Threads of Hope: Counselling and Emotional Support Services for Communities in Crisis

On 1st October 2012, April Jones, aged 5, was abducted from outside her home in the small Welsh market town of Machynlleth. This led to the largest police search operation of its kind ever conducted in the UK, and a subsequent murder investigation and trial which was scrutinised by the international media.

This book uses a collaborative narrative research process to explore the lived experiences of one specific group of community members who responded to this event by setting up, and running, a therapeutic project to support the community between 2012 and 2014.

The author weaves together threads of the story taken from her own ethnographic journal, and co-researcher accounts, together with community updates taken from press releases and academic theory, to create an evocative narrative account that will enable readers to understand what it may be like to be involved in a therapeutic project of this kind. The book highlights some of the challenges and offers suggestions for community leaders, therapeutic practitioners and critical incident planners who may be considering setting up support in response to community trauma.


Dr Susan Dale works as a psychotherapist, researcher and writer in private practice and also works part time as an editor for the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). Following the completion of a doctorate specialising in narrative and life story research, she has published widely in academic journals on counselling and narrative practices, and is the author of Where Angels Fear to Tread: An Exploration of having conversations about Suicide in A counselling Context (2010), Songs at Twilight: A Narrative Exploration of Living with a Visual impairment and the Effect this has on Claims to Identity (2011) and The Secret Keepers: Narratives Exploring the Inter and Transgenerational Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse and Violence (2013).

"A community overwhelmed with shock and grief comes together to bring healing to themselves and to many others. It is above all a story, narrated by many voices, that describes a patchwork of creative ways in which people processed confusion, anger and deep pain. It also provides academics, counsellors and other professionals with research that brings academic and ethical issues to life. This is a case study that shows therapy in practice in unexpected and imaginative ways. I heartily recommend this book."

Anne Towner BACP Accredited Counsellor

"I became lost in reading an epic, a humble, beautiful and terrible story of fear and loss and the search to find safety and comfort. Within the framework of narrative inquiry, and interwoven with learning from the process, this book beautifully documents the voices, experiences and stories of local volunteers involved in The Listening Point – a project set up in response to the disappearance and murder of April Jones in Machynlleth in 2012."

Mary Norowzian BACP Senior Accredited Counsellor

Buy This Book

ISBN: 1-4438-8732-3

ISBN13: 978-1-4438-8732-8

Release Date: 23rd February 2016

Pages: 215

Price: £47.99

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ISBN: 1-4438-8733-1

ISBN13: 978-1-4438-8733-5

Release Date: 22nd February 2016

Pages: 215

Price: £24.99

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