In this issue
Older people and transitions
Mike Fox explores one of the most distinguishing features of therapeutic work with older adults – the layering of self as we age
Walking a fine line
Andrew Reeves considers client autonomy, counsellor responsibility and the suicide conundrum
Through a case study of a young adult undergoing extended treatment for leukaemia, Sheila Hegarty illustrates her work as a counsellor within the haematology department of a major London hospital
Lost in diagnosis
In outlining his involvement with a client, Michael Lilley considers some of the wider issues at play
BACP Practitioner’s Conference
Elspeth Schwenk invites BACP Healthcare members to join us at a groundbreaking practitioner event
Both sides now
Sally Flatteau Taylor reflects on knowing and not knowing in bereavement
Dissociative identity disorder: Improving treatment outcomes
Cath Slack reports on developments in the prognosis and treatment of DID
Chair’s report – BACP Healthcare
Tina Campbell: Time to just breather
Development report – BACP Healthcare
Louise Robinson: The contribution of counselling to public health
John Hague: Perfect care
Counselling in primary care
Richard Mason: No data available
Third sector perspective
Michael Lilley: Making sense of the 'mad' world we live in
From the editor
Therapy for older people seems to have come more into focus over the past year. Last summer, the Royal College of Psychiatrists called for an end to the development of ‘ageless’ mental health services, arguing for the continuation of specialist services which understand the nuances that the consequences of ageing bring to the management of mental health problems1; and last autumn, after finding older people were underrepresented when accessing services2, the IAPT programme set out to improve access rates for this age group through the development of a competence framework and training curriculum to help therapists develop the necessary skills and attitudes.
Whether working in primary care or in specialist services, practitioners hoping to engage therapeutically with older people will appreciate Mike Fox’s empathic and informative article, this issue. Mike, who has extensive experience of working within specialist older people’s services, explores, in particular, the layering of self as we grow older: ‘How the person one has become continues to bear the imprint of previous change and how it was negotiated’. Through client work examples, Mike demonstrates how the act of describing and reflecting upon events within an extensive personal history can enrich and clarify an older person’s sense of who they are and how they became that way. ‘The process of ageing in which we are all involved,’ he writes, ‘can lend us empathy with those who are like us but have progressed further’.
Elsewhere in this issue, Andrew Reeves writes about working with suicidal risk and Sally Flatteau Taylor writes about working with bereavement; both articles have direct relevance to all of us working in healthcare settings.
We also bring news of the first ever BACP Practitioner’s Conference. As one of the four specialist divisions taking part, BACP Healthcare is delighted to be working with BACP Workplace, BACP Coaching, and the Association for Pastoral and Spiritual Care and Counselling (APSCC) to deliver this innovative conference. The national event will enable practitioners to cut across divisional boundaries as well as seek out streams dedicated to the interests of their specialism. We look forward to meeting you there.
1 iapt http://www.iapt.nhs.uk/equalities/older-people/