“ I hate writing. I love having written” Dorothy Parker.
Dorothy Parker neatly sums up the dilemma for most writers. The process can feel tortuous, every banal word written seemingly revealing a character flaw and the quest for the simple , unadorned Heminwayesque sentence elusive. Yet the sense of achievement having arranged a series of words into a story is hard to describe. Imagine something akin to soft, sweet rain after a long drought and you will be close to capturing the heady mix of contentment and relief.
Of course writing takes time but that is part of the pleasure. As are the associated activities of allowing random thoughts in, daydreaming, musing on images and memories, noticing what’s going on around you , making connections, making corrections, being curious, confused and fanciful and of course reading, reading , always reading. For therapists these activities, this way of being, will not be unfamiliar. You may already be keeping diaries, reflective journals , writing sessions summaries or content for your own practice website. You will no doubt have written essays and case histories to gain your CBT qualifications. So without perhaps realising it you are likely to have a rich archive of written/ lived experience and it is this which we at the IPSIG want to tap into.
In an effort to strengthen engagement with our members we are asking you to think about submitting your own thoughts on issues and challenges related to working in independent practice . This is by no means a narrow brief. As therapists we cannot be insular practitioners. We have a duty to remain cognisant of the social/cultural and political issues that affect us all. Never more so than now. It is becoming clear that as the world order undergoes a seismic shift the challenges facing us will become even greater. Many people feel huge unease at the threatened rolling back of rights that they’d presumed had been won and are rightly concerned about the effect these policy reversals will have on the most vulnerable people across the world. Respected colleagues and professional organisations like the RCN and the BPS are explicitly encouraging their membership to become more active and to speak up on behalf of themselves and their patients on a range of issues including nurses pay and end-to-end redesign of the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) process.
How timely then to discover today that clinical psychologist and founder of the Inland Northwest Compassionate Mind Center, Dr Russell Kolts has just launched a new website which aims to, “.. provide support, inspiration, and resources to good-hearted people who wish to facilitate positive change in the world”.
Reaching out as Kolts has , especially at times of great uncertainty reduces isolation and promotes empowerment. Independent practice means having to work that little bit harder to establish these connections but we hope that our SIG and revamped website will provide you with a platform to tell us about you, share ideas and experiences and inform the future development of our group.
We want stories that reflect the diversity of our members. Stories of how you wound up working independently, the people who have influenced you most in your clinical work, the obstacles you have overcome, clinical successes, the pain of losing a patient to suicide, how you stay motivated, what makes you feel vulnerable, your thoughts on government health policy, the expansion of digitally provided therapy, workshop, book and arts reviews.
If you have read any of the blogs on the site you will see that we are not looking for an academic piece of work. The style is more magazine copy, roughly between 600-800 words which will include any relevant links or video. It can be submitted to us as a word document or the sophisticated among you might prefer a podcast. Our website editors reserve the right to edit any article/material submitted and we suggest that in the first instance potential contributors send a brief outline of the proposed article/material for a decision in principle to :firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Aside from the proven mood enhancing benefits of focused writing . you will be actively supporting your SIG whilst raising your professional profile . All new content is tweeted from our twitter account and usually retweeted by @BABCP which now has in excess of 4.000 followers.
So skates on, bums on seats and write. We can’t wait to hear from you.