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Child Sexual Abuse, by Joanna Beazely Richards

Child Sexual Abuse

Joanna Beazley Richards MSc, TSTA


A child is sexually abused when they are forced or persuaded to take part in sexual activities. This doesn't have to be physical contact, and it can happen online. Sometimes the child won't understand that what's happening to them is abuse. They may not even understand that it's wrong. (NSPCC 2015)


Child sexual abuse is an umbrella term describing criminal and civil offences in which an adult engages in sexual activity with a minor or exploits a minor for the purpose of sexual gratification. 


Sexual abuse includes:

Forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet).This would include prostitution and sexual exploitation of a child for commercial or financial gain. The guidance also recognises that other children, and women, may be perpetrators of child sexual abuse. (NSPCC 2015).

Read more: Child Sexual Abuse, by Joanna Beazely Richards

SCAP Training and Education: the role of Seminar Organiser.


During the June 2015 SCAP AGM an unprecedented number of new committee members were voted onto the board.  Six new volunteers accepted responsibility for various strands of helping run Sussex Counselling and Psychotherapy.  Such a large number of new recruits leads us to expect a few positive changes, plus the continued smooth running of this prestigious organisation.

As the recently appointed Seminar Organiser I was welcomed into my role with a request to provide a seminar in early July! Thankfully my background is in education; I’ve taught in primary and secondary schools, and later, in Further Education where I wrote courses, led departments and trained counselling students at Portslade Community College and Varndean College.  On July 4th, on behalf of SCAP, I introduced a three hour seminar on NLP, led by Joanna Harper.  It was well attended and the feedback was heart-warming, convincing us the seminar had been successful.

Read more: SCAP Training and Education: the role of Seminar Organiser.

Play and Laughter - 5 things therapists should know

Play and Laughter – 5 things therapists should know


Tony Buckley (Chair of the Sensorimotor Association, and former Clinical Director for London Transport’s staff counselling service) was in Brighton in September to offer his workshop on The Art and Science of Play: Using Play, Humour and Laughter in Therapy. If you missed the event, here are a few helpful nuggets from the day!


1. Play is universal to all mammals

We have always played, even when we were cave dwellers. Play prepares us for life by helping us develop the relational and survival skills necessary for a successful life. An example of this is when kittens chase and pounce on string that their humans dangle in front of them. Really they are learning to catch mice. When people have been traumatised or are depressed, their play system shuts down. They forget how to play.


Read more: Play and Laughter - 5 things therapists should know

Online Counselling

 With a surname like ‘Tregenza’ you might’ve gathered I spent part of my life in the wilds of Cornwall.  I think it was here as a struggling teenager that my interest in online counselling began, though I didn’t realise it at the time.   Quite simply if you didn’t have transport and couldn’t reach the distant town to see a counsellor, you did not receive support.

Fast forward to 2013, when the opportunity to set up E-motion a new online counselling service for young people age 13-25 years, arose in Brighton and Hove.    I now look back on that experience of living in a poorly resourced rural community,  as the driving force which has helped me overcome my doubts about working online and embrace the challenges and benefits it offers, clients and counsellors. 


Read more: Online Counselling

Cardiovascular Disease and Erectile Dysfunction

 Emma Waring qualified from St Bartholomew’s Hospital in 1995 as a registered general nurse and went on to specialise in cardiac nursing. In 2001 Emma obtained a degree in critical care nursing from Kings College London and moved into a specialist nurse role at Guys and St Thomas Hospital's setting up a clinic to treat erectile dysfunction in cardiac patients. This was done in collaboration with Consultant Cardiologist, Dr Graham Jackson and because of the unique nature of the clinic Emma and Dr Jackson have presented their work nationally and internationally.

In 2004 Emma obtained a post graduate diploma in psychosexual therapy at the University of Central Lancashire and in addition to her nursing role began working as a sex and relationship therapist at Guy’s hospital.

In October 2011 Emma joined London Bridge Hospital as a psychosexual nurse therapist and has set up a psychosexual therapy service for patients/couples experiencing sexual difficulties and/or relationship problems.


Read more: Cardiovascular Disease and Erectile Dysfunction

BACP Practitioners Conference, Leeds, April 2015

It seemed an ideal opportunity to attend a BACP Conference as a colleague and I were providing some training in Leeds the day before.  It was held at a large hotel/conference centre, but there were no plenary meetings at the start or end of the day, so I couldn’t tell you how many delegates there were.  This felt strange – no welcome or farewell - just the seminars, and numerous coffee stations with quite good mini cakes and biscuits, and a sandwich lunch.  There were 28 seminars in four time slots, which I’d had to choose right back at the time of booking.

My first seminar was with John Rowan, speaking on ‘Two Levels of the Transpersonal’.  I was glad to encounter someone who has been influential in the counselling world since the 1970s, even though transpersonal is not my modality.


Read more: BACP Practitioners Conference, Leeds, April 2015

Living and Working with Dissociation: Workshop Review


Living and Working with Dissociation by Rob & Carolyn Spring

I attended this seminar in Crawley in July 2014, presented by an organisation called Positive Outcomes for Dissociative Survivors,  PODS for short.   PODS  was founded by husband and wife team Rob & Carolyn Spring some years ago, and is dedicated to disseminating information  to the public and  health sector professionals about Dissociative Identity Disorder, and related symptoms on the dissociative spectrum.

“I am a survivor of extreme ritual abuse, and as a result I developed Dissociative Identity Disorder” is the shocking  statement of the first slide shown by Carolyn.

Read more: Living and Working with Dissociation: Workshop Review

Client complaints by Anne Rogers

‘I wanted to be heard, taken seriously and respected’.

Clients who made a complaint
by Anne Rogers

This article is a sequel to the one published last quarter on the experiences of therapists involved in a complaint. Here I trace the experiences of five of the people I interviewed who brought a complaint, three of whom were therapists, two lay persons.
All wanted to tell their story, they wanted to be heard. Although a few of the complaints had taken place ten or more years previously all their experiences remained painful.
In my previous article I highlighted the lack of support that the therapists felt when faced with a complaint, the complainants were in an even weaker position. Therapists have colleagues, supervisors and often the support of their insurance companies. None of these is available for clients.

Read more: Client complaints by Anne Rogers

Polyvagel Theory Workshop Report

After the SCAP   AGM   on 26.7.14,  local Brighton therapist Matt Ingrams  spoke to us with a fascinating  review of the latest research to support

“Client Safety, Stabilisation and Self Regulation”

Matt commenced by outlining a little of his background, including that as part of his training, he had studied TA at Wealden College in East Sussex,  and this provided a frame for his current work with clients.   He said he would also be drawing on the work of Dr Stephen Porges*,  who has researched what he discovered about mammalian responses to trauma, now termed Polyvagal Theory, and on  Dr Dan Siegal's# concept of 'the window of tolerance' (the idea that there is a self-regulated mode of sufficient calmness, safety and rationality which clients can learn to induce for themselves rather than swinging wildly between hyper- and hypo-arousal, which actually leaves them very vulnerable and definiately not safe. )

Read more: Polyvagel Theory Workshop Report

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