I was fascinated to read about a landmark global study into what is important to Generation Z (Gen-Z) – those born between 1997 and 2012 who will make up to 27% of the global workforce by 2025.1 

Surveyed in over 30 countries, Gen-Z were found to place value on power, achievements, hedonism and stimulation which is largely attributed to having lived their lives and grown up more publicly than any other generation due to social media. But what struck me most was how Gen-Z has redefined hedonism – instead of sex, drugs and booze, it might mean going for a really good run and then going for a juice afterwards.

Increasingly, I’m hearing that younger people are drinking less alcohol or none at all and how different they are to their parents’ generation. So, what does this say about the relationship we have with alcohol in our lives? Well, when it comes to alcohol and the workplace, Lauren Booker from Alcohol Change UK makes a convincing case for why it needs to be seen as a workplace wellbeing issue. She writes our lead article, Alcohol at work – a heady cocktail.

Sharing insights into how the pandemic and lockdown changed our drinking culture; she explains how the most significant perhaps was that drinking at work, albeit virtually, became normalised. The cost is reflected in the 17 million sick days2 taken each year due to excessive drinking. But the cost, as we well know, is far deeper than how it is hits us in the pocket. Calling alcohol, the nation’s favourite coping strategy, it’s timely that Lauren challenges us to re-think our relationship with it in the month that Alcohol Change UK hold its annual awareness week. 

I had the pleasure of talking to Gloria Howard for My workplace about how she has devoted her life to therapeutic endeavours – from working with street children in Colombia to offering low-cost intensive retreats in Wales for burnt out frontline workers. As she approaches retirement, Gloria reflects on what this means to her. I found her to be an inspirational elder and she has doubtless touched the lives of many. 

In the final part of Talking menopause, Helen Kewell considers how therapists can navigate this life transition and how we can support our clients too. Given that research suggests that 62% of BACP members are likely to be menopausal, there’s a clear need to open up this topic further as it’s clearly a workplace wellbeing issue for counselling professionals.

"We want you to bring your whole self to work." It’s one of those phrases so often repeated and intended to foster authenticity and inclusivity in the workplace. But what does it mean for someone who faces racial trauma every single day? Letesia Gibson cuts through the rhetoric in Race matters and explains why employers need to understand racial trauma if they are to stand a chance of supporting better mental health at work.

And finally, The Wrong Story is written by Lisa Jenner, a former therapist and organisational consultant, who brings her wealth of experience to write a work of fiction about a therapist and her clients. I read it on holiday and it’s a page turner! I talk to Lisa about how her novel is making therapy more accessible by bringing it to a wider audience. There are parallels with workplace counselling she tells me, as we see the clients that would never appear in private practice, because of cost and other blocks to accessing our services. There are many ways of serving our profession and our future clients and, I think, The Wrong Story is certainly one of them.

I hope you enjoy this issue.



1 BCW Movatory. BCW age of values 2023 report. [Online.] https://bcwmovatory.com/bcw-age-of-values-2023-report/ (accessed 7 July 2023).

2 British Medical Association. Alcohol, drugs and the workplace – the role of medical professionals. 2nd edition, July 2016. [Online.] bma.org.uk/media/1067/bma_alcohol-and-drugs-in-the-workplace-_oct_2019.pdf (accessed 26 May 2023).