What’s your personal ‘keep warm for less’ strategy? Mine is sitting under a pile of fleecy blankets when I’m at my desk (a bonus of working by Zoom means they can stay there during client sessions). I covet a heated throw but was too slow off the mark to buy one before they sold out everywhere. Another colleague swears by wrist warmers – apparently, if your wrists are warm, so is the rest of you (I remain unconvinced). If you work in person with clients, you may be also thinking about the cheapest way to heat your therapy room this winter – another challenge altogether.
The dynamics around money and therapy are rarely straightforward. The potential moral and ethical dilemmas are complex – should we be offering more concessionary places during this financial squeeze, or introduce them if we don’t already? Should we cancel our annual fee increase? How do we respond to a client who wants to continue but says they have to end because they can no longer afford to come? In our ‘Big issue’ report, Catherine Jackson interviews practitioners and service providers about how our profession can best support those struggling financially over the winter, while also taking care of ourselves. Don’t miss that, and if you or your practice has been impacted by the cost of living crisis, please share your experiences by emailing email@example.com.
Elsewhere in this issue, we have an illuminating exploration into loneliness – a growing phenomenon in our society that often seems more keenly felt by sufferers at this time of year – from Olivia Sagan, Professor of Psychology at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. In recent years, a number of my clients have expressed bewilderment at experiencing loneliness, despite living a life full of social contact. So I was intrigued to read in Olivia’s piece that a growing ‘loneliness industry’ is capitalising on our sense of isolation and the shame that can go with it – loneliness is still often viewed by society as a personal failure. Don’t miss that essential read.
I am also grateful to Carl Flynn, a detective chief inspector turned therapist with years of experience of working with perpetrators of domestic violence, for his straight-talking report. Therapy can help break the cycle of abuse, but this is specialist work – get it wrong, and you risk colluding with an abuser or providing them with an excuse for their actions. But done right, therapy can help abusers understand both the motivations for their behaviour and the consequences of their actions on their victims.
As ever, we appreciate your feedback – do email your views on any of the content of this issue to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sally Brown, Editor