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University co-hosts prestigious international Counselling and Psychotherapy conference

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The University of Chester will go under the counselling spotlight this week when it co-hosts one of the most prestigious international conferences in the profession’s calendar.

Not only is the University co-hosting the 23rd annual international research conference of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), 11 of its postgraduate students and graduates will be presenting their research, having successfully completed an internationally competitive, peer-review process.

The topics they will be presenting include:

  • Therapists views of life after death
  • The experiences of counsellors who return to counselling work after the death of their parent
  • The impact of searching for birth origins on an adult adoptee’s existential state of being
  • The experiences of parents bereaved of a child through drug use, who volunteer to support other parents bereaved in a similar way.

Among those presenting is Ella Haselden, a former graphic designer from St Helens, who recently graduated from the University with an MA in Clinical Counselling. Ella’s research came about following her own personal tragedy, when she experienced a first trimester miscarriage at 12 weeks. The title of her presentation is ‘Ways in which women who have experienced a miscarriage acknowledge the life and death of their unborn child’. (The term ‘acknowledgements’ is an overall term used by Ella to mean ‘marking’ or ‘giving personhood’ to the loss, which is witnessed by the self/ others, examples of which could be through narrative, creativity, material objects, symbols and rituals.)

Ella hopes that her research increases awareness of the possible impact of early miscarriage and the role of acknowledgements in helping women find peace and comfort.

The two-day research conference is taking place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Chester on Friday May 19 and Saturday May 20. Chair of BACP, Dr Andrew Reeves, is Senior Lecturer in Counselling and Psychotherapy at the University of Chester. He said: “This conference will be bringing together researchers, students, practitioners, academics and trainers from different backgrounds and traditions for lively exchange and critical debate. The latest research findings are going to be presented in the context of open debate on topical issues around counselling and psychotherapy. We can’t wait to get started!”

The Rev Professor Peter Gubi, Professor of Counselling and Spiritual Accompaniment at the University of Chester, said: “We are really excited, not only to be co-hosting this conference, but also to be bringing so many of our own, home-grown students to present their research at such a prestigious international research conference.

“This is indicative of a vibrant research culture and established reputation in the discipline of Counselling and Psychotherapy at the University of Chester.”

More about postgraduate counselling courses at the University of Chester can be found at: www1.chester.ac.uk/postgraduate/clinical-counselling

More details about the conference can be found at: www.bacp.co.uk/research/events/

If you have been affected by miscarriage, the Miscarriage Association offers information and support. Its website is: www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk

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