I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to complete the recent Therapy Today survey, providing us with invaluable feedback on which we will draw to inform the content of your membership publication. One theme that came through was how, for many of you, reading Therapy Today offers a sense of community in an often isolating profession. I am more than familiar with that ‘lone practitioner’ feeling – one reason why collaboration and connection are core values that have always informed our editorial direction.
The need to connect is perhaps one reason why there are several thriving and lively Facebook groups for therapists, often the result of an individual practitioner taking the initiative to set up a group where they saw a need. One such therapist is Katie Rose, who recently started a Facebook group for UK therapists working for the US platform BetterHelp. The offer to clients of ‘24/7’ access to their therapist via messaging is just one reason why this subscription-based platform is controversial, but few practitioners are in a position to outright dismiss new potential sources of income. Rose set up the group to help UK therapists make working for the platform work to their advantage. In our ‘Big issue’ feature this month, I take a look at the other reasons why this platform is considered controversial, plus some of the home-grown versions, and the pros and cons for both therapists and clients of accessing and providing therapy this way.
Another theme that came out of the survey responses is that you expect Therapy Today to help you stay informed – and we’re all aware of our requirement under the Ethical Framework to work to ‘professional standards’ by keeping our ‘skills and knowledge up to date’. So if you’re looking for this month’s CPD, I’d highly recommend setting aside time to read the in-depth Q&A guide to working with clients involved with the criminal justice system – either as a victim or witness – in this issue, which explains the recently released updated guidance from the Crown Prosecution Service. It’s a myth that this is a ‘specialist’ area – I know a number of therapists who have been contacted by the police asking to see a past client’s notes, even when the client did not come for therapy in relation to the court case in question. I would like to thank Peter Jenkins and Jill Swindells for providing a clear and simple guide to our rights in relation to this – and when we are in a position to say no – as well as how we work ethically and safely with clients involved in the criminal justice system. We have a crucial role to play in both protecting clients throughout this process and also ensuring justice is achieved – as evidenced in Dr Emma Byrne’s moving first-person account in the article.
I hope there is something in this issue that supports your practice and, as ever, we welcome feedback and your ‘Reactions’ letters – do email us at email@example.com
Sally Brown, Editor