Volume 12, Issue 1 (2020)


Interview with Sasha Bates: “By opening up my own pain for scrutiny and exploration I have enabled others to confront their grief”


Welcome to the first issue of our twelfth volume, and one that we are aware has been a long time coming. For the first time since we launched, over a decade ago, we're excited to be able to say that we’ve upgraded our website, and you’ll notice changes both in terms of your interaction with the site, and what we utilise in the background. This not only makes us more contemporary in terms of how we look, but we're confident we're also now better placed to develop and make changes in how we work going forwards.

A key development to our website is the addition of our contributor profiles, included under ‘Our team’, where contributors who have submitted two or more articles in the last five years now have their own page on the website. Contributors can display links to their articles on Contemporary Psychotherapy, as well as any external links and website addresses/social media handles, with a short biography and a picture. These pages can be linked in with contributor’s own social media accounts, to encourage reciprocal sharing and following, supporting the development of both our, and your, online presence. If you feel you should have a profile and have not yet submitted your details do get in touch, and if you have written in recent years and would like to submit another piece and have your own profile page, again get in touch! We hope this makes it easier to showcase authors and gives a greater sense of ownership to people who’ve contributed to our work. We are also now including a ‘From our archive’ section with each edition, to re-showcase articles and reviews from former editions. We have added hyperlinks to all pieces from the past five years so as to help navigate through our back catalogue, where plenty of insightful, original and relevant pieces continue to reside, and are proud of our new ‘search’ button, which will allow readers to navigate around the site much more easily, and search for particular topics, areas, or authors of interest.

On the topic of social media and online presence, we are really pleased to say that we have appointed a new Social Media Editor, Eva Charalambous, who has been doing a fantastic job of reviving our Twitter account and promoting Contemporary Psychotherapy online. We are delighted to have Eva on the Board, and know that she has exciting plans going forwards, which we can now start to implement as we have the new website in place.

We're very aware that due to unavoidable delays with the website upgrade, and the unique and fast-changing global context, our content for this edition – submitted for a March 2020 deadline – does not reflect the fuller picture of life this year. We discussed this in board meetings and decided to proceed as planned, while acknowledging that some of our pieces would read very differently had they been written just a few months later. Aside from the ever-changing situation with the pandemic and ongoing political uncertainty, the death of George Floyd in May brought racial injustice to the fore, as millions of people took to the streets across the globe calling for an end to racial violence and to the structural racism embedded in our society. We as an organisation support the aims of the Black Lives Matter movement and we continue to work both individually and collaboratively to challenge injustice and promote anti-oppressive practice.

We remain acutely aware of the potential vacuity of such statements, which become simple rhetoric if they are not followed by ongoing and long-term action. To that end, we continue to debate and discuss how the Journal develops, how we ensure inclusivity, and how we actively look to challenge ourselves as individuals and a community, time and again, as we come up against embedded beliefs, practices and omissions. We are aware that we two write as White, middle class professionals, and that as a collective board we are not diverse. To a degree, we see ourselves as representative of difficulties in terms of access and representation in the profession more generally, and are trying to contribute to these discussions through involvement in bodies such as the UKCP Equality, Diversity and Inclusion taskforce, and through tutoring and lecture work on Counselling and Psychotherapy training courses.

And so to the new edition. Two articles address working with younger clients, as Simon Rudd looks at working with students, while in a similar vein Beth Glanville (ed.) presents her thoughts on working with millennials. Meanwhile Maddie Nixon and Peter Jenkins explore the value of pre-trial therapy in a refreshingly original piece. Felicity Runchman, Jasna Levinger-Goy, Kelly Stewart and Aaron Balick have contributed reflections in a new feature, on life and work in light of Covid-19 and the shifting nature of the world. Again, we note that these were written in the early stages of the pandemic, and much has changed since spring. We will consider re-visiting this section as we move into and through 2021, and reflecting on short term solutions that become permanent changes to the way that we work, and live, as psychotherapeutic professionals.

Finally, a ‘new-old’ feature is reprised as we interview the author Sasha Bates, Psychotherapist and author of the book Languages of Loss: A psychotherapist’s journey through grief, which has been reviewed by Holly Rees. We're hoping to do more interviews, in part to flesh out fellow professionals, but also to make contributing in different ways easier, so that the blank page dread doesn't need to exist in order to be featured. If you have an idea for an interviewee, please do get in touch.

As part of our rebuild we have moved to a more formal relationship with the Minster Centre, but one that makes clear our independence. We don't want to shy away from this; as an organisation we have no revenue and work as volunteers, so need funding for anything like a website upgrade, but we also are clear on our principles so we've put in place a clear arms-length relationship that safeguards our editorial independence, while ensuring we can continue. That we are doing this reflects that as an editorial board we are separate in a way never seen before, yet maintain a level of connection. Thus we have been touched this year by the passing of two individuals connected with the Minster Centre, David Mazure and Sue Daniels. David was a tutor and supervisor at the Minster Centre and was briefly involved in Contemporary Psychotherapy. A number of us on the editorial board, as well as of our contributors, have been touched by the life of Sue Daniels, and the pivotal role she played in the training of many psychotherapists over her time with the Minster Centre.

We are still looking for additional editorial board members, specifically somebody to manage the new website as Clare Harland is taking a step back from issue to issue involvement but, in political speak, has agreed to be a minister without portfolio who can add real value in her knowledge and experience at meetings. Replacing her will be difficult but we would love to find somebody who can build upon her great work.

We hope you enjoy the new website, and we look forward to publishing again earlier in 2021 than we would do usually, to make up for lost time. We suspect a number of you will have had difficult experiences over 2020 in various ways, both obvious and less clear, and hope you have a safe and enjoyable festive season.

Beth and Ben

Beth Glanville
Ben Scanlan


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In association with The Minster Centre, London.


Opinions expressed in this journal are solely those of the author(s).
Publication in Contemporary Psychotherapy does not imply endorsement of those views.


Copyright belongs to Contemporary Psychotherapy. Material may only be reproduced with written permission from the Editor. Authors may use their own material elsewhere after publication without permission. Production of single copies for personal use is allowed without special permission.

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