 The definition of a perma-crisis, is the state of being in a permanent crisis – reeling from social, political, economic and environmental disruptions, creating a fertile space for further disruption and discontent in a cost-of-living crisis. It’s the backdrop for our lead article, which explores how strike action by workers across the country could impact on therapists working with employees, employers and EAPs.
Talking to counsellors for the article, some told me that: ‘The strikes won’t affect me or my business’, which may, of course, be true. Then again, the only certainty in a perma-crisis is that there will be more disruption, and it isn’t always happening in obvious places. In December, over 500 workers at the housing charity Shelter staged a two-week strike, and also last year, Amazon workers were balloted for strike action.
So, what does this mean for our profession? Spoiler alert, as a non-unionised workforce, we’re not likely to be joining striking workers any day soon, but, like it or not, the issue of ‘what to do about the strike’ is already cropping up, in our therapy rooms. It’s a new and knotty issue for our profession and I hope the article helps start a conversation about how workplace practitioners respond. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Shifting the frame, Helen Kewell starts her new series, ‘Talking menopause’, and considers whether this time in a woman’s life could be one of growth and regeneration. And, I have the pleasure of speaking to two different pioneers about their work. Firstly, Laura Clifford-Jones tells me in ‘My workplace’ how she learnt to see strengths in her dyslexia and found her inner business woman. Regular ‘Cyberwork’ columnist Sarah Worley-James talks to me about her new book, Online Counselling: an essential guide. I must confess, after three years now of working online, I wasn’t sure how much I’d learn from reading it. Having read Sarah’s book, I can’t believe I ever thought that.
Before I sign off, I’d like to share with you that this issue marks my 10-year anniversary as editor of BACP Workplace. As anniversaries should, it’s made me pause, take stock and reflect on the last decade, which for reasons you’ll no doubt understand, has also become known as ‘the lost decade’. Apparently, a 10th anniversary is symbolised by tin, so as we enter what’s already being called a second lost decade,2 I’ll be raising a toast to you and the incredible work that you do.
Editor, BACP Workplace