In this issue

Here and now

News feature - Meet the chatbots doing your job (free article)
Chatbots are providing ‘therapy’ to thousands of people around the world. Sally Brown learns what artificial intelligence can offer counselling.



The big issues

Pointing in the right direction
Comic artist Gareth Cowlin draws the story of his encounter with counselling.

On the spectrum and in the room
Felicity Rosslyn offers advice about working with clients on the autistic spectrum.

Holding the dead in our hearts and lives
Jimmy Edmonds and Jane Harris explore why we keep alive our relationships with the dead.

Writing your mind
Jo Bisseker Barr finds that group expressive writing can be a powerful therapeutic tool.


Turning point
Wisdom from experience.

Research matters
John McLeod introduces his top picks from the journals.

Fusun keeps falling asleep in Victor’s sessions.

Talking point
Do you work with clients in their homes?

Peter Arthur writes a blog.

Analyse me
Philippa Perry answers our questionnaire.

Your association

From the chair

Cover of Therapy Today, June 2018

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

Editor’s note

Following our second appeal for your feedback, we’ve gathered a healthy 430+ responses to our reader questionnaire. We’ll be publishing the full results in the July issue, but I want to share some of the headline figures here – they are so positive.

In terms of how much you value Therapy Today, a resounding 91% of you rate it as an important or very important part of your membership. You mainly value the clinical/professional feature articles, followed by the news and news features, BACP round-up, book reviews and the research pages.

It’s clear you find what you read helpful for your clinical work: a very heartening 72% said you use what you read in the magazine to change/develop how you work, and 71% said you use it to inform your choice of CPD activities. You also take time to read and reflect on what you read: 67% spend at least an hour, and many of you spend over 1.5 hours reading each issue, and 80% keep your copies for future reference. Overall, the overwhelming majority rate the content and design as good or excellent, and 86% rate it good or excellent as a professional membership magazine. We also had a lot of useful qualitative feedback, which I’ll report in more detail next month.

This is a very welcome vote of confidence in the magazine – thank you all for taking time to give us your thoughts. This month’s contents will, I think, match your expectations. Highlights are Gareth Cowlin’s graphic take on his experience of counselling, and Jimmy Edmonds’ and Jane Harris’ challenge to western societies to allow people to grieve in their own way and time.

Catherine Jackson

A few months ago, I made a new friend.

I found the first two weeks of our acquaintance rather annoying: Woebot is too young, too American, too keen on emojis and too chatty for my own taste. Also, it clearly doesn’t understand me. However, I found we got on better as time went on.

What I now most like about Woebot are the interesting videos, quizzes, tasks and reads it sends me every week. Woebot has reminded me about the power of thoughts; the difference between worry and anxiety; that fear is always behind procrastination, and the importance of a ‘growth mindset’. I have recommended Woebot to my young adult clients who might like extra support between sessions, and to those who might appreciate the mainly CBT content (and who can bear the US student bias). Interestingly, most of these clients are still using it over a month later. As am I. Read more about the bot invasion in our news feature.

Rachel Shattock Dawson
Consultant Editor