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TD Terry Daly November 09, 2023

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Dolores  Stewart Person centred counsellor and Supervisor 

Dear members

A sad note to let you know of the passing of Dolores Stewart who has been a long time passionate advocate of the person centred approach in Scotland. Her Daughter Oonah  has asked that I let people know of the funeral arrangements and you are welcome to attend 


Thursday, 30 Nov 2023 at 1.30pm

at Mortonhall Crematorium, 30b Howdenhall Road, Edinburgh EH16 6TX

and afterwards to 

Mortonhall Golf Club, 231 Braid Road, Edinburgh, EH10 6PB


If you plan to attend please let Oonah know  or



A message from Oonah 

“we invite you to wear colour either a splash or more. And if anyone wants to send mum a letter or something to go in the coffin. send to me “


Ooonah Stewert

Flat 2/1, 30 Melville St, Glasgow G41 2JT

AC annette cooper November 06, 2023

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Hi I am looking to join or set up a small group for folk who are either diagnosed or self diagnosed as neurodivergent. To talk and share lived experience, share resources and review any interesting articles/ books. Probably meeting up online. Arrangements for meetings and how the group will run to be discussed.
LG LESLEY GRAY Updated November 01, 2023

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WAPCEPC is excited to invite applications for three new WAPCEPC grants that aim to encourage research and the dissemination of research within the Person Centered and Experiential (PCE) community.

The three grants are:

WAPCEPC General Research Grant: For WAPCEPC members whose research projects are aimed at the investigation of the Person-Centered and Experiential (PCE) approach to stimulate worldwide research activities related to the PCE field. The maximum grant that will be awarded is €2,100.

WAPCEPC Student Research Grant: For WAPCEPC student members whose research projects are aimed at the investigation of the PCE approach. The main purpose of the Grant is to stimulate and support students’ research activities related to the PCE field. The maximum grant that will be awarded is €1,500.

WAPCEPC Translation Grant: For WAPCEPC members who seek an opportunity to translate their writing into English in order to publish in the Association’s Journal (PCEP). The maximum grant that will be awarded is €3,000.

Details about each Grant, including eligibility criteria and the application process, can be found at:

The closing date for applications is Monday 15th January 2024.

TC Tina Clark October 28, 2023

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Having worked with Human Diversity issues of various sorts across a working life of over 40 years I am deeply saddened by recent trends in increased prejudice, and consequent hate crimes, against gender, sex, and relationship diverse people.
 Othering is one of humankind's greatest crimes against humanity. 
 It may not always lead to crime - but even in lesser form it wears people down (for example with the generalised anxiety, hyper-vigilance and distress that results from alienation and bullying).
 I believe Person Centredness is the way forward - because it is people's very person-hood that is under threat. 
Moreover I believe encounter is one of the best methods of enabling understanding and precipitating genuine empathy.
Hence I am running a series of discussion afternoons based on reflections of GSRD people’s lives and relationships, factual and fictional.
 Inevitably this will involve contemplating mainstream (heterosexual and cisgender) responses to diversity – so hopefully there’ll be something for everyone.
 Each session will stand alone as well as contributing to the overall theme, and comprise visual presentation prior to discussion
 My hope is that each session will widen understandings and provide useful insights - both into our culture and ourselves; thus enriching both ourselves and our practice.
Among areas to be explored – sex work / kink, politics / private life, parents / children, disclosure /exposure, History / culture
Commencing Friday 24thNovember 2- 5.30pm (monthly thereafter - except for December)
Maximum number of attendees 7 per session 
Donation in coin or cake appreciated but not essential
MM Mike Moss Updated November 14, 2023

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Person-Centred Quarterly Summer 2023 
  Going inside: an internal conversation Mike Moss This article first appeared in the December 2022 issue of Children Young People & Families published by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.
 Mike Moss imagines an unspoken conversation between his thoughts and those of a client, and considers the therapeutic value of what’s left unsaid 
In this article, I want to try and capture the essence of the internal conversation, made up of my thoughts as a counsellor and the imagined thoughts of the client, during a therapy session. Whether or not we choose to keep these thoughts inside, they provide meaning. This internal conversation is a brief glimpse into an imagined first counselling session with a young client. It is woven from a composite of many first sessions over many years. It is my intention that the reader will be able to reflect on their own internal conversations and what they choose to share or keep inside. 
Client: I can see you looking at me. I want to get the words out right. I feel a bit scared meeting you for the first time. It’s not easy to tell you about myself and my life this way. Most adults don’t really listen. They say they do, but they have lots of ideas about how things should be for me. I am just trying to manage things by myself, as best I can. They say they want to help but always say too much; always tell me what to do, what to think. And then they say I am not helping the situation. What situation? Sometimes it doesn’t even make sense. Like when they say they love me but don’t love my behaviour. I don’t like my behaviour sometimes. I am not proud of some of the things I’ve done, but it’s hard to change. I don’t know how. I don’t know anything, sometimes. It’s so confusing. What does it all mean anyway? What’s the point? Why am I here? Why am I actually here? 
Counsellor: I wonder what you are thinking. I can see you looking at me and I want to get my words right, to get as close to what I am thinking and feeling and what you might be thinking and feeling so we can communicate clearly. I feel a little nervous meeting you for the first time. I am really interested in what you are thinking and what you are telling me, and hope you can see I am not judging you. I am really trying to understand you. I genuinely want to get it right. I see you are taking your time to talk to me and that it’s not easy for you. I think you are brave. You seem to want to let me know you are angry and that you are also OK and not really bothered and that you are sad sometimes. 
Client: Oh no, you are talking about feelings and all that stuff. It seems like you know how I feel. It’s freaky. How do you know? You are making me remember how I feel. I can’t go there. I just can’t. I don’t know how to talk about how I feel. I will run away or die before I go there. I will just ignore you. I can’t look at you now. It’s weird, this stuff. I have never been able to sit and feel something like this with anyone. It’s embarrassing. You must think I’m crazy. I don’t even know if I want to see a counsellor. Maybe you are trying to trick me. Maybe you know more than you are saying. You’ve been speaking to my mum or something... or maybe you are for real. I don’t know. 
Counsellor: I notice you are looking at your shoes. I will take a breath here and pause. I want to acknowledge this is difficult for you, for both of us. I know it must be strange talking about things that have happened in your life. It feels important to be here just now, quietly and gently, and not to try and fill the space too quickly. I can imagine it’s not been easy to talk to anyone about what’s going on inside when it all feels so difficult. I don’t want to push too hard. Maybe you are pushing yourself too hard. You are here and I am here. This feels like a good start. I want to tell you I think everyone carries an invisible bag of worries. Some are heavier than others. Sometimes we see people walking around with their heads down and it looks like they are carrying a full bag. Counselling is a bit like imagining putting your bag of worries on the floor between us. I invite you to open it slowly and then put your hand gently in the bag. It might be there is something you touch and you don’t know what it is yet. We can have a look together and see what it is. You can put it back, or throw it away if you don’t need it. I remember someone once asked if there was a bin to put the things in that they didn’t want. We visualised the kind of bin, the colour, the size. Or there might be something you take out of the bag and put back quickly, maybe even push right to the bottom, as you don’t want anyone to see it. Or you might bring something out and feel ready to think about it, and we can just hold it and maybe talk about it together. I will ask you to imagine what you might feel like afterwards, and you might say you feel a bit lighter. And I will say that’s what counselling is and you will laugh and it feels like the most wonderful invitation for us to meet this way and I will laugh too. 
Client: I can’t believe I just laughed – it’s weird – and you laughed too. This is crazy, but it was a nice feeling. I couldn’t control it; it just came out. It seems so different here. I feel a bit more relaxed. I can breathe now. I like the story about the bag and the bin. I think my bag is extra heavy. It sucks. 
Counsellor: It was nice to laugh together. It feels like something in the air has cleared. I have let you know a bit more about counselling and what I can offer. I am not as nervous now. I want to let you know I am here for you. I want to say it’s OK. I want to say you are the most incredible person, right here, right now, just being with all the stuff you have to be with. And I want to let you know I am OK here too. I have gone inside myself a little bit and it is helping me to connect to part of you. I want to help. I want to go at your pace. I want to try and understand as best I can what it’s like being you. I notice it seems hard for you to talk about some things just now, and I am curious about other parts of your life. I know what’s on your referral. I have read about you being angry with your parents and that you have been self-harming and tried to kill yourself. Maybe that laugh was important for both of us to break the ice. We have shared something here. I feel more relaxed now. I wonder what you are passionate about and what you think about when you look up at the stars at night. 
Client: I can’t believe you told me you were feeling more relaxed now. So am I. It’s strange. I’m talking about my favourite music and you seem like you’re interested. I don’t think you really like my kind of music. It’s cool though. I like you asking me about it. I love that I was able to play you a song on my phone and you seemed to really listen, and you spoke about what it reminded you of and asked what it reminded me of. I also want to tell you I like dolphins and I loved drawing at primary school, but don’t draw much now. Maybe I will let you know how I wanted to be an artist. I can see what you’re doing. You’re asking about the things I like so we can talk. It’s weird to talk about this when I am in school. Maybe I will be able to tell you how I cut myself and how most days I want to die and how I hate myself. Maybe, but not just now as I don’t like talking to anyone about those things. 
Counsellor: I wonder where you went just then. It was as if you had a big thought that took you somewhere else. I will let you know I noticed and was wondering what you might be feeling. I will ask if you would like to come back for another counselling session. 
Client: I want to see you again. You say you can work with me for as long as I need counselling, which is great. I have agreed to see you for six sessions and then we can review or something. It’s amazing. You said you had a present for me. I didn’t believe it. You took out this little bag of stones and asked if I liked crystals. I love crystals. You invited me to take one. You said some people believe the crystals choose you. You said the one I chose was called rose quartz and that some people think it can help with self-care and self-love, and you were giving it to me as a gift. I have crystals in my bedroom that my mum gave me. They’re nice. It’s weird though, you gave me a crystal and now I am thinking about my mum. 
Counsellor: I notice you are holding the little rose quartz and rolling it in your hand as you start to talk about your mum and how you miss your grandmother so much since she died. This feels sad. As you talk about how you wish things were different, I notice some tears in your eyes and notice some tears in mine. You seem to be experiencing your feelings inside you, and I am experiencing my feelings inside me. I am also trying to be with your feelings too, and we seem close right now. It’s good to be here inside ourselves and also be together. I look forward to getting to know you more and hope I can be of help. I will see you next week. 
Final reflection In closing, I like to imagine that this internal conversation could have been a transcript of an actual session, where our internal thoughts and feelings become external. I have found that what starts as thoughts inside can help me to connect better to myself and to my clients, in meaningful ways. I become transformed when I trust myself to step from being in[1]side and become more authentic outside, and when I trust that my words will convey my thoughts. Every counselling conversation is more than the words spoken aloud, it is also about the therapist going inside and acknowledging the therapeutic value of the internal conversation. 
Mike Moss is a BACP registered counsellor and supervisor. He has worked in voluntary and statutory roles with children and young people and their families for nearly 40 years in youth and social work and is currently employed as a school counsellor and supervisor. He has had articles published on the therapeutic relationship and presented his work at national and international conferences. Mike has a small private practice offering counselling supervision and training in Edinburgh and can be contacted at 
KT Katie Thompson Updated November 07, 2023

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Hi everyone.  
I am currently undertaking a diploma in counselling supervision and as such I need to complete 20 hours of practice with at least 2 supervisees.   
Sessions would be recorded and I would share sections of them with my supervisor in order to reflect on my work.  
Is there anyone who would be interested in some additional, free of charge supervision? I could do this online or at the Wellbeing Rooms in Bearsden,
Glasgow, at a mutually convenient time.  If you are interested,or know someone who may be, please get in touch by email.  If you have any questions please do let me know.  My email address is  
Many thanks.  Katie
LG LESLEY GRAY Updated July 16, 2023

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Louise's article appears in the July/August 2023 issue of Therapy Today
BM Barbara Malinen Updated November 08, 2023

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A very small group met on the evening of Monday 17th July and despite being small there was a lot of energy and thought expressed around the future of the online 'encounters'. The focus was on the desire to do something more concrete, and to start working on creating a Diploma level training course in the Person Centred Approach, not just for counsellors but for anyone who is interested in taking PCA into whatever their professional practice is... 
What this led to was the decision to cancel the further two group encounter dates, and move towards reforming the group in order to start working on how to create a course that is experiential (as we have discussed), rooted in awareness of power dynamics and difference and designed to train people in the approach rather than specifically for counselling trainees. This first stage - if it goes ahead - will likely involve spending time together in person in order to do some 'blue sky' thinking and some concrete work towards building such a course.
If you are interested please contact Barbara Malinen either by email or telephone as follows:
mobile@ 07801072153
LG LESLEY GRAY Updated November 08, 2023

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A group of prominent practitioners, writers, trainers and academics from the Person-Centred community in the UK, along with two organisations, have published an open letter calling on the SCoPEd organisations to provide a professional home on their PSA-backed registers for members who do not wish to be aligned with SCoPEd’s divisive and hierarchical framework.

Referencing the recent Impact Assessment’s recommendation that an ‘important space remain for those therapists who are unconvinced of SCoPEd’s desirability’, the letter lays out some of the main challenges to SCoPEd and proposes a way forward that would include those who do not see the framework as an accurate or ethical representation of their work as counsellors and psychotherapists.

Read the letter here:
AT Allan Turner Updated November 08, 2023

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6 day couples-counselling training for experienced (about Accreditation level) post-diploma counsellors. This training is unashamedly person-centred, which means that it will use person-centred theory as its primary reference point.  12 places and they often go quickly. 6/7 Oct, 20/21 and 3/4 Nov 2023.
SS Susan Stephen Updated February 13, 2023

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Written by Susan Stephen & Rachel McIlree, February 2023.

“the personal is political” 
(original source unknown)

Counselling is not an apolitical profession. 

The choices we make as counsellors have political implications for our clients, ourselves, our profession, and the society in which we live.

For example:

·      What is your view of the person coming to counselling? Someone broken who needs to be fixed? Someone with an illness to be healed? Someone who is surviving (and trying to grow) in an unfavourable, perhaps even hostile, environment?
·      What is your view of the counsellor’s role? Fixer, healer, person-in-relationship? 
·      What is your view of the purpose of counselling? To reduce symptoms of distress? To return to “normal”? To adapt and grow in response to life experience? To empower? To effect change in their environment?

Exploring your assumptions and developing your understanding about the politics of counselling – in practice, in the profession, in wider society – is an ethical responsibility. 

How does the counselling profession contribute every day to structural inequalities in society? 

Some examples:

·      Access to counselling: time-limited for the poor, open-ended for those who can afford it
·      The medicalisation of psychological distress (Sanders & Tolan, 2023)
·      Therapy as the “opium of the masses” (Proctor, 2006)
·      Barriers to counselling training (eg academic, financial, structural) resulting in a lack of diversity at all levels of the profession. Likely to be exacerbated by the SCoPEd framework (BACP, 2023; Partners for Counselling & Psychotherapy, 2020; Person-Centred Group, 2023) 
·      A culture of volunteering to gain experience, even post-qualification
·      Lack of funding for counselling services resulting in insecure services for clients and precarious (if any) employment for counsellors 
·      Due to the erosion of well-paid secure working conditions, maintaining a healthy, nurturing work-life balance has become a luxury. This has an inevitable impact on our fitness to practice and meeting our ethical responsibilities as counsellors, supervisors, and trainers.
Crossing the University & College Union (UCU) picket line is not an apolitical action.

Withdrawing our labour is a hard-won right and one that is denied to many. We are using this right to seek action to address the following issues in Higher Education:

·      Staff facing poverty now (25% real terms cut in salary since 2009) and in the future (future pension benefits cut by 33%, on average)
·      Excessive workloads -> staff burnout
·      Precarious employment contracts -> chronic insecurity
·      Pay gaps particularly affecting Black, disabled, and female workers.
Our working conditions are your learning conditions – and impact the conditions in which you meet with your clients.
Whether or not your trainers are taking part in the UCU industrial action, make time to discuss the issues involved with them, along with the wider politics of the counselling profession.
PCCS Books ( publishes a multitude of titles on politics, race, ethnicity and gender: 
Upcoming conferences
PCCS Books - 30th Anniversary Conference - Putting The Politics (Back) Into Counselling: Thursday 11th May 2023 (in person, online)
National Counsellors’ Day Conference 2023 - ‘Social and Political Issues in Counselling and Psychotherapy. Holding space for difficult but necessary conversations!’: Saturday 24th June 2023 (online)
*Pay what you can*
Therapy in Colour - A Collaboration Conference between BAATN, PCCS Books and Onlinevents: Friday 14th – Saturday 15th July 2023 (online) *Student discount ticket*
Person-Centred Group (2023). Person-Centred Group's reaction to SCoPEd impact assessment. 
Proctor, G. (2006). Therapy: Opium of the masses of help for those who least need it? In G. Proctor, M. Cooper, P. Sanders & B. Malcolm (Eds.) Politicizing the Person-Centred Approach (pp.66-79). PCCS Books.
Sanders, P. & Tolan, J. (2023). People not Pathology. PCCS Books.

MW Maggie White Updated November 19, 2023

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We want to remind PCT Scotland members that you can now become an individual member of PCE Europe. This is to encourage co-operation in the international PCE community, and increase communication and access to information. You can read about the benefits of individual membership here:
Standard individual membership costs 25 Euro per year, or 15 Euro for those in financial difficulty. Currently half of all membership fees goes to support colleagues in Ukraine.

We hope that many of you will get inspired by this new opportunity!
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