What an extraordinary few months it’s been. How can I add to the cacophony of soundbites we’ve all been immersed in without descending into cliché?
Time will tell what the long-term socioeconomic consequences of the pandemic will be. What permanent changes we might all have to become accustomed to living with. And what the impact on our profession as counsellors and psychotherapists will be.
Like me, I’m guessing that the vast majority of you would not have imagined at the start of this year that we would all soon be delivering our client work online or on the phone. And that this would go on, month after month. At the time of writing, we have no clear sense yet from the Government when we might realistically expect to be back in the room with our clients again. And the uncertainty of this is what we all, in common with our clients, are having to live with and manage.
In the early weeks of lockdown, while experiencing the shock of the sudden change, and the anxiety that came with it, I felt – more than ever before – very much in the same place as my clients, as I sat and supported them as they struggled to come to terms with the impact of isolation and, in many cases, sudden and unexpected unemployment, among other challenges. And the shift of the therapeutic setting out of the ‘real’ and into the ‘virtual’ world brought with it a steep learning curve about how to manage the very different challenges that come with working remotely, through a screen, and the impact, for those of us – like me – who aren’t used to seeing clients from our homes, while they are in theirs.
It will take time for us to reflect on, and begin to make sense of, this strange social experiment we’re all enduring, and to assess the impact it has had on us, as practitioners, on our clients, and on the future of our profession. I hope in future issues that this journal might create a platform for this exploration.
As for the contents of this issue, given that the bulk of the copy was in hand before the start of the lockdown, you might be relieved to know (if you, like me, are at saturation point) that it is relatively coronavirus-free. Although, there are thematic resonances in Cordelia Galgut’s and Rosie Dansey’s articles about life post cancer, and Christopher Tovey’s article on the psychological wellbeing of people over 65. Also included are two linked articles in which Jude Adcock and Jeff Weston make a case for and against the mandatory requirement for one-to-one supervision.
Finally, I’m pleased that one positive change to emerge from the last few months of homeworking is the complete redesign of these pages. I hope you will like the new look as much as I do. I have our very creative designers, Dot and Becky at Steers McGillan Eves Design, to thank for it. As well as Jacqui Gray, BACP’s Managing Editor, Divisional Journals. Let me know what you think.
John Daniel, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org