September is the harbinger of firsts for many children, young people and families. Some will be attending school for the first time, meeting people and learning things they’ve never met or learned before. Others will be about to leave home, potentially provoking separation anxiety in both them and their families. I can remember my first day at secondary school or at least I think I can - memory is a curious thing.

I recall stepping off the school bus, losing my footing and falling flat on my face in front of everyone. Did that really happen? Or is that vivid image a metaphor for my worst fears about how I would be seen on my first day? I had the same fears and fantasies on my first day at college, on the first day of subsequent university courses and on the first day of my first job - plus every new job ever since. I have similar feelings when I send anything I’ve written to an editor and I feel the same every three months when I submit copy for this journal – will I fall flat on my face? What will people think? Is it and am I good enough?

I have similar feelings as I write this, my first editor’s blog for the BACP website. I’ve read the brief but what do they really want? I know my audience but do I have anything interesting to say to you? I know from readers and contributors to the BACP Children, Young People and Families journal that many people share these anxieties - as they begin their first therapy training, their first counselling placement, their first job or write their first article.

I’m welcoming more first-time writers to our autumn issue and perhaps some first-time readers too. Those in training will benefit from Sue Kegerreis’ regular column. This time she talks about Helping trainees to manage their negative feelings towards clients. Our other regular columnists, Lucy-Jean Lloyd and Ryan Lowe, talk about Self-harm in counselling and Projections of failure in supervision, respectively. I’m certain you’ll identify with their contributions, whatever stage of your career you’re at.

I’m certain too that you’ll be impressed with the fascinating articles in the September issue from several first-time contributors. Ruth Micallef busts some of the popular myths surrounding invisible eating disorders in Misinformed superheroes, while Lorraine O’Rourke and Monica Cooper illustrate how they combined counselling skills with their love of music in Listening music therapy, and Natasha Parker shares the results from research which looked at what stops young people from taking action on the causes they care about in Generation action.

In our featured article, Narcissists’ children, Jennifer Pitt discusses the impact on young people of living through lockdown with narcissistic parents. She identifies key characteristics of narcissism and highlights the unmet needs that can develop in young people as a result. It’s a provocative read. Sarah Carter explores COVID-19 related challenges for young people who follow the rules in Too much of a good thing? and Sam Clark draws comparisons between cold-water swimming and the therapeutic process in Blue mind.

I welcome your thoughts on the September issue and your ideas for contributions, whether this would be a first for you or not. Please contact me at