In this issue
Ruth Bridges explores how silence can enhance the capacity to develop a more sensitive understanding of both oneself and others
Elizabeth Harland shares her experience of a form of silent contemplative prayer and the impact on her being and her work
This is very tricky...
Chris Jenkins reflects on coping with sudden and unpredictable illness, spiritually, professionally and, most of all, humanly
Saving young lives
Ged Flynn shares the work of PAPYRUS, founded by parents who have lost children through suicide
Embedded counselling in pastoral and spiritual contexts
The task and finish group report
Counselling in the Church of England
Dawn Allison shares her research and considers the implications
The BACP Annual Research Conference
John McLeod describes the decision-making process around submissions to the conference, with the aim of encouraging participation from readers of Thresholds
William West seeks to move beyond self-censorship...
Welcome from the editor
As you can see from my article, the last few months have been a time of unexpected challenges and struggles with my health. I am happy to say that things are looking more positive than they initially did but the situation remains uncertain and highly changeable. Of course such an experience is hardly unique: ‘Life’, an old saying goes, ‘is what happens while we make plans’.
While all that has been going on, APSCC has continued its work and its growth. By the time you receive this issue of Thresholds our conference will be over. I hope you were there and enjoyed it! Our winter issue will include full reports and summaries of the keynote presentations and workshops. Meanwhile, in this issue we have the report of another of our task groups, this one on Embedded Counselling in Pastoral and Spiritual Settings. Many thanks to the group members who have worked so diligently and to those who have been part of their research, especially those who reflected on their experience within the distinct professional roles of chaplain, nurse and physiotherapist. Their reflections, along with the commentary, raise many important questions.
In this issue we also have pieces on topics ranging from suicide and young people to reflections on the power of silence and contemplation. As always, I am grateful to all our authors.
John McLeod writes to invite researchers working in the area of spirituality and therapy to engage with BACP’s annual Research Conference. There has been a feeling, often expressed to me, that such research is not valued, understood or welcome and that this accounts for the under-representation John acknowledges. It must be noted that any such bias has been consistently denied but, as we know, perceptions can be very hard to shift. John challenges us to look at the research we are offering and, understanding the process more clearly, to get our work accepted on the grounds of its quality, whatever the methodology. It would be wonderful if spirituality researchers took up this challenge and made a significant impact on the next research conference programme.
During my travels in and out of hospital and between various computers, not to mention the effects of ‘chemo brain’, I am afraid at least one piece I had accepted for publication was lost, along with the author’s contact details. I can only apologise and ask that if you were expecting to see an article here and it has not appeared, please re-submit it and it will go in the next issue. Thanks for your patience.
After three years as APSCC Chair, it is time for me to move on. I will continue, health permitting, to edit Thresholds, so I won’t be vanishing from the scene by any means. However, I will be handing over this page to my successor as Chair. I am enormously grateful to those who have worked alongside me on the executive and all the staff at BACP who have facilitated so much of what we have accomplished so far. I am aware some readers have enjoyed the ‘editor’s photo’, different in every issue, some haven’t and, probably, most didn’t particularly care. I had intended the last of them to be me in my PhD robes, looking suspiciously like King Henry VIII but, in present circumstances, that needs to be balanced by a more current image. I hope your own health is strong, your work blessed and you find Thresholds nurtures you.
Chair, APSCC; Editor, Thresholds