chapter  10
10 Pages

Working in the shadows

Reflections on counselling in prison and hospice settings
WithAlison Soulsby

This chapter discusses person-centred counsellor whose experiences include working with both prisoners on a voluntary basis and people at the end of their lives. It highlights the similarities and differences between the client groups and draws out how these affect the counsellor's experience of counselling in these client groups. The chapter explores those differences that are specific to the criminal justice system, rather than arising from the differences in the populations themselves. It argues that such differences arise due to the practical constraints placed on individuals within the criminal justice system. Patients from a hospice setting may present a stoic exterior for relatives and friends whilst tussling with anxiety and fear. Hospice patients can also face multiple losses, but in different ways. They are losing their health sometimes in a slow, declining and potentially painful manner, one which takes away their future, mobility, dignity, hope and control.