In this issue

Here and now:

BACP Trustee Una Cavanagh on why we need working counsellors on the Board 


The big issues:

In focus (open article)
Catherine Jackson investigates children’s mental health services.

In practice
Sally Brown discusses marketing your practice.

Conversations about suicide
Andrew Reeves and Maria-Gabriele Doublesin share their experiences.

Is counselling enough to treat trauma?
Penny Bullock explores the safe and effective treatment of trauma.

Meeting clients where they are
Three services taking therapy out of the counselling room.

Getting to grips with ‘I-Thou’
Simon Cole discusses what we experience when we feel empathy.


Turning point
Julia Bueno draws wisdom from experience

It changed my life
Andy Salkeld: ‘I sat in the waiting room, fidgeting, trying not to succumb to the urge to just leave’  

Talking point
Get the timing right: Is it time to ditch the 50-minute therapeutic hour? 

Our ethics team considers this month's dilemma: Supervision

The bookshelf

Questions and answers
How do I contribute to Therapy Today?

Analyse me
Annabel Giles speaks for herself

Cover of Therapy Today April 2020 issue

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


When I first joined BACP as a student back in 2009, I could not have imagined that just over 10 years later, I’d be stepping into the role of Editor of Therapy Today. But as many of you know from personal experience, becoming a therapist changes you. What started as a ‘side hustle’ to my career as a journalist quickly became my passion. As well as starting a counselling and coaching practice, I got involved in setting up a community counselling charity. I remain a member of its Board of Trustees. I also joined the BACP Coaching Executive and started writing regularly for Therapy Today and speaking at CPD events. I jumped at the chance to become Editor because it connects two of my core beliefs – the power of the written word to communicate ideas, and the power of talking and deep listening to change lives.

I am delighted that Catherine Jackson is staying on as a freelance contributor. In this issue, she explores what has been described by the media as a crisis in children’s mental health services. As a journalist, I know that headlines need to be attention-grabbing, but that means they can also, at times, be misleading. One BACP member told us that CAMHS mental health practitioners feel ‘dehumanised’, because ‘people assume we do not care about the wellbeing of children and young people’. There is no doubt that CAMHS has been affected by inadequate funding, but we also need systemic changes and a more joined-up way of working. Read our compelling report in this issue.

One of the challenges of our profession is meeting the needs of hard-to-reach clients. We put the spotlight on three innovative counselling services taking therapy out of the counselling room and into the community, including a service that runs out of a boxing gym. Elsewhere in this issue, we explore how to ethically and effectively market your practice, whether non-directive counselling is appropriate for trauma clients, and what is really going on when we feel empathy. I invite you to settle down in a comfortable spot and dive in!

Therapy Today is your magazine and I welcome your comments, feedback and suggestions. One question I have already been asked by several members is how they can contribute. I have used the Q&A column to offer some guidance, and there is more detail on the BACP website. Do email me at or follow me on Twitter and Instagram @SallyBTherapy.

Sally Brown, Editor

At the last AGM in November, I encouraged members to become more involved in our Association and I’m pleased to see so many of you have responded positively to this challenge.

We will soon be opening the recruitment for new Trustees to join the Board of Governors. My fellow Board member Una Cavanagh shares her experience in this issue, which gives you an insight into what it is like being on the Board. If you missed the ‘Meet the Board’ feature in the February issue, where my Board colleagues and I talked about our passions and what motivated us to join, you can now read it on the Governance page of the BACP website.

I hope this will spark your interest to find out more if you have ever considered wanting to join the Board to help shape the future of our organisation.

Natalie Bailey, BACP Chair