Every year, thousands of people make the agonising decision to terminate a pregnancy for medical reasons, when a baby is diagnosed with a serious foetal abnormality. They are, however, unlikely to talk about their experience. It can be too traumatic to articulate. The silence is also perpetuated by feelings of guilt and fear of judgment.
Emma Harris writes about how
counselling can offer a safe space for mothers to voice their loss, somewhere they can be heard, understood and maybe begin to heal. The article is a powerful and challenging read. It not only details the women’s physical and psychological pain, but also calls on therapists to explore and acknowledge their own views on pregnancy termination. Emma writes from her own experience and from her research – and it is a privilege to hear the stories of the six women who bravely break the silence.
I wonder what you would do if you thought a client was autistic? If you consider autism to be a mental health issue, you would perhaps refer the client to the GP. Max Marnau, an autistic counsellor, argues for a different response, one that views autism through the lens of difference, not deficiency. In that case, you might offer a therapeutic relationship that allows your client to discover and explore their own identity. Please read Max’s article, as her lived experience of being autistic offers a unique and invaluable insight into working with neurodivergent clients.
"Her lived experience of being autistic offers an invaluable insight."
Someone else with lived experience of neurodivergence is Victoria Wilson, who spent many years trying to cover up and mask her ‘quirks’. She explains how a diagnosis of ADHD at the age of 40 helped her to make sense of herself. Victoria hopes that talking about her diagnosis can raise awareness and promote greater understanding of ADHD in adults.
What do you wear for work? Is it something you even think about? Maybe you try to appear ‘professional’? But what does professional really mean? And should we not simply be ourselves in the consulting room? A group of trainee counselling psychologists, who all identify as female, considers the surprisingly complex issue of the therapist’s appearance. It might make you think differently about your work clothes and their possible impact on your clients.
We have probably all been in training at some point in our professional lives, so we can perhaps identify with some of the anxiety and trepidation of the trainee counsellor in supervision. It isn’t always easy to open up your clinical work to professional scrutiny, especially when you lack experience. Chris Athanasiadis draws on his own experience as a supervisor to explain how supervision can provide a nurturing environment for students to learn and develop their counselling skills.
Naomi Caine, Editor