Backing up
Surviving Work
by Elizabeth Cotton
1y ago
Whether by accident or design, a lot gets lost in this digital age. From unofficial gmail accounts to official statements made from the wrong side of history, important things get deleted without much notice. Most of us live with the daily humiliation of hovering on the obsolete side of technology unwilling to go through the new-software-pain-threshold unless confronted with digital exclusion. With shattered short-term memories courtesy of the pandemic, so much goes unnoticed until you find yourself saddling up your moral high horse to engage with any number of human rights abuses or professio ..read more
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The emerging therapeutic landscape
Surviving Work
by Elizabeth Cotton
1y ago
This blog is the third part of a report written for CTUK The Financial Landscape free to download here. In the UK 11.7 million people live in relative low income, 2 million officially in minimum wage jobs and 5 million working people earning less than a living wage. The growth of the ‘gig economy’ and widespread use of insecure work such as zero hours contracts and self-employment is the current battle line in employment relations with sustained attempts, driven by trade unions and industrial relations networks such as the Institute for Employment Rights, to rethink regulation based on a model ..read more
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The Professionals
Surviving Work
by Elizabeth Cotton
1y ago
This blog is part of a larger report commissioned by CTUK looking at the financial landscape for counsellors and psychotherapists – to download the full report click here. The Scope of Practice and Education for the counselling and psychotherapy professions (SCoPEd) is a proposed competency framework for setting standards for counsellors and psychotherapists to practice in the UK. This was adopted by three of the largest psychodynamic professional bodies – principally driven by the BACP, UKCP and BPC – although smaller professional bodies are currently participating in sector wide discussions ..read more
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It’s time to talk about money
Surviving Work
by Elizabeth Cotton
1y ago
This selection of infographics and text is taken from the 2021 CTUK report here. The demographics of the therapy sector revealed a familiar picture of 79% women, ages clustered between 35-65 years with 28% describing themselves as disabled, higher than the UK national average of 18%. There has been only a small shift in income patterns during the pandemic, with many therapists continuing to earn low weekly wages. The survey reported that 30% earn between £0-99, with over half earn less than £400 per week (gross income) which is the median earning for employed people in the UK. This is partl ..read more
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Help not advice
Surviving Work
by Elizabeth Cotton
1y ago
The other day I joined a group of health tech people for a discussion about the digitalisation of mental health services. My short spin on UberTherapy ended in a wall of silence. A gentle NHS service manager said after an awkward pause ‘that was like taking a cold bath’. I squealed with delight at my first quote for the back cover of UberTherapy. I’m still nervous about dipping my luddite toe into the tech waters. I’m not hostile to tech, I like my computer and enjoy my virtual work, but I am nervous about the sheer scale of digitalisation and the thoughtlessness with which switches are flicke ..read more
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Call it
Surviving Work
by Elizabeth Cotton
1y ago
A man I used to know talked about his experience of a catastrophic break down. He described it as like the experience of having  a child stand on your toes. At first you don’t feel anything, then it starts to hurt through repetition. As it goes on and on the pain starts to exaggerate so that even the weight of a child’s foot causes an indescribable crushing pain. He was by far the smartest amongst us, he just gets by now. Not working.  Last week I started to understand it when people say it’s not our job to educate the people standing in our  way. There has been a significant an ..read more
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A Safe Return
Surviving Work
by Elizabeth Cotton
1y ago
It’s hard to imagine a time after this when going back to normal seems like a healthy option. For many working people returning to old patterns of working life is a stomach sinking prospect seen through the lens of the psychic paint stripper that the pandemic has applied to our employment relationships. For those of us who have experienced the trauma of working within toxic structures the prospect of returning to the them in their now raw state is triggering. As our social contract with work has become broken(click here to read a fantastic paper arguing for a new social contract by ..read more
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Sophisticated Insults
Surviving Work
by Elizabeth Cotton
1y ago
Most days important facts and names blend into an alphabet soup in my mind. Names of the companies who profited from VIP PPE contracts, the personal links between politicians and with money merge. My pin number. The other day I gave someone my phone number, and several hours later I realised that I’d given them a number from my childhood home that hasn’t existed for three decades.  Since the pandemic started I carry a notebook everywhere. My work space is littered with post it notes, many of which I no longer understand and I stare at my recently unpacked books with a complete absence of ..read more
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At the Intersection
Surviving Work
by Elizabeth Cotton
1y ago
The Institute of Employment Relations, a trade union and labour movement think tank produced a critical reportabout the UK’s record of protecting workers during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. As a contribution to International Workers’ Memorial Day here is my response, originally published by IER here.  To join IER’s Resist-Repeal-Replace event to celebrate 1st May click here.  “Something that is hard to remember when the gloves come off is that our harshest critics are often those people who have the strongest interests in our survival.  At the risk of sounding like so ..read more
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Press Repeat
Surviving Work
by Elizabeth Cotton
1y ago
The temptation to walk away from a mess that you didn’t create, and let the usual political and corporate suspects slug it out is enormous right now as we wade in slow motion between exhaustion and public policy deja vu.  But  then I’m paranoid so I’m of the view that’s exactly what they want. It’s hard sometimes to recognise the threat of yet another NHS/mental health policy for England document in amongst the repeat-repeat-repeat language of patient choice, thriving and fake co-production but these two white papers that are under review matter. The Mental Health White Paper   ..read more
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