In this issue
Here and now
News feature: Bodies of knowledge
Sally Brown explores the emergence of embodied therapies from the margins into mainstream practice
The big issues
Anger versus fear
Jane Francis explains how the talents of a graphic artist helped him challenge his fears.
Who says men can’t cope with emotions? (free article)
Jason Spendelow explores how counsellors can widen men’s repertoire of coping strategies.
Seduction in the counselling room
How do counsellors cope with erotic transference, asks Vicki Kirby?
Time to change?
It’s not easy deciding when to change supervisor, say Linda Bean and Kevin Perkins.
Is there a therapy for climate-change anxiety?
Steffi Bednarek explores how we address fears about our planet’s future in the counselling room.
Helen Weston draws wisdom from experience
It changed my life
Should counsellors be social justice warriors?
How can research help us become better therapists and improve the services we offer to clients? John McLeod offers some pointers.
Should I report my colleague for tax evasion?
Pippa Hockton speaks for herself
From the Board
Last month’s report from the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services is yet another piece of solid, scientific evidence that, if we humans continue to consume at our current rate, we will destroy the ecosystems necessary for our survival.
It is small wonder, faced with the likelihood of real extinction, and not just our existential fears about it, that the topic of climate change and its likely effects comes creeping into our counselling rooms. Steffi Bednarek robustly dismisses the notion that there is such a diagnostic category as climate-change anxiety and seeks to open a discussion about how we respond to these very real fears and their effects when clients bring them into the room. Indeed, arguably, climate-change denial can be understood much more readily as a pathological response to an unbearable threat.
This month we celebrate worldwide Men’s Health Week (10–16 June) with Jason Spendelow’s feature on men and coping. The article provides a refreshing change to the weary acceptance that men ‘don’t do emotions’ and ‘don’t do therapy’ by offering a way forward. Be curious, explore how they already manage life’s challenges and use this to help them devise better ways of dealing with relational and other crises.
And for a wonderful description of how counselling can help couples break out of the fixed positions to which they have retreated in the face of stress and conflict, turn to anonymous blogger Girl on the Net’s wise advice. Relationships are hard work, and where is the shame is getting some help from a counsellor?
A good case story always contains something new to learn or think about.
We have a particularly fascinating one this month. Member Jane Francis shares the case of D with us and how she encouraged him to draw on his passion for comics and graphic art to illustrate the darkness that lurked in his inner world. So, he created a set of ‘Marvel-ous Avengers’, bringing his characters into therapy to help him articulate his feelings and peel away the layers of his distress. A deeper story unfolded, of how fear had effectively locked him in, and other entangled emotions like anger, sadness and grief were blocking his attempts to escape his past and move on.
His graphic depictions of the configurations they explored together are simply breathtaking – so much so that you feel you could be a fly on the wall of their therapy room. It’s a work in progress, but already D is ‘beginning to integrate and accept those parts of himself that were previously hidden or hated’.
Rachel Shattock Dawson