Springtime signals potential. If we look outside, we notice new shoots poking through soil, blossom on trees, longer days and (slightly) warmer temperatures. Perhaps we’ll be more grateful than ever for the warmth, the light and the new, as we continue to manage the permacrisis we are experiencing. Permacrisis was The Collins Dictionary’s word of the year for 2022; a portmanteau of permanent and crisis, which encapsulates Brexit, COVID-19, the war in Ukraine and the rising cost of living.1

It’s also time for our annual BACP CYPF Conference, which, after a hiatus from in-person events, is hybrid this year, with opportunities to interact, in whichever format you choose. Don’t be afraid of the new technology; having experienced it at the BACP Private Practice Conference last autumn, I can vouch for its user-friendliness – and its potential. I’m looking forward to hearing the presentations and meeting attendees, journal readers and contributors in London later this month. 

Our featured article in the March issue shares the conference theme of trauma. Marilyn McGowan considers the benefits of using radio-controlled toys as a counselling resource in Road trip to recovery. If you enjoyed Emily Harrison’s previous article, To be somebody (BACP CYPF, June 2022), I recommend her latest piece, Agency in action, in which she examines the concepts of psychological and embodied agency. David Cook questions whether his evolving practice still aligns congruently with his person-centred values in True to my beliefs, while Florence Nadaud applies a psychodynamic lens to the ways that family dynamics can get re-enacted in professional systems in No such thing as a baby. So, there’s something for everyone, no matter your professional orientation.

Samantha Johnson’s emotive article, The crocodile on the couch, is influenced by her late supervisor, Nick Luxmoore. Many of you will remember Nick as a regular contributor to BACP Children, Young People & Families journal, whose column sat beside mine for many years. Samantha links the personal with the professional, which life so often compels us to do, perhaps more so now than ever, as we navigate the permacrisis.

This is my fourth year at the helm of our journal, and it remains a pleasure to work with contributors whose work has become familiar, as well as with new voices, which I am always keen to hear and promote. Creating a journal is a joint effort. As a freelance editor, I commission and coordinate contributions remotely, hundreds of miles away from BACP HQ. But I’m supported by the organisation, and in particular by the managing editor for divisional journals, Jacqui Gray. Few of you will recognise her name, as she works behind the scenes, but Jacqui has managed all seven divisional journals for 13 years and they wouldn’t be the proficiently produced, tightly put together, (almost) faultless publications that they are without her unparalleled eye for detail. When I showed up for interview, ambivalent about the job and never expecting to be offered it, Jacqui recognised my potential. Arriving in role, feeling flabbergasted and totally out of my depth, she helped me to steer the BACP Children, Young People & Families ship. We’ve hit some choppy waters, but, as the saying goes, calm seas never made a skilled mariner. Jacqui is stepping down this month and I will miss her terribly. There are few people from whom I have learned as much as I have from her, and I owe her a huge debt of gratitude.  

Old and new, beginnings and endings, crises and potential – the themes of therapy, work, life, ad infinitum.


1. Permacrisis: what it means and why it’s word of the year for 2022. https://theconversation.com/permacrisis-what-it-means-and-why-its-word-of-the-year-for-2022-194306 (accessed February 2023).