Editorial

Carl Rogers sees the process of therapy as being synonymous with the experiential 
relationship between client and therapist. Therapy consists in experiencing the
 self in a wide range of ways in an emotionally meaningful relationship with the
 therapist. He believes that the words of either client or therapist are seen as having 
minimal importance compared with the emotional relationship which exists 
between the two.

So what is this mysterious therapuetic relationship which is at the core of most
 forms of psychotherapy and how is it created? In this issue we see that it appears 
in many guises – in bodywork, in group work, where clients present with special 
issues – and that it knows no ethnic or cultural bounds. It can exist just as strongly 
between therapists and clients in an addiction centre in Dublin as it does in a war-
torn African country. The therapeutic relationship is one in which the client is
 honoured, respected and met with nothing other than unconditional love and 
acceptance for who he or she really is, or is struggling to be. But therapists are 
not saints. We may see clients who have committed terrible crimes and whose 
behaviour we may find it difficult to accept. The client may be met with our own
 prejudices and pre-conceived ideas. One of our contributors quotes Martin Buber,
 whose central insight is that each person’s existence is unique and that equally we 
are partners-in-existence. But to know oneself as unique one needs to be made
 present in one’s uniqueness by an other. Buber called this ‘confirmation of
 otherness’. He believed that the act of confirming is at the heart of true meeting 
and true relating.

The theme of our Winter Issue will be Psychotherapy and the Imagination. As
 always we welcome your contributions. We would like to hear from you if you 
have attended an interesting or unusual workshop, or read a book which you
 would like to review for us. All such contributions will be considered for 
publication by the Editorial Committee. Also in our Winter Issue we will be listing
 Training Courses. We would like to have details of any courses which have not 
been included before, especially any in Northern Ireland.

All copy for the Winter Issue should reach us by 13th November 1998, please.