In this issue – my last as editor – the main theme is time. As increasing numbers of students present to services with more complex needs, there just doesn’t seem to be enough time to be able to see everyone and offer them what they need – or want. And so, student counselling services are once more at the forefront of change and innovation, designing and implementing new, focused ways of working with distress. In this issue, we have a fascinating range of contributions, exploring the whole gamut of current client offerings, varying from 16-session interventions to one-offs, as well as a reminder that, sometimes, students supporting students can be a powerful intervention to facilitate.
Inevitably, adapting to new ways of working creates stress for therapists, who may feel that they have only just got their head around one new system, before another one is brought in to replace it. Self-care is paramount now – supervision an absolute must – and I hope that over the coming months you are able to access the support that you need in these fraught times as you continue to support students in their academic ventures and personal journeys. As editor of this journal for the last five years, I want to express my admiration for the consistency with which our sector has risen to ongoing challenges – but at the same time, I want to acknowledge that this often comes at a personal cost. For me, and I suspect for all of us, creating and holding a safe, internal space where I feel free from the constant demands of work, other people and life in general, is essential.
I do hope that in your work, where time is of the essence, there is still opportunity to explore, create and simply ‘be’ with clients, rather than there always being a sense that you’d better not spend too long with this one, because there are 50 more waiting. It’s true that some students don’t need or want long-term contact with us – but others do, and it’s crucial that they don’t miss out on the benefits of a therapeutic relationship which can stand them in good stead for life.
Best wishes to you all – you are doing stellar work in arduous circumstances, for which much appreciation is due.