In this issue
Duty of growth
Claire Thomas is feeling more confident about the possibility of making a living from counselling
It’s good to talk
Richard Lallo explains how the Find a Therapist directory is fast becoming the primary resource for people looking for private practice counsellors
Ask an expert
Sally Despenser considers some of the ways you can ensure your safety when working from home
Rebecca Sherwood believes there is a lot to be done to make the profession more inclusive to all
The way of ignorance
Sarah Van Gogh on how research can enable us to experience things that exist in the borderland between consciousness and unconsciousness
All of me
Janice Filer gives a personal account of life with trauma-related dissociation
When you died
Karin Sieger writes on the death of her therapist
The right to be heard
Gordon Sayers and Debbie Ruskin on how supervision can be used to mitigate recurring distress from an earlier trauma
From the chair
James Rye: Hopes for the future
From the editor
Endings can be difficult times for clients and therapists. This issue includes two very personal articles about endings. Karin Sieger contributes an open letter on the death of her therapist and Janice Filer writes about working towards an ending after five years in therapy. Both pieces provide rare and valuable insights into the therapeutic relationship from the perspective of being a client. The powerful and transformational attachment each writer has to her therapist is movingly expressed and provides a humbling reminder of the deep trust our clients place in us as therapists.
Sadly, for Karin, the sudden death of her therapist deprived her of an opportunity to say goodbye in person. She writes with feeling of the deep pain she still experiences a year on from her therapist’s death, and reminds us of the importance for us all to have a clear and transparent system for record-keeping in place, so that our clients can be contacted quickly and easily should something suddenly and unexpectedly happen to us.
In contrast, Janice writes about an ending that was consciously worked towards over a period of nine months. I am particularly pleased to be publishing her article because she addresses the deeply personal and private subject of living with trauma-related dissociation and explains how therapy helped her to make sense of, and gradually integrate, some of the many fragmented parts of her self. She also explains that it was her therapist’s lack of fear and judgment in the face of her complexity, and the calm and consistent patience, comfort, nurture and love she provided, which were the main healing agents in the work. By bravely lifting the lid on her own mental health, Janice models an honesty and openness that I hope might help other practitioners feel less alone with their own struggles.
Endings inevitably lead to new beginnings and I am pleased to include reports in this issue of various developments within the division. Having said goodbye to outgoing Chair, Wendy Halsall, in the last issue, our new Chair, James Rye, introduces himself and outlines his aspirations for the future of the division. You can also find out further information on divisional activities on the Division news page, including details of the 2014 conference on the theme of anxiety, which is provisionally scheduled to take place in London on 13 September 2014. Look out for further details in forthcoming issues of Therapy Today, as well as in the next issue of this journal.
Also, you can read an update on an important new initiative within the division: the nationwide establishment of regional networking groups. There was an enthusiastic response to the call included in the last issue for members interested in coordinating a regional networking group in their own area. Inaugural meetings of groups in Belfast and Swindon have already taken place and members in the Leeds area are invited to attend the first meeting of the Leeds regional networking group on 25 January 2014. It is hoped these meetings will develop into an invaluable self-sustaining source of support for members and an opportunity to engage more proactively with the division than has been previously possible.
I am also pleased to report that the BACP Private Practice pages on the main BACP website will soon be redesigned and will provide a much-enhanced source of up-to-date information on divisional activities.
We would like to include more of your views and opinions in the pages of this journal in the form of a regular section for your letters. Your feedback and responses to articles published here are invaluable and most welcome. Please do get in touch with me at the email address on the facing page. I would also like to encourage you to take a few moments to let us know your views of the journal by completing our online survey.