Since our last publication of Inside Out we have witnessed, on a global scale, the power that lies at the heart of our planet! The subsequent death and destruction perhaps serves as a reminder to us of the truth about our human frailty and powerlessness. In people like Zarabe Shah, the five year old pulled from the wreckage 4 days after the earthquake in Pakistan, we witness the human ability to survive the darkness and destruction. Seeing her desire for life we are also perhaps reminded of human strength. As we in Ireland enter the season of natural hibernation and diminishing light it is the editorial board’s hope that, in this issue, we have given you an   eclectic nourishment for the darkness of winter and ideas that will germinate.

Continuing to extend the frontiers of Inside Out we are delighted to welcome two Canadian contributors to this issue: Paul Vereshack throws some light on the in depth psychotherapy work that takes place in the darkened sound proof rooms of his practice. He invites us to work from a place of “informed empty mindedness”…. Michael Cussen presents us with an opportunity to reflect on the truth about shame. While his article is titled ‘Shame in Medical Practice’ it explores the impact of fear of shame as it permeates the private, professional and political realms of our lives. Politics and the question of social responsibility of psychotherapists are raised again by Ger Murphy as he shares the content of the Coming of Age conference.

In a profound conversation with Thérèse Gaynor, Tony Bates expresses his belief that depression is “the first noble truth”. Ann Gill describes her own search for truth as “the terrifying descent into the underworld”. It is the ongoing challenge of the therapist to hold the light of hope in the sometimes stygian darkness that is that search. To do this we need strength and support. It is with this in mind that the editorial board have launched a new initiative. We aim to provide high quality, low cost workshops on a regular basis.  We are delighted to welcome Daniel Perret to facilitate the first of these workshops which will take place in the I.A.H.I.P office on Nov 26th. The theme will be working with Music through the chakras….see advertisement in journal for details.

We are very grateful to all our contributors who have made this issue possible.We encourage you, over the winter months, to keep the articles, book reviews and conference reviews coming. If you would like to discuss possible articles with any member of the editorial board do not hesitate to contact us. We are delighted to welcome Pauline Dolan and Ursula Somerville to the editorial team.