I hope you feel as uplifted as I do by the beautiful cover created for this issue by award-winning illustrator Neil Webb. Our covers are commissioned by our Art Director, George Walker, and usually depict the ‘Big issue’ feature.
George describes the process of commissioning illustrators – we use a wide range – as one of the most rewarding parts of his job: ‘I have to determine what style is the best fit for the feature – this cover was quite conceptual, rather than about feelings or emotions, so it could be more of a hard-edged, iconic graphic image. It’s important to give an illustrator the freedom to work out their own answers to a brief, so apart from a few guidelines plus the copy of the feature and a mock-up of the blank cover with the headline and standfirst in place, I give them a free hand. Neil always manages to bring consistently fresh conceptual eyes to a job.’
I think the cover perfectly captures the feeling of hope for the future described in ‘Coaching comes of age’, our ‘Big issue’ feature on the launch of the new BACP coaching competence framework. If you’re one of the growing number of therapists interested in offering coaching, the competences will help you map the transferable skills you may already have, and identify any gaps to inform your choice of further training.
The launch of the competences is a significant achievement by BACP’s coaching division, written by practitioner and academic David Britten working in conjunction with the BACP Professional Standards team, that recognises the specific skill set of dual-trained practitioners – therapists who coach. I have to declare an interest here as a therapeutic coach and former member of the coaching executive. I was privileged to work with many inspirational coach-therapists during my time with the division but would like to pay tribute to former Chairs Gill Fennings-Monkman and Carolyn Mumby, who were instrumental in leading the competences to fruition. Don’t miss that report, researched and written with enthusiasm as always by Therapy Today’s Contributing Editor, Catherine Jackson.
Competence is also the subject of the ‘In practice’ piece in this issue, ‘Dealing with the demon doubt’, a subject close to my heart – how do we manage those periods when we feel deskilled as a practitioner or question our competence? I would like to thank the many practitioners who responded to my posts on counsellors’ Facebook groups asking for their experiences of doubting themselves professionally. I was overwhelmed by the response, which suggests this is a common challenge. The good news is that a level of self-doubt may make us better practitioners, allowing us to remain open to growing and learning. I would love to hear what triggers your professional self-doubt, and how you manage it – or your feedback on any of the articles in this issue – so do email me at email@example.com
Sally Brown, Editor