In this issue

The challenge of stress in turbulent times
How might individuals and organisations face the on-going repercussions of the economic crisis? Ashley Weinberg and Cary Cooper explore the research

Sharing the pain
In the current climate, our clients’ adversity may touch our own. Mandy Rutter considers the therapeutic complexities of self-disclosure

Enabling the extraordinary
What can business leaders learn about developing resilience from the military experience of war? Peter Docker shares an approach to leadership

To be a leader
Cindi Bedor considers what this means and how to inspire resilience at work

Being resilient
Former aid worker, Jane Drapkin, explores the personal cost of resilience in the workplace

Where do you draw the line? 
Lisa Drake reflects on Jane Drapkin’s conference workshop and considers her own experience of being resilient at work

Developing a resilient counselling service
Nick Wood gets some tips from a conference workshop

Your service needs you!
Counselling service managers need data to defend their service. Are you measuring the outcomes of yours? Barry McInnes reports on a unique opportunity

Inside the organisation
Nicola Banning talks to chartered psychologist, Noreen Tehrani, about her work inside organisations

From the chair

Cover of Counselling at Work, Winter 2012

Articles from this issue are not yet available online. Divisional members and subscribers can download the pdf from the Counselling at Work archive.

First words

Resilience at work is much in demand. It seems we just need to dig deeper and find more of it. I’m sure I’m not alone in this, but increasingly in my practice, I find myself wondering how? And so the timing of the BACP Workplace conference on Facing Adversity, Developing Resilience was spot on.

Despite facing the realities of a bleak economic outlook, the mood was uplifting and spirits resolute. Clear to me was the vital role that workplace counsellors play in developing resilience, both individually and organisationally, whether in-house or via EAPs. Inspired that day by the conversations I had, where connections were made and future articles were commissioned, I know your research, experience and practice are the lifeblood of this journal. Staying resilient as  practitioners is essential, and one way we do this is by sharing our experience, ideas and best practice. If you have an idea for an article for Counselling at Work, please do get in touch.

Wellbeing at work is about more than just apples. That was one of the firm messages from Cary Cooper, our keynote speaker, who urged us to find the self-confidence to provide more evidence for how counselling affects people’s performance in the workplace. We need to prove the business case for what we do. He and Ashley Weinberg report on the challenges that employees and organisations are facing internationally. Their research illuminates the staggering financial cost of presenteeism, and how job insecurities will manifest in destructive workplace behaviours and decreased levels of wellbeing. As practitioners we need to be resourced to respond, as this will be emerging in many a counselling room. 

Acutely aware of how the climate is impacting on both client and counsellor, Mandy Rutter opens up a fascinating area for exploration in ‘Sharing the pain’. Mandy ran a conference workshop on this topic, and here she considers what happens when the client’s experience echoes our own adversity? In her article she addresses the therapeutic complexities of self-disclosure.

Times of adversity call for great leaders, leaders who can enable others and develop resilience in their people. In ‘Enabling the extraordinary’, Peter Docker draws on the military experience of war and describes an approach he’s developed when working with organisations.

My thanks to Cindi Bedor, who you may remember was recently featured in ‘Inside the organisation’. She attended Peter’s conference workshop, and inspired by what she heard, declares what she’s taking back to her role as head of a counselling service. Highlighting the need for employees and organisations to be educated about resilience, Jane Drapkin gave a powerful testimony to conference of her experience of burnout. She asked delegates the question, what is the personal cost of resilience in the workplace? She summarises the discussions here. Also considering this topic, I welcome trainee counsellor, Lisa Drake, who is making her transition into the world of counselling.

From the personal to the organisational, my thanks go to Nick Wood, who reports on Barry McInnes’ workshop on how to develop a resilient counselling service. We know from Barry’s recent research project that many of you already collect data and measure the outcomes of your service. But if you want a more resilient service, or if your service is in jeopardy, may I recommend you read ‘Your service needs you’. In line with Cary’s call to ‘prove the business case’, Barry reveals a unique opportunity.

‘Inside the organisation’ returns and we hear from chartered psychologist, Noreen Tehrani who explains her love of organisations and her refreshing approach to working with them. While establishing myself as a workplace counsellor, my predecessor, Rick Hughes, encouraged me to write for Counselling at Work. I did not imagine then that I would be writing this page. Referring to Rick’s departure, a colleague told me, ‘you’re stepping into big shoes, Nicola’. She’s right. Rick leaves a journal well regarded within our community and one that I’m proud to take over.

At conference, listening to Peter Docker, I was inspired to write my declared outcome for the journal. If you’re reading this front to back, you may ask, ‘what’s a declared outcome?’ It means taking a step into the future and connecting with what that future feels like; to really be there and evoke all the senses. I did that thinking about the journal. My declared outcome is that what you read here is grounded in the reality of your practice, your organisation and your working lives. The challenge is to declare it publicly, and so I have. I want you to read Counselling at Work and find it to be a place that inspires you, resources you and supports you. Let me know what you think.

Nicola Banning