Virginia Barton

A friend in times of trouble

Catholic Herald, 18 January 1991            


Review: Half A Rainbow by Vera Waters (Penn Cottage Books, £8.50)


Vera-in-Snow-0397-smallTo whom do you turn in times of trouble? It is a sad reflection of modern times that there is a growing need for professional counselling.

Lucky the young mum who can run round the corner to gran when trouble looms. In the not-so-distant past the parish priest was the one who gave succour in times of family crisis: now he may be almost unknown to a generation of irregular churchgoers.

The GP is often just a name on the plate of an anonymous surgery. Even our neighbours may be strangers. The fragmentation of family life deprives us of much “natural” counsel and it seems we must turn to the professionals.

Vera Waters is a counsellor with more than 25 years experience and a regular contributor to the Catholic Herald. She is retained by the Greater Manchester Police and Lancashire Constabulary, and her skills were called upon in the aftermath of the Manchester airport disaster.

Half A Rainbow is subtitled “An Insight into Stress”. In it, the author makes the point that stress – the buzz word of the 1980s – has positive aspects as distinct from the debilitating effects of distress.

The author declares that her counselling “provides no magic, often just downright common sense”, and that “counselling helps people to step back . . . so that the choices they make will be made with insight and perception and not confusion”.

She illustrates this with real-life accounts of relationships between parents and children, the confrontation of severe illness, the difficulties of coping with bereavement.

Vera Waters’ strength of character, practical approach and warm sensitivity – traits which shine through the pages of this little book – must make her skills welcome in many a tragic situation.


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