In this issue
Menopause: how women suffer in silence
In order to help clients going through the psychological and emotional changes of the menopause, therapists may need to increase their own understanding of this life transition.
From trainee to specialist: learning about domestic violence counselling
Why is there a lack of specialist counselling services for survivors of domestic abuse?
Failing to publish outcomes data
One BACP member describes her attempt to evaluate her service and contribute to the evidence base for counselling.
The bad faith of evidence-based practice: beyond counsels of despair
Is the future of counselling really on the line if relational therapies don’t achieve parity with CBT and embrace RCTs in the process?
Neuromania and ‘idiot compassion’
Why compassion must go hand in hand with wisdom and why neuroscience risks creating a reductionist view of human being.
Kevin Chandler: Apples of guilt and shame
In the client's chair
Orla Murray: Definitely not angry
Alex Erskine: Tears of empathy
From the chair
Dr Lynne Gabriel: Interesting times
The reluctant client
Day in the life
The Wednesday Group
The menopause is still largely one of those subjects around which there is a conspiracy of silence. In many contexts, such as the workplace, women going through this life stage don’t feel able to mention it for fear of being judged incompetent or ‘unprofessional’.
But one would have thought that the therapy room would surely be somewhere women could seek support for what they are going through as well as having the opportunity to explore the many aspects of this change of life: the physical and emotional changes, the sense of loss (which incidentally I think has been beautifully portrayed by our illustrator Adam Hancher), the deeper existential and spiritual dimensions and the wisdom that may come with this stage of life.
But according to Sue Brayne, who has recently written a book addressing this unmentionable topic, there are therapists who lack any real understanding of the emotional and psychological effects that the menopause can have on women. Obviously it would be very unhelpful to a client who is experiencing menopausal symptoms such as memory loss, anxiety or grief over the loss of her fertility, to work with a practitioner who was unable to recognise that these might be related to extreme fluctuations in hormone levels.
Also in this issue we publish a powerful counter argument to Mick Cooper’s recent article on RCTs. When I read the response from Andy Rogers, Jennifer Maidman and Richard House, I found myself agreeing with most of it – namely that the reductionist world-view characterised by NICE guidelines and RCTs runs counter to the core values of therapy and is likely to further damage the pluralism and diversity of the field. But then again, I was pretty convinced by Cooper’s article as well. Not sure where that leaves me!