In this issue

Here and now

News feature: It ain’t what you do... (free article)
... or is it? Catherine Jackson explores the science and politics of psychotherapy research today



The big issues

First person
Changing my mind. A sceptical client explains what changed his attitude to counselling.

Relational complications in trauma therapy
Morit Heitzler and Michael Soth explore the complex relational dynamics in trauma work.

Living up to expectations
Nick Luxmoore says goodbye to a supervisee who has outgrown him.

It’s okay not to know about gender
Igi Moon, Michelle Ross and Aedan Wolton explore not knowing.


Mark Emery is a guerrilla gardener.

Turning point
Learning from experience.

Research matters
John McLeod selects his pick of the latest research findings.

Should Kareem be setting up in private practice when he is still in recovery?

Talking point
How do you end counselling?

Analyse me
Akima Thomas answers our questionnaire.

Your association

From the chair 

Cover of Therapy Today, May 2018

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

Editor’s note

The 24th BACP Annual Research Conference takes place this month. Some 250 researchers are gathering in London for two days to discuss their work, and the majority of members out there, in your counselling rooms, will very likely be wondering what it has to do with you. The closest most come to research is when you’re told there isn’t enough evidence, or evidence of good enough quality, to prove that what you do has any benefit at all.

So, it’s not surprising that research tends not to feature on most practitioners’ radars. But it is fundamental to the development and future of the profession, as I hope the various researchers quoted in this month’s news feature will persuade you. It is fundamentally about extending practitioners’ and counselling services’ knowledge and capacity to help clients, and you’d be wrong to think it has nothing to do with what you do every day in your counselling room. Read John McLeod’s monthly Research Matters column to be convinced otherwise.

This month we introduce a new, occasional section, First Person, which is intended for clients’ accounts of therapy and therapists’ accounts of issues and experiences that concern and affect them personally, as well as professionally. It offers a space for shorter, more informal, first-person articles to add to the mix.

And finally, coincidental with our own humble attempt in April’s Talking Point to describe counselling and psychotherapy and what you do, we learn that BACP, with the British Psychoanalytic Council and the UK Council for Psychotherapy, is in the process of throwing some much-needed light on the matter. See details of the new SCoPEd project.

Catherine Jackson

No matter how impressive our qualifications or how experienced we are, supervision is a process we all sign up to, at every stage of our therapeutic careers.

Many therapists I know have found a supervisor they trust and work well with, and then stick with them at all costs, as though girding them with hoops of steel. I sometimes wonder how they navigate the many bumps on their long journey together.

Perhaps the biggest hurdle is when the supervisee becomes as knowledgeable and skilled as the supervisor. It can be a tricky equation to balance. As both a supervisee and supervisor, I was gripped by Nick Luxmoore’s tale from his casebook this month, where he shares his concerns that he is ‘losing’ his long-term supervisee in their meetings. His account of his response will stay with me for a long, long time.

Rachel Shattock Dawson
Consultant Editor