In this issue


On the threshold
Terri Apter considers the pressures students encounter and how we might be able to assist them in sustaining themselves and their family relationships

A sustainable future 
Making sense of the student experience 2012 and beyond: Robin Dollery considers the challenges and  opportunities for students, staff and counsellors

Encountering religion and spirituality
Is there a role for religion and spirituality in our counselling services? Alistair Ross suggests that sometimes, it can be essential

Mind your head
Former student union officer Seb Baird argues that reducing stigma around mental health should be as high a priority as counselling interventions

Conference workshops

Counselling people who use drugs and alcohol – a family approach
Peter Cartwright suggests we need to move beyond conventional approaches and offer a wider perspective

Loosening the strength of self-doubt
Self-doubt can plague students throughout their academic careers and lives. Sally Ingram suggests we can help

The capacity to endure
Annie Tunnicliffe on connecting counselling and sustainability

Workshops – opportunity or threat?
Sarah Hinds tackles concerns about low attendance or lack of interest from students and implications for services

AUCC updates 

Mind the evidence gap
Kitty McCrea explores the lack of evidence for Further Education counselling services and suggests options for those that want to provide evidence of their effectiveness.

Surrendering counselling notes to the police or courts
Mary Jones on what to look out for when asked to surrender counselling notes to the police or courts

Stepping out
Perspectives from the Irish context: Susan Lindsay, former head of counselling

Conference question and answer
Wellbeing, well, well, well... compiled by Mary Dailey


Notes from the chair

Cover of AUCC, September 2012

Articles from this issue are not yet available online. Divisional members and subscribers can download the pdf from the University and College Counselling archive.

From the editor

Fresh from the break, fortified by June’s conference, headed up by our new Chair, I hope you will enjoy this issue, which is packed with material from the Conference. In addition to Robin Dollery’s encouraging keynote speech and reports on several of the workshops, we feature eminent author Terri Apter on ‘thresholders’ – our clients. We have also included a montage of Conference images on the back cover.

I also want to update you on your feedback about the journal. Thank you so much to those who responded; maybe this is something to do on an annual basis (and we will take on board comments about more options, less polarised questions); but if you have strong views before then, please do not hesitate to let me know.

Some of you loved the new design, some less so; others thought the journal was fine the way it was. A few suggestions were beyond my remit to deliver eg: ‘prefer BACP and so AUCC to have a statutory role, then [I] would encourage others to join’. There was strong feeling (over 90 per cent) about the need to enhance legibility, so we have tried to take this on board in this issue – let us know how we have fared.

We make every effort to listen and respond to your views and are already in the process of actioning some of them eg more themed issues – the November issue will focus on research and evaluation and the following issue will be themed around disordered eating (deadline early January). Please, do get your skates on with ideas, suggestions etc as I am still in search of contributors for that issue. If you or any of your colleagues have a special interest/perspective, please get in touch – now.

A number of you wanted practice dilemmas, an idea we attempted some time ago. At the moment this seems to happen via the Jicsmail, which has the advantage of instant response; if you are happy for your dilemma to be published and the responses (all names removed) used, I would be delighted to make this a regular or even occasional feature – again, just let me know. Editorial guidance was requested – I do provide guidelines to authors (which are also available on the AUCC website, under journal). Another suggestion was that the journal should be more ‘edgy’ – and I would be delighted if readers would like to submit an edgy piece/commentary (length can be flexible). As editor, I am always happy to help with drafts along the way (several of you mentioned you wanted some help in putting something together).

I was slightly perplexed by one comment, which said ‘knowing who to contact’ (would help them contribute): the answer is the editor, contact details inside the front cover and at the end of the editorial, and also in the occasional little boxes asking for contributions! It reminds me of a student, and I imagine I am not alone in this, who at the end of their seven or eight years at the institution I was working in, said ‘I wish I’d known you were here’ (leaflets, posters, info on the intranet, prospectus, friends suggestions etc notwithstanding).

One idea was to offer a prize for the letter of the month (it would have to be quarterly as we only come out four times a year) – do we only respond to financial incentives? Book reviewers do keep the books they review, and this is often a less daunting way into writing an article – I am delighted to say that some 20 people agreed to review the books distributed at conference, so hopefully we will be reading the results soon.

I look forward to being inundated by ideas, letters, offers etc as soon as this issue is out – all contributions are warmly welcomed.

Dani Singer