In this issue

Here and now

News feature: Working for free (free article)
Sally Brown captures views from both sides of the argument about whether qualified counsellors should work unpaid



The big issues

Tapping the body’s healing powers
Heather Redington explains how energy psychology can offer first-aid therapy for trauma

Making a difference with dementia
Sarah Baker takes a person-centred approach to working with people with dementia

Wake up and smell the evidence
Barry McInnes makes a business case for using outcome measures in private practice

Hearing the grief in illness and pain
Ruth Bridges asks that counsellors are open to clients’ chronic illness and pain


Turning point
Learning from experience

Research matters
John McLeod introduces his top picks from the journals

Godfrey has a chronic illness – should he tell his clients?

Talking point
How do you explain counselling?

Janet Cardy takes to the water

Analyse me
Ian Johnson answers our questionnaire

Your association

From the chair

Cover of Therapy Today, April 2018

A pdf of this issue is available in the Therapy Today archive.

Editor's note

Thank you to all of you who responded to our reader survey in February. The initial response shows you are very much enjoying the magazine – we’ve had a very encouraging thumbs up for the content and design. But we would like a bigger response. So we are extending the survey for another month, to the end of April. Please, please go to and give us your views. It doesn’t take long. We’re also offering a second prize of £100 in book tokens for this second tranche of responses.

I’d like to give a warm welcome to Nadine Moore, who steps into the role of our Media Editor this month, and to say a heartfelt thanks to Bina Convey, who has entertained us so wonderfully with her wide-ranging choice of cultural events with a twist of psychotherapeutic interest. It’s fascinating to see how psychotherapy and counselling have become so widely embedded in our arts and entertainment world.

Alongside the complex issue of voluntary working, this month’s features explore Barry McInnes’ passionate argument that practitioners need to use outcome measures to build on what they do that works, so they can improve their practice and help more clients; Heather Redington’s integration of psychological ‘technique’ with ‘relationship’ to offer psychological first aid, and Ruth Bridges’ insights into the often overlooked issue of living with chronic pain and illness. For me, the highlight has to be Sarah Baker’s moving description of the difference a counsellor can make to someone with dementia, simply by joining them in their world and affirming their sense of identity by validating their reality.

Catherine Jackson

Voluntary working is a wonderful gift to give to society if and when you can afford to do so.

It is common practice in our profession – most of us have worked without pay or financial support while training and post-qualification. However, the requirement to complete hundreds of hours to qualify can take the joy and voluntary aspect out of the process.

Should we be concerned that many counselling services charge clients (or the NHS) for talking therapies, but do not pay even the legal minimum wage to the therapists? Is there a risk of exploitation? Do we need to ensure that our training and education system does not exclude people on low incomes or without alternative means of support from entering the profession? Should we worry that, if no financial value is put on our labour, then we are devaluing our work?

This month’s news feature on unpaid working explores this complex subject. As always, we’d love to hear your views.

Rachel Shattock Dawson
Consultant Editor