When I put a call-out for book reviewers, I normally find my email inbox pinging like an impatient Morse Code message. But when I pitched Supporting students impacted by the sex industry: a handbook for universities, the Morse went hoarse. Nada. Zilch.
As a result, I invited the author to write an article for this journal. Anna Fisher introduces us to a topic that I don’t hear discussed much in the sector. And perhaps this is because we, as therapists, don’t have enough understanding. Indeed, Anna tells us that she has worked with student sex workers who found that their therapists believed their work was a ‘lifestyle choice’, ‘not inherently traumatic’ and that ‘sex work was real work’. In her powerful piece, Working with students involved in the sex industry, Anna helps us better empathise with the trauma, violence and abuse suffered by student sex workers, including the trajectory of how and why women enter this industry.
We track the number of times articles from BACP divisional journals are read online. This helps us, as editors, to gauge interest in specific topics and aids future planning. One of the most viewed recently from University & College Counselling journal, was last year’s article from Dr Sonia Kalsi, titled ‘A difficult tightrope to walk: experiences of working with suicidality in higher education’.1
We follow up this article, with a fascinating and deeply personal response from Sarah Ashworth, from the Charlie Waller Trust (CWT), who writes about supporting suicidal students beyond the pandemic in Supporting suicidal students beyond the pandemic. I’m really grateful for her insights and for giving me an opportunity to applaud and celebrate the work of the Trust. CWT has been heavily involved in providing resources to support students and I’m delighted to see an increasingly fruitful relationship developing with BACP UC. Check them out at www.charliewaller.org
A similarly massive thank you also to Brian Turton, who, from a psychoanalytic perspective, explores the work of mental health mentoring in Mental health mentoring in higher education. This role is gaining in popularity within our institutions as an additional support service, to mentor students with mental health issues through their academic requirements. Brian argues how mentoring and counselling, while different, can support the work of each other.
I’m really pleased to have interviewed Gillian York for our Profile piece. Based at St John Rigby College as a counsellor, we get an insight into her fascinating therapeutic and personal journey. Working in FE can be very different from HE, particularly where many in FE work in relative isolation with very limited resources. I know the BACP-FE JiscMail community is a great resource to connect those within this sector.
Having worked as a counsellor in private practice, primary care, the workplace and latterly in higher education, I’m increasingly aware that while these sectors can be very different, the issues for therapists can be very similar. After all, in terms of clients, people are people, irrespective of how and where we see them.
As all BACP divisional journal are available free to members, I would strongly encourage you to subscribe to University & College Counselling journal, as well as others, where I’m sure you'll value the cross-transferable insights straddling different sectors. To do so, you'll need to sign into your BACP account, follow the links from the individual journals and add the free subscription to your member account.
The online version now includes the full journal content for all current issues and access to archived articles from around the last 10 years. You can browse the content by issue or use the journal search to find articles on specific topics.
1 Kalsi S. A difficult tightrope to walk: Experiences of working with suicidality in higher education. University and College Counselling 2021; 09(04): 10-16.
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