It has not escaped me that one issue not previously covered in BACP Workplace is how trans, non-binary and gender-diverse people experience the world of work.
Too often, the conversation in the media and online is fraught with the potential for errors, misunderstanding and hostility, which had left me wondering how well our profession meets the needs of these marginalised clients who present for workplace counselling.
There to bridge the CPD gap was the timely and superb conference, ‘Working with Transitioning in the Workplace’, which was held in May, planned and delivered by the BACP Workplace Executive Committee and BACP Events. It’s been my pleasure to work with the three speakers – Jack Jackson, Karen Pollock and Joanne Lockwood – who each offer an important perspective for this post-conference issue.
In ‘Becoming Jack’, Jack Jackson tells his story of how he became his authentic self with unflinching honesty. Jack’s capacity to connect and move his online audience was so apparent on the message boards as therapists expressed their respect, gratitude and admiration for all that they’d learnt. You can read Jack’s in this issue, and I think you’ll see what I mean.
Karen Pollock is a therapist specialising in working with gender-diverse clients, who wants to give counsellors the confidence to work with this client group, by reminding us that we don’t need to be experts, we just need to do what we do with every other client – to meet the person in front of us and offer them Carl Rogers’ core conditions.
Joanne Lockwood, an inclusion and belonging specialist, writes about how employers can create an environment where trans and gender-diverse people can work and thrive.
Elsewhere, Julia Foren talks to me about leading a staff counselling service which supports over 6,000 NHS Trust employees, and regular writer Sandi Mann asks an important question that we might prefer not to think about in relation to our clients – how can we protect ourselves?
And finally, if you enjoy a good podcast, may I recommend The Art of Work, with Christina Patterson, where I heard Gabriella Braun talking about her new book, All That We Are. It’s a fascinating collection of stories about why we behave the way we do at work, and you can read my interview with Gabriella.
I hope you enjoy this issue.
Editor, BACP Workplace