In this issue
Some crusades need to be fought (free article)
Catherine Jackson explores the complex interplay of anger and grief in traumatic bereavement.
Retirement or renaissance?
Mary Russell and Val Simanowitz talk to fellow counsellors about how, when and why they decided to retire.
The language of healthcare
Rosemary Rizq warns that the language we use can start to dictate how we practise.
Counselling in Canada
Counsellors and psychotherapists in Canada have much in common with their UK colleagues, writes Lorna Martin.
Photographs in therapy
Laura Prins describes how photographs can provide counsellors with a powerful key to unlock the unconscious.
How I became a therapist
From the chair
When is the right time to retire – 60 or 90? This is a subject to which readers regularly return in letters and articles. For many, counselling is a second career, and if you’ve only just finished training in your early 50s you will barely have got into your stride before it might be considered time to stop. Thinking about work has evolved in recent years as we understand more about what it gives us, and this may be particularly pronounced with counselling and psychotherapy. Some people may simply need to continue working to pay the mortgage but, with the current lack of paid work, others may feel that they should make way for younger therapists.
There is no clear guidance about when to retire, apart from advice on fitness to practise. Health issues are regularly cited as a reason to stop practising, and memory problems – no longer being able to find the right word at the right time, as Mary Russell and Val Simanowitz found when they interviewed a group of therapists about their decisions to retire.
One reason therapists might choose to retire is to escape from a particular culture, perhaps in an organisational setting. The focus of the article by Rosemary Rizq is the language of healthcare – a lexicon created by what she calls the evidence-based movement – which we have all now adopted. Examples are ‘NICE-compliant interventions’, ‘patient wellbeing’ and ‘payment by results’. Rosemary compares this language to Orwell’s Newspeak and explores its tendency to narrow our range of thought, to eliminate feeling and, most significantly, to reduce the idea of relationship in mental health services. ‘They have already forced us into using certain words,’ she says, ‘already involved us in a... particular vocabulary. It’s already infiltrated our minds, our behaviour. We are already compromised.’
In an interview with Colin Feltham on our website (www.therapytoday.net), Rosemary further contextualises these developments and discusses what, if anything, we can do about it. We would like to hear your views.