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My Year - Reflections of 2022

Are you curious and want to learn more about me, and my year?

In this blog I share:

  1. what I've been up to this year

  2. why I do what I do

  3. a sneak peek at my plans for 2023

10 crayons in rainbow colours lined up standing on a desk

It’s become a bit of a tradition that at the end of each year I write a reflections blog. This allows me to pause and look back on all I have done and share it with you.

At the beginning of 2022 I made the decision to scale back my LGBTQ+ training workshops as I was feeling pretty exhausted from the sheer number I had been running for counselling organisations, universities and colleges over previous years.

In 2021 alone I ran LGBTQ+ training workshops/talks for

  • The National Counselling Society

  • The Open University's Equality and Diversity Conference

  • Online Events

  • Counselling Tutor

  • Wolverhampton University

  • Cruse Bereavement charity

  • Activists' Day for Counsellors

  • BIMM college (British and Irish Modern Music Institute)

  • Counsellors' Staffroom Facebook group

  • Josephine Hughes' Good Enough Counsellors Facebook group

  • Youthline - young people's counselling charity

  • Lincoln University

various logos of all the organisations I have offered training too which are listed above this image

You can read more about my training work in last year’s blog here and in my blog about my journey as a trainer since 2003 here.

In early 2022 I ran the last 2 workshops in LGBTQ+ Awareness for counselling organisations Youthline and Bedford Open Door.

These went really well, and I enjoyed working with the lovely Allan (my tech support person) to deliver these workshops online.

Thanks Allan! :)

Taking a step back from running training for groups of counsellors gave me the space to think of new ideas for reaching more counsellors and making more accessible CPD.

This is where the idea of guest talks was born!

image with the words "CPD Training for Counsellors, short on time?, prefer to learn on your own?, Looking for quality training from the experts. I host guest talks with experts on sex, gender and relationship diversity. Guest talks hosted by Chloe Foster"

My guest talks are short, accessible, live online events where I invite expert guest speakers to give a talk on their specialist subject and then open the floor to audience questions.

These events are not interactive, instead giving the audience the chance to sit back and take in the learning with the option to submit questions anonymously.

With these events being recorded it means that I can reach more people as the events are created into video CPDs for folks to buy on my website and claim a CPD certificate.

If you missed these guest talks, you can catch up here.

This year I started with 2 guest talks. That might not sound like many, but boy, were they a lot of work to plan, prepare for and deliver!

I have a lot of learning from this process to take forward into 2023 and beyond, when I will host more events – once I have recharged lol :)

What CPD topics did I choose and why?

Guest Talk - Talking about Sex in the Counselling Room

The first guest talk was Talking about Sex in the Counselling Room with Dr Lori Beth Bisbey.

Light blue background with pink condom and the words Talking about Sex in the Counselling Room

Sex is a topic that I know so many counsellors find awkward and embarrassing to talk about with clients.

Lori Beth, who is a registered psychologist specialising in gender, sex and relationship diversity, shared with us her experiences and top tips around working with erotic transference, kink, porn, queer sex, and cultural shame in the counselling room.

I particularly enjoyed the Q&A part of this event as the audience questions were fascinating. Some of these included:

  • Why do people use pornography for anxiety?

  • How can we look out for abuse in the kink community?

  • If a client gets an erection in a counselling session, what should I do or say?

  • How can I work with clients who have cultural shame towards sex?

  • Do you have any ideas on how I explore sexual violence and/or sexual experiences with clients who have transitioned?

Photo of guest speaker Dr Lori Beth Bisbey with the caption video CPD - Talking about SEX in the Counselling Room

We were so happy to have Lori Beth for this event as she has over 30 years’ experience and at the time of recording the event she was on the telly! Check her out on catch-up on Open House: The Great Sex Experiment on Channel 4.

The feedback for this event was amazing (check out our feedback here) so we decided to run a second guest talk hot on the heels of Lori Beth’s.

If you missed it, this guest talk was made into a video CPD and is available here.


Guest Talk - Talking about Polyamory

Next up was Charlotte Davies who is a polyamory educator and organises Polyday: Europe's largest one day ethical non-monogamy event.

Pink background with love heart and affinity sign and the words Talking about Polyamory

I chose this topic because – as with the topic of sex – I know there are many counsellors out there who are confused about all the different types of non-monogamy and find it hard to know how to work with clients who are polyamorous, or are exploring this relationship style.

Charlotte did a great job in sharing her presentation in such a clear and fun way.

There was a lot to take in, so I for one was glad it was recorded, enabling me to go back and watch again.

The audience questions again were fab and included the following:

  • What is the difference between polyamory and swinging?

  • Why do you think people are so judgemental about polyamorous relationships?

  • What would you suggest for a poly couple where it is much easier for one partner to make sexual connections and harder for the other one?

photo of guest speaker Charlotte Davies with the caption Video CPD - Talking about Polyamory

If you missed it, this guest talk was made into a video CPD and is available here.

photo of a street with the words THANK YOU painted on the road as well as a rainbow painted on the road

I would like to put a shout out in this blog to the team involved in making these guest talks happen.

Kim – Video Editor

Linzi – Tech Support

Becki – Graphic Designer

Chris – Proofreader

In June I got invited to speak at National Counsellors’ Day Conference!

National Counsellors' Day logo

Maria Albertson (founder of Counsellors’ Together UK) invited me to speak at National Counsellors’ Day Conference.

This year’s theme was Social and Political Issues in Counselling and Psychotherapy, so I was very happy that she chose to include a talk on LGBTQ+ issues as it’s so important, and very relevant to the conference theme.

I presented a talk on: Why Gender, Sexual and Relationship Diversity matters in the Counselling Room.

I would love to see the day when all counsellors are knowledgeable and confident in working with diversity in gender, sex and relationships. I took this opportunity to try to help make a difference to our counselling profession.

In my talk I spoke to the hundreds of attendees about:

  • Why difference and diversity matters in the counselling room

  • What we as counsellors can do to examine our own privilege

  • How we can think more deeply about gender, sexual, and relationship diversity

  • How to include and attract LGBTQ+ clients into our counselling practices

I also spoke about fear and the different fears both LGBTQ+ clients and many counsellors can have when talking about diversity in sex, gender and relationships.

I left the audience with some tips to take forward in their work to strive to be more inclusive, which was well received.

It was such an honour to join the fantastic line-up of inspiring counsellors. Thank you to everyone that came along.

Read about The National Counsellors' Day conference here and access the recording on catch up here.

Ditch the Label logo

Through 2022 I have also been continuing to write articles for Ditch the Label, one of the largest global youth charities in the world.

This year’s articles focused on pansexuality, coming out, being an LGBTQ+ ally, stress, panic attacks, and setting boundaries.

Articles are aimed at 12–25 year-olds, but older adults will also find them appealing.

DIVA magazine's logo

DIVA magazine’s deputy editor Fay Barrett invited me to contribute to an interview piece on coming out for an online article.

I wrote about different emotions that can come up for the person coming out to their loved ones, as well as advising on how to support someone who comes out to you.

In addition to these public facing events and writing, I have been busy working with counselling clients weekly, which I very much enjoy. It feels strange that this part of my year takes up such a small section of this blog, as it does in fact constitute the majority of my work life. But, of course, that is all confidential so I will say no more …

I hope you too have had a good year and are safe and well as we all move forward into 2023. See you there.

sprigs of green dried plants making a square around the words HAPPY NEW YEAR

And as promised here is a sneak peek at plans for 2023

I've not officially announced this yet, shhh ...

I am writing a book on Email Counselling - on sale in March 2023.

For now you can read more about my Email Counselling practice in my blog: What is Email Counselling?


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