In this issue


Stranger in a strange land: take 2 (free article)
Anne Crisp gives an update on her work about ‘unprepared clients’ – those who come to counselling with no real understanding of therapy

Therapist views
Counsellors and psychotherapists from a variety of settings respond to Anne’s article

Working with life after survival
Mike Fox considers some of the issues involved in counselling patients who have lived through childhood cancer

Moving forward
Michael Lilley and Tanya Samuels provide an update on community solutions to mental health crisis care

Leading from a human rights framework
As managers of a human rights charity and an iapt team respectively, Jude Boyles and Rich Garland share a commitment to a democratic style of leadership


Chair’s report – BACP healthcare
Zubeida Ali and Satinder Panesar 

Healthcare update
Judy Stafford 

Counselling in primary care
Elaine Davies

Third sector perspective
Michael Lilley

Cover of Healthcare Counselling and Psychotherapy Journal January 2016

A pdf of this issue is available in the Healthcare Counselling and Psychotherapy Journal archive

From the editor

A main aim of the Healthcare Counselling and Psychotherapy Journal is to offer a forum for therapists working in NHS-funded services to communicate with, and learn from, each other: in effect, a journal written by practitioners, for practitioners. The content in this new year’s issue reflects that aim, with articles on both therapy matters and service provision.

In our lead article, Anne Crisp provides an update on her work focusing on ‘unprepared clients’ – ‘those who come to counselling with no real understanding of therapy and tend to struggle with the very processes therapy depends on’. Anne details the interviews with therapists she conducted for her research master’s degree, and goes on to outline her work since completing her research. ‘If we are serious about making therapy meaningful and accessible for anyone who needs it’, she writes, ‘we must look more closely at what happens when people arrive in the therapy room unprepared for what greets them’.

Anne’s main aim is to get therapists thinking and talking about the concept of the ‘unprepared client’, and with this in mind, we asked therapists from a variety of settings to respond to the idea, with interesting results.

A study published last year which investigated burnout in staff working in IAPT services,1 found that the most important predictors were service related. In an inspirational article in this issue, Jude Boyles and Rich Garland, managers of a human rights charity and an IAPT service respectively, relate their commitment to a democratic style of leadership which aims to afford the same dignity and respect to the staff team as they are expected to afford to their clients. Managing teams on this basis can be challenging, they write, but that challenge is rewarded by seeing high quality work with clients genuinely flourish.

In the spirit of learning from each other, the BACP Healthcare Executive is looking forward to welcoming you at the third BACP Practitioners’ Conference, which will take place in London on Saturday 30 April this year. The Executive is delighted to be working with BACP Coaching and BACP Workplace for this one-day event which enables practitioners to cut across the boundaries of BACP divisions as well as seek out streams dedicated to their special interests. For up-to-date information, please visit

Finally, this will be my last issue editing the journal, and I would like to thank all the authors who have contributed over the four years I’ve been in the role, as well as everyone in the Journals department of BACP, who have supported me in doing the job. It has been my good fortune to work with all of you.

Sarah Hovington


1 Steel C, Macdonald J, Schroder T, Mellor-Clark J. Exhausted but not cynical: burnout in therapists working within Improving Access to Psychological Therapy Services. Journal of Mental Health 2015; 24(1): 33037.