On Saturday 30 June, about 150 psychotherapists gathered at Regents College, in the lovely setting of London’s Regent’s Park, for the third annual UKCP Research Conference. Among them were three who had trained with the BeeLeaf Institute: myself, Julie Sale and Deb Challacombe. We were looking forward to talking with colleagues as well as listening to well-known keynote speakers addressing the conference theme of “Researching experience in psychotherapy and counselling: reflexivity, embodiment and change”. The wide range of keynote speeches included Prof. Mick Cooper on process mapping, Judith Ackroyd on performed research and ethno-drama, and Linda Finlay on researching traumatic abortion experience. In addition to the keynote speakers, there were seven workshop sessions with 21 other researchers each giving a 15-minute presentation summarising their own research project. Among these 21 were Julie and myself, both presenting in one of the morning workshop sessions.
There were already several people in Room D103 when Julie and I arrived there to set up our presentations, and within a few minutes the room was quite packed. Chairing the session was Prof. Mick Cooper, who as usual was very friendly and welcoming. Everyone listened attentively as Julie presented, and I was aware of my heart racing as it came to my turn. But my nervousness disappeared once I started my presentation, and I felt energised and excited. It all seemed to go very positively, and afterwards as people were leaving Mick Cooper thanked both of us; he said that he thought both our projects were very interesting, and he encouraged us to go for publication in a research journal such as CPR (Counselling & Psychotherapy Research). I was buzzing as I left the room to go for lunch!