In this issue


Diversity, prejudice and privilege
Dr Keon West challenges assumptions about prejudice and privilege when working with students from diverse backgrounds

Mother and other tongues
Ali Zarbafi discusses the importance of the second language as a bridge to greater self-awareness and release in the therapeutic space

Towards greater cultural competency
Adam Cox argues that achieving greater cultural competency will free us to work more creatively with clients from minority groups

Disability in and out of the counselling room
Julia Segal explores the complex interpersonal issues raised when working with people with physical illnesses and

Working with D/deaf clients
Michèle Taylor argues for a combined social and trans-cultural approach when working with D/deaf clients

Reflections on difference
David Glyn considers the concept of difference and its presence in the work of the student counsellor

Unreasonably blessed
Mark Phippen reflects on 30 years of counselling in Further and Higher Education




BACP Universities amd Colleges


Notes from the Chairs

Chair Elect address

Cover of University and College Counselling, September 2013

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

'A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.' William James (1842–1910)

According to Erik Erikson, late adolescence and early adulthood are unique times when personal and social identity is formed.1 The process involves two important elements: a persistent sameness within oneself and a persistent sharing with others. University or college is a time and place where young people can experiment with different social roles before making permanent commitments, whether to an occupation, an intimate relationship, to social and political groups and ideas or to a philosophy of life. Until recently, the notion that this could or should involve engagement with difference and diversity has not been given much consideration (not at least in this country).

All this makes the choice of topic for this year’s BACP Universities & Colleges annual conference particularly welcome and important. This issue of the journal publishes highlights from the event.

Keynote speaker Keon West draws on his own and other current research to highlight our self-deception with regard to diversity, difference, prejudice and privilege. Ali Zarbafi explores the benefits as well as the challenges thrown up when counselling in a second language. Adam Cox tries to help us expand our cultural mindset with his examination of cultural socialisation and group privilege and how cultural bias may impact on our work. Julia Segal challenges us to not make assumptions about people with disabilities – we cannot occupy another person’s shoes; we can only admit to our ignorance and recognise our mistakes. In the context of D/deafness, Michèle Taylor explores the social and cultural factors that influence our perceptions of disability and difference. David Glyn writes a personal reflection on difference – in society, in the counselling relationship and within the profession – and the potential impact on our work when they are not acknowledged. And last but certainly not least, Mark Phippen, an extremely influential figure in our organisation over the past 20 plus years, looks back and forwards as he steps away from our sector and into a new area of work.

There have also been big changes within BACP Universities & Colleges. Charlotte Snoxall has had to step down as Chair, Barbara Lawton has stepped into the breach and our new Chair Elect sets out his stall in this issue. As we enter a new academic year, the outsourcing is already affecting some services, with more changes likely afoot. Watch this space.

Dani Singer


1. Erikson E. Childhood and society. New York: WW Norton; 1950.

Further reading

Banks JA (Ed). Diversity and citizenship education: global perspectives. New York: Jossey-Bass; 2007.