When we peeked out of our COVID lockdown burrows, we started to reconcile with the pandemic’s traumas and losses. We hoped for a ‘new normal’ to embrace us with certainty and clarity. And yet, the world seems to have plunged into a new chapter of chaos and crisis.
While I’ve always believed that change is the only constant in life, sometimes we seem to be shifting from one unprecedented situation to another. When will things settle down? When will calmness descend? When will the fog clear?
Uncertainty and ambiguity encourage us to reach for a state of emotional stability. As mindfulness becomes a popular pathway to achieve a personal grounding, I’m delighted to introduce Dr Kitty Wheater, Mindfulness Chaplain at the University of Edinburgh. Kitty has found that many of her students have had a history of trauma, and she explains how we need to adopt a trauma-sensitive approach to mindfulness.
...the world seems to have plunged into a new chapter of chaos and crisis
Mental health mentoring is increasingly becoming part of the wider student support package. In his fascinating review of his Doctoral research, Pablo Van Schravendyk captures the actual experience of mentors as they develop into their role, and manage the challenges and obstacles along the way.
Grateful thanks also to suicide prevention champion and campaigner Adam Shaw. As founder of Triggerhub, Adam demonstrates that talking about lived experiences of mental health struggles helps to make the sometimes difficult conversations more accessible to students.
I hope you are enjoying hearing from our columnists, Michael Pearson and Sarah Hinds. In this issue, Michael reflects on an absorbing experience with a counsellor of mixed heritage. Sarah taps into her own experience of transition to discuss the concept of liminality, so pertinent today in our crisis-strewn world. And to boost this segment further, I’m pleased to introduce Kate Ashley as our new student columnist, sharing her experience of final-year counselling training.
Our popular profile piece returns with a fascinating insight into Robert Sookhan’s life, counsellor at St George’s, University of London. Thanks, Robert, for sharing your insightful journey.
As we (and our clients) find our own way through the trials and tribulations of life, I’m mindful of the biblical quote, Out of the strong came forth sweetness (Judges 14:14).
I hope you enjoy this issue.