In this issue
Feminist ideas and counselling (free article)
Jo Crozier, Kathryn Morris-Roberts, Patience O’Neill and Jeannie Wright explore what feminism means for counselling today.
‘I think I’m gay… can you help?’
Practitioners talk about their work with LGBT and questioning clients.
We need to talk about love
Anne Geraghty urges counsellors to be less afraid to use the ‘L’ word.
Why the Dodo got it right
Campbell Purton tests the Dodo’s verdict on the relative effectiveness of the many models of talking therapy.
Cyber wellness in Singapore
Chong Ee Jay explains how a Singapore project is helping children and young people tackle online gaming addiction.
How I became a therapist
Editorial: In and outside the counselling room
I can’t start this editorial without paying tribute to Sarah Browne, into whose shoes I am (temporarily) stepping. The steadiness and clarity of vision with which she steered the journal through frequently choppy, sometimes gale-force stormy waters would be an inspiration to any leader. It’s a cliché, I know, but she is a hard act to follow.
This month’s journal opens with some very good news indeed – the launch of the major ESRC-funded research study into the outcomes of counselling services embedded within secondary schools in England. The report from the Welsh Government pops a cherry on the top of the cake. Its statutory counselling services, available to every secondary school child, have been so effective that only a very small number of the young people counselled have needed referral on to secondary mental health services for more complex support and intervention. Here already is good evidence that school-based counselling seems to be able to prevent children’s problems escalating into major mental illness and distress. To adapt a well-known saying: a society is only as happy as its unhappiest child. If early access to counselling can help children and young people work through and develop skills to cope with the vicissitudes of life, then its role is vital.
Elsewhere we tackle gender and sexual orientation. Jeannie Wright and colleagues seek to revive discussion of the relevance of feminism to counsellors today. They argue that an individual woman’s experience is so inextricably linked to and shaped by her gendered cultural identity and by women’s shared experience of disadvantage and oppression that a feminist awareness cannot be left outside the counselling room. And in the article on working with sexual diversity, contributors debate whether and how much of their self and their own views the counsellor can or should bring into the counselling room. Is it ever really possible, or desirable, not to do so if they are to be genuinely congruent and of service to their client? Know thyself that others may know thee would seem to be the watchword.