Happy 2nd Birthday Counsellors Together UK

Maria Albertsen at National Counsellors’ Day 2019
Maria at National Counsellors’ Day 2019

Hey everyone, today is our 2nd birthday so I thought I should say a few words. However, as I’m sat here thinking about what I should write, I can’t seem to think of anything without being a little (ok maybe more than a little!) emotional, dramatic and full of pride….. so I’ve decided to just run with that….. which may not be for everyone, but hey…. this is me!

It’s funny as I actually thought today was our 3rd birthday – admin had to convince me that we had only been going for two years! I was convinced it was longer, because it feels like longer…. and it feels like longer because we have achieved so much in such a short space of time. 

We truly are a passionate and progressive group of therapists…. we know what we want and we get shit done! 

Firstly, I wanted to speak about all of the members of CTUK who I have come to know over the last two years, and some of whom I now call friends, good friends…. you guys are amazing, ALL OF YOU…. and I don’t say that lightly. At CTUK we have managed to form a group which is so lovely to be a part of. It is a group full of wonderful, respectful, passionate, caring and professional people. We are able to hold a safe space where we can talk openly about all of the issues which people usually avoid talking about…. especially the social and the political issues which are having a heavy and damning impact across all of the counselling sector…. and we do so respectfully, with constructive criticism and acknowledgment of the values and beliefs we each hold. I don’t think I’ll be alone when I say that this is unique in today’s online world. With many other groups needing to manage fall outs and negative behaviour on a daily basis, we manage to get along just fine, heated at times, but always fine. I acknowledge that this is partly due to the fact that we have one common aim, ‘working together to end the culture and prevalence of unpaid work within our profession.’ I think it is also partly due to the fact that we have an amazing committed admin team who are on top of their game, not scared to speak out and to stand up and make a difference. This is also different from how groups usually operate in the counselling world, and one difference I feel which has proved to be very positive indeed. We stick our heads above the parapet, knowing we will be shot at, but knowing we fight for a cause that is worthy of our time and effort, and maybe even taking a bullet or two! I feel very lucky and very proud that we have created the group we have. 

Now…. that’s not to say that there aren’t others out there who don’t like CTUK, or myself personally….. I haven’t been exempt from harsh comments thrown at me online, and whispers behind my back…. people calling me a ‘trouble maker,’ ‘ bacp basher,’ and saying things such as, ‘she’s boring,’ ‘not worth listening to,’ ‘who does she think she is?’ ‘She’s using people,’ and so on. But that really doesn’t matter to me. I know…. and we at CTUK know that we are a professional and ethical group who always behave in a fair and just manner. Besides this, there are very few people’s opinions of me that matter to me, so it really is like water off a ducks back.

Secondly, I’d like to say a little bit about our work. We have achieved so much over the past two years. What we have achieved considering we are a new group, with so little admin, is something quite remarkable really! In all honestly, I think we’re pretty bloody amazing! We’ve influenced policy changes within membership bodies. We’ve started campaigns which have gathered over 18,000 signatures. We’ve met with MPs up and down the country. We have been central to the debate around the #SCoPEd project in terms of challenging it and working to stop it, with both our heavily signed petition and the backing of two BACP members will have submitted a resolution to stop it, and most recently we founded and celebrated the UK’s first EVER National Counsellors’ Day, which was a huge success…… and lots more! 

I mean, come on, we rock! No doubt about it! 

Thirdly, I’d just like to say that this is just the beginning for us. We have so many plans for the future. We have local networking groups starting, more campaign work planned, more meetings with MPs, a hugh research project to announce, books to write and a membership area all coming soon. We will always work hard on behalf of our members to ensure we meet our goals and create a better playing field for ALL Counsellors.

To end I’d just like to say THANK YOU to you all for being a part of this movement. We really couldn’t do what we do and move forward without you. YOU make CTUK what it is and I’m so grateful that you are a part of it.

With love

Maria ❤️

P.S. A few of our members have suggested that to celebrate our 2nd birthday people make a monetary donation. If you’d like to do so you can use the donate button which is just to your right if you’re on a laptop or just below if you’re on a mobile. Every penny donated goes back into CTUK to fund our ongoing campaign work. Thank you.

Happy Birthday Counsellors Together UK