In this issue


Supervision in a changing world
Vicki Palmer reflects on the research and debate from a recent conference and interprets what this means for the workplace

The story behind the research
Elizabeth Dartnall explains the original spark for her research and some key findings

Facing the challenges of supervision
Sally Despenser offers her experience of the challenges and dilemmas of supervision in the workplace

The way I work
Nick Wood of Gloucestershire County Council opens his door on how the service works to support an organisation facing rapid change


Notes from the chair

The bigger picture
Lead Advisor Rick Hughes on the latest workplace news

Workplace matters
Dr Sandi Mann explores boredom at work

Dr Kate Anthony on working with social media

Practical resilience
Dr Chris Johnstone asks: does resilience training work?

Inside the organisation
Clare Price of RehabWorks talks to Counselling at Work

Cover of Counselling at Work, Winter 2013

All 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

‘I don’t know where it’s gone’ are words often spoken with some bewilderment around about now, as one year ends and another begins. I paused for thought when I realised that just a year ago I was working on my first edition of Counselling at Work following the successful BACP Workplace conference, ‘Facing adversity; developing resilience’, a theme that has continued to fill these pages this year. It led me to review my own work and to make one or two changes to the journal which you’ll see inside.

This issue, supervision takes centre stage. Given its vital role in our work as practitioners, it struck me that perhaps it should take this place more often. Vicki Palmer hosted a supervision conference with the aim of exploring how supervision is evolving in the helping professions in a changing world. Is our supervision fit for purpose and what are the challenges to supervision in an organisational context? These are some of the questions she reflects on.

The conference drew on some recent research undertaken by Elizabeth Dartnall for her doctorate. Here she explains the motivation behind her decision to research supervision and the impact on therapeutic outcomes. I also welcome back Sally Despenser, who regularly runs BACP workshops on the challenges and dilemmas of supervision. She considers the impact of the recession on the quality of supervision and the implications for practice.

This issue we have some new writers who’ve joined our team. It’s ‘welcome back’ to my predecessor, Rick Hughes, who you will no doubt remember from his days as editor. As Lead Advisor for Workplace, Rick begins his new column ‘The bigger picture’, commenting on and interpreting news from the world of work.

Panorama recently went undercover to expose the working life of an employee inside an Amazon warehouse. It made for sobering viewing – convenient shopping comes at a price. It’s depressing if you consider just how many people spend the bulk of their lives engaged in work that bores them senseless, but our new columnist Sandi Mann has devoted much of her time to this. She explained to me that she finds boredom ‘interesting’. You’ll see why in her new column ‘Workplace matters’.

Kate Anthony continues with ‘Cyberwork’. Aware that therapists need to negotiate a blurring between personal and professional boundaries when it comes to social media, she asks us to consider or even reconsider our relationship with it. And, it’s the final part of ‘Practical resilience’, written by Chris Johnstone. Chris has given us a series of articles with his own brand of warmth and humour while passing on many pearls of wisdom. He concludes with a challenge to the organisations and leaders within which we and our clients work.

Thank you to Nick Wood, who opens his door in ‘The way I work’ and lets us in on how his team supports the needs of the public sector workforce at Gloucestershire County Council. And finally, Clare Price of RehabWorks talks to Counselling at Work about providing rehabilitation services and the potential power of telephone counselling. Thank you to you all.

In the spirit of reviews, the BACP Workplace executive committee met recently to set and plan the work that lies ahead for the next year. It was at this meeting that we learnt that our Chair, Jean Crispin, was stepping down from her role. One of my colleagues astutely remarked on the quality of Jean’s steady stewardship as Chair. It’s true – Jean’s a true professional and cool in a crisis – something I witnessed on more than one occasion, including the time we found ourselves lost somewhere off the M6 en route to BACP. Jean has been an excellent ambassador for the workplace sector and will be missed.

Which leads me on to a ‘hello’ and a very warm welcome to our new Chair, Tina Abbott, who has hit the ground running, bringing much energy and enthusiasm to her role and the work that lies ahead. She introduces herself to you in ‘Notes from the Chair’.

If you’ve read an article in Counselling at Work that you’ve enjoyed or would like to comment on, please do let us know. The readers’ survey is now on our website. If you can find time to fill this in and give your feedback, good, bad or ugly, it would be time well spent. Your views matter – so if there’s something you would like to see in the journal, I’d encourage you to take the time to let us know.

And finally, a reminder that conference time is upon us once again. There is an exciting programme of speakers, and opportunities to attend one of the joint conferences which will be held in London and Leeds in February and March. I look forward to seeing many of you there.

Nicola Banning