In this issue
Taking social anxiety seriously
Avoiding social encounters and public speaking, or enduring these with considerable distress, is a common experience for students and others, many of whom fulfil clinical criteria for social anxiety. Éamonn Ó Dochartaigh explores
An attachment approach
Jane McChrystal argues that with more students experiencing financial pressures in addition to developmental and academic challenges, and staff facing increased demands with fewer resources, an attachment perspective can provide a useful approach
Una McCluskey believes an understanding of how the fear system interacts with the attachment system is vital
Bereaved students often struggle with feelings of isolation. David Glyn explores the benefits of a bereavement group
Setting up a peer support service
Tina Usherwood looks at the role of peer support in her institution
A day in the life of…
Bhavna Abbi, one of five University of Wolverhampton student counsellors, describes her day
HUCS’ response to the new economic realities
A résumé of a presentation given to the national Head of University Counselling Services (HUCS) meeting in February
The value of an in-house service
Patti Wallace distils recent email discussion on the HUCS mailbase as a guide to how to present evidenced arguments in support of counselling services
A useful summary of sources relevant to student mental health and counselling outcomes
Notes from the chair
Update and thoughts from Chris Holt
From the editor
‘Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?’
(TS Eliot: Choruses from the Rock, 1935)
And, Elliot might have added, where is the information we have lost in the bits and bytes we are constantly bombarded with and are in danger of drowning in? Indeed, where is the foresight lost in managers? Few if any people I have encountered in our sector, have expressed anything but shock and horror at the seemingly myopic view of current policy in many areas, particularly our own. Even TS Eliot’s East Coker, immortalised in the Four Quartets, appears to be under threat (Observer, 20/3/11, p21).
As a species we do not seem to have acquired much wisdom despite a plethora of information and knowledge. Wisdom is remarkably elusive – where is the Delphi Oracle of old when you need it? Despite having more information, facts and ‘evidence’ at our finger tips than ever before, we appear little wiser.
We work in education where the goal is surely to lay the foundation for the acquisition of wisdom by adding value to data, information and knowledge through enabling understanding, insight and encouraging experience. And hopefully metamorphosing that into a glimmer of wisdom...
Coming hastily back down to earth, I am pleased that the contributors to this issue suggest that with reflection, there is still hope, that far from merely sitting Canute-like at the edge of forces we cannot control, we have strength and resilience to share and that much can be done even in the face of discouraging news of cutbacks, particularly in FE, which is perhaps the most vulnerable currently in our sector.
The theme of this year’s conference is timely: Making sense in uncertain times: facing difficulties both creatively and professionally. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible there, with minds wide open, ideas simmering, pen (or iPad) in hand, eager to contribute to the collective wisdom that hopefully will be evidenced in your journal!