In this issue
On being a patient
Cordelia Galgut challenges ideas about the appropriate way to support clients in deep personal crisis
Working within the law
Barbara Mitchels and Tim Bond introduce their latest book on legal considerations for counsellors and psychotherapists
Petruska Clarkson: matters of life and death
Roni Beadle pays tribute to the life and work of Petruska Clarkson
The battle to conceive
Julia Bueno provides a glossary of terms and a checklist of things to consider when working with clients with fertility problems
Giving clients a voice
Pamela Savic-Jabrow is embarking on a study that will ask clients how they experience congruence in the therapeutic relationship
Work in progress
Keith Silvester compares his training in the Alexander Technique with his work as a psychotherapist
From the chair
Wendy Halsall: Changing times
From the editor
As you can see, we felt the time was right to make some changes, and I’m proud to unveil a new design for the journal, which from hereon in will be printed in full colour under the name Private Practice. The rejuvenation reflects exciting changes within the Association for Independent Practitioners, about which Wendy Halsall, the divisional Chair, writes more.
But it’s not just the look and the name of the journal that’s changed, you will also find changes to the content: a new upfront News & research section, more comprehensive book review pages, and a regular new division news page at the back. Our aim has been to create a more professional, contemporary feel to the journal, but also to introduce a friendlier, more vibrant look and tone. My hope is that it will come to be seen as a lively and indispensable mouthpiece for counsellors and psychotherapists working in private practice – a useful professional resource, an invaluable platform for exchanging news and opinions, and a forum for conversation and debate.
I also want Private Practice to represent the diverse voices of its readers and to provide a space for personal and professional reflection – a place where members of the Association can share individual stories about what inspires, challenges, frustrates and delights them about their lives as practitioners in private practice.
To that end, I’m really pleased to be featuring two such personal stories in this issue. Cordelia Galgut writes movingly about her journey as a patient with primary breast cancer and how that experience has led her to question aspects of her training and practice, as well as the kind of support she has been offered by mental health professionals. Roni Beadle contributes a heartfelt tribute to Petruska Clarkson and explains how her life and teaching has provided a guiding light through some difficult setbacks in her own life. I am particularly grateful to Roni for taking the risk to talk so openly about her own experiences of depression and suicidal feelings. It seems to me that these issues are often unspoken taboos in our profession, and I hope that through her honesty, Roni’s article might open some much-needed debate and airing of views on the subject.
Both Cordelia and Roni write about risk in our work as therapists – the risk of making ourselves emotionally available and engaging deeply with our clients, of working with open, undefended hearts. Ros Pirani writes in her letter that ‘taking risks feels scary but it makes us know we’re alive, and tells [our] clients that they’re in the room with a human being’. These are sentiments I share in my own practice, and yet I’m also aware that we’re living in increasingly risk averse times. I’d love to know what you think. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org