In this issue
Stress in the City
As the City of London confronts financial meltdown, Leslie Chapman explores why so many of its workers may be experiencing stress-related psychological meltdown.
Counselling for depression
Peter Pearce, Ros Sewell, Andy Hill and Helen Coles describe the development of an evidence-based framework of competences and a new training curriculum for counselling skills for depression.
Men must be able to explore all their feelings, including those of aggression and violence, without being judged, argues Manu Bazzano.
Routine collection of outcomes measures can be used positively in therapy as a learning tool for client and therapist alike. Nic Streatfield draws on his own experience to make his case.
Counselling the jobless back to work
The Government’s Work Programme to get the jobless back into employment could provide huge opportunities for counsellors and psychotherapists to demonstrate their worth. Catherine Jackson reports.
Andy Rogers: Back to the future
In the client's chair
Caitin Wishart: Burden of hope
Marc Brammer: Out of the slump
Julia Bueno: What am I doing here
Blurring the boundaries
From the chair
Amanda Hawkins: Things can only get tougher
Day in the life
Whether they’re refusing £1 million bonuses or being stripped of knighthoods, bankers have barely been out of the news this past month. But one thing we’re not so likely to hear about is their mental health. To admit to being depressed, or even stressed, in this most competitive environment of traders, bankers and hedge fund managers is to kill off your career prospects in one fell swoop. In the words of Neil Brener, a psychiatrist employed by the bank Morgan Stanley: ‘You can admit to paying yourself a salary equivalent to the GDP of a small African country even as the financial world crashes around you; you can admit to selling worthless sub-prime mortgages at the same time as betting against that market… What the markets won’t forgive, and what you can therefore never admit to, is having a mental illness.’
But stress in the City is, it seems, on the increase, with a mental health crisis mirroring the economic one. As psychotherapist and BACP member Leslie Chapman describes in his article, 19-hour working days are not uncommon, the environment is psychologically toxic, and bankers are currently suffering even more acute stress as potential cuts loom, threatening to end the lifestyle they crave. Working from 9am to 3am seven days a week, as one interviewee describes, would drive anyone round the bend, yet what many bankers seem to want in terms of psychological help is tools to help them adapt and function better at work and not feel so bad about themselves, rather than a way out to a saner life.
At the other end of the social heap are those at risk of depression because of lack of employment. The Government’s new Work Programme aims to get the jobless back to work and will pay for any interventions that get people into a job – should they be lucky enough to find one – and keep them there. Therapy Today’s new Deputy Editor, Catherine Jackson, reports on the opportunities for counsellors and psychotherapists in this new payment-by-results scheme, which aims to transform the mindsets and behaviour of people on long-term sickness benefits.