We’re delighted to welcome back our free in-person Making Connections events.

These regular face to face conferences take place throughout the year and give you the chance to network with other members and our divisional executive members.


Click on the sessions to find out more. If you are viewing this page on a mobile, rotate your screen to view the programme.

10.00am – 10.30am Registration
10.30am - 10.50am Welcome from Ian Jones, BACP Governor and Phil James, BACP CEO
10.50am – 11.35am Degrees of separation – working with overlapping boundaries, presented by Catherine Havard
11.35am – 12.25pm Young men's mental health, presented by Alison Theaker
12.25pm – 1.25pm Light lunch
1.25pm – 1.45 pm Local member two-minute platforms
1.45pm – 2.40pm Connecting together
The room will be divided into different areas of interest, for more focused and structured networking. You’ll be encouraged to move around the room and engage with colleagues, volunteers and BACP staff to network, share ideas and meet new people with similar interests. You’ll be able to add a new area of interest if yours isn’t represented.
2.40pm – 3.10pm Refreshments
3.10pm – 3.55pm Missing boys – the unacceptable norm, presented by Ben Nuss 
3.55pm - 4.00pm Event close

This programme is subject to change.

Presentation information

Degrees of separation - working with overlapping boundaries

10.50am – 11.35am

In this presentation Catherine proposes that overlapping boundaries and dual relationships when running a therapeutic practice in a small community is commonplace and that the frequent emphasis placed on the difficulties of working with dual relationships, the need for caution and avoidance is not supportive for those practitioners working in more rural areas.

During the presentation Catherine will invite you to consider your responses to some scenarios whilst also being mindful of the degrees of separation likely in the culture in which you work and how this might influence your response.

She introduces the concept of and attempts to describe a deeper cultural or tacit knowing which she refers to as a ‘cultural muscle’. When faced with complex overlapping relationships, the therapist can pull on knowledge and wisdom that is already held in the community way of living of small communities.

Young men's mental health

11.35am - 12.25pm

Mental health has been reported as being the single most critical issue facing young people. However, statistical data continues to show there is a divide in the number of young males accessing support services regarding their emotional wellbeing compared to females, thus highlighting young males are less likely to be accessing support when experiencing periods of low mental health. However, when it comes to the statistical data of those taking their own lives, males count for 3:4, as opposed to 1:4 females. Despite this, our statistical data shows that only 1:3 are males and feel able to speak up about their mental health and ask for the support they so desperately need. This is further reflected within Welsh Government Statistics for young people accessing school counselling in Wales (Between September 2013 and August 2021), reporting that only 36% of the 88,386 young people that received school counselling were males.

We established a need to consult directly with young males to find out what they felt were the main barriers to accessing support and what more can be done to encourage them to seek help when needed.

Missing boys - the unacceptable norm

3.10pm – 3.55pm

In recent years we have seen increased national attention given to issues related to male mental health, particularly male suicide rates. We know that death by suicide remains the biggest killer in men between the ages of 15 and 35 in the UK.

These figures highlight the notable mismatch between service need and service usage among young men. This begs the question – why are boys and young men not accessing help at the same rate at which they are presenting with mental health difficulties?  Ben’s presentation will share findings and themes from his research and discuss implications for therapists working with boys and young men.