In this issue

Here and now

Spotlight: Helping community healing (open article)
Catherine Jackson interviews Maureen Slattery-Marsh

Readers' letters to the editor

In focus – employment

In focus – pathways

The big issues

In practice: assessment
Sally Brown launches our new regular feature on the nuts and bolts of clinical practice.

Making meaning out of loss
Bob Neimeyer talks about working with and researching grief and bereavement.

Looking back, moving forward
John McLeod marks the sixth edition of his Introduction to Counselling.

Attempted suicide: a father’s story (open article)
Nigel Gibbons describes living with his son’s suicide attempt.

A patchwork of practice
Beverley Meakin explains her creative approach to reflective practice.

What does the ‘actualising tendency’ actually mean?
Mick Cooper offers a contemporary framework.


Turning point
Rebecca Mitchell

It changed my life
Jacqui Dillon explains how counselling helped her start to recover from the trauma of childhood abuse.

Disabled access: what are counsellors' responsibilities

Professional conduct

Stumped by GDPR?

Talking point
Did you choose the right path?

The bookshelf

Analyse me
Esther Ramsay-Jones speaks for herself

Cover of Therapy Today  September 2019 issue

Members and subscribers can download the pdf of this issue from the Therapy Today archive.


It is my great pleasure to welcome you to this September issue of Therapy Today. I hope you enjoy it. After umpteen years as a therapist, I feel immensely privileged to be in the role of Chief Executive Officer. It’s the membership that makes BACP, and I am very aware that it is my duty, alongside the Board and my colleagues, to listen to and represent your interests to the best of our abilities. I am passionate about promoting the incredible and varied skills of our members and the professional standards you hold.

My mission is to show that counselling and psychotherapy sit at the heart of psychological therapies and can be understood as a hugely valuable part of society. That is a message I constantly promote when I meet with external organisations. My belief in this message is reaffirmed all the time when I go out and meet members in their workplaces, one of the greatest privileges of my role. I get to see first-hand your incredible work, changing people’s lives, and it inspires me and the BACP team to work even harder for you, so that we can achieve our collective goals.

This month’s Round-up pages and the In Focus features give you a flavour of some of the work we are doing on your behalf. It’s a particular delight to see Maureen Slattery-Marsh featured in the new Spotlight interview, talking about her involvement in the Misneach memorial project in Birmingham. She will be jointly presenting at the ‘Let the Voices Be Heard!’ conference in Belfast next month, sharing what she has learned from this work to heal the deep rifts between Birmingham’s communities since the 1974 pub bombings. I hope to see some of you there and that many more will attend via the weblink.

Hadyn Williams
BACP Chief Executive Officer

Barriers to finding paid work emerge regularly when I meet with members and in your emails to BACP.

We live in a different employment world these days, with so many people in every occupation facing job insecurity. On top, many counsellors are dismayed to find they cannot put into practice the life-affirming values and ideals they already hold or absorbed in their training because of limits on public sector funds. As reported in this issue, BACP is taking action. We are engaging with governments across the UK to influence mental health policy. We have appointed a workforce lead whose role includes promoting the value of counselling to employers and supporting members in finding new avenues to employment. In addition, as contributors to the article show, members are responding with innovative ideas and campaigning zeal to fight for their belief in what it is about counselling that genuinely changes people’s lives.

Caryl Sibbett
BACP Deputy Chair, on behalf of the Board