Editorial

This summer edition of Inside Out follows a period of tremendous progress in Northern Ireland with amazing social and political change, where politicians of very different backgrounds have given proof of their capacity for development, and their determination to embrace change and co-operation for the common good. These signs of the human capacity to change, grow and develop, and to move from conflict to co-operation and dialogue, and the honouring of differences affirm our core beliefs as humanistic psychotherapists. The Editorial Board is currently actively engaged in encouraging greater involvement of northern therapists in future editions of Inside Out.

Continuing the theme of movement and openness to change, in this issue, Sandra Reeve in conversation with Therese Gaynor, shares her Move into Life work with the broader therapeutic community. She explains her underlying belief that  “health is well-being and connects to adaptability” and elaborates on how movement can heal and deepen relationship with oneself, the environment and others.

This edition coincides with election campaigns here in the south, the nurses’ strike, debates over the failures of our health system and some worrying trends –a number of suicides of parents which also involved the deaths of their children. The latter raises uncomfortable questions about vulnerable people in our society. Are we, as a society, providing adequate services to identify those who are in distress and respond to them in time? Are the social services failing to identify people who are deeply distressed and depressed, and have we, as a community, sufficient safety nets in place to help those whose distress is hidden and difficult for them to admit? Depression and suicide are issues all therapists have to deal with. Where do we stand on these issues?

In a recent “Arts Lives” programme, the poet Paul Durkan spoke movingly of his experience, as a young man of nineteen, of having been committed into a psychiatric hospital and labelled schizophrenic. Years of psychiatric treatment followed this diagnosis, including many experiences of electric shock treatment. Durkan said he had suffered from depression and insomnia over the years since, and that he felt some of the things he had witnessed as a young man in the psychiatric hospital were “too much” for him. In his article entitled “Depression”, our international contributor John Rowan re-states the humanistic approach and warns of the dangers of labelling. “Once you give a person a label, there is a real danger that you will respond to the label instead of to the person….. It is a whole person who comes into my consulting room, and it is a whole person who has to be met and engaged with.  I do not want to reduce the person to something smaller and simpler, and try to engage with that.”

The issue of statutory registration for psychotherapists is topical and this edition features a thought-provoking article by the new arrival to the Editorial team, Sarah Kay. We welcome Sarah to our Editorial team. It is important to us that new people with fresh energy continue to join and that there is a “rollover” policy on the Inside Out Editorial Board, as on other IAHIP committees. Three members of the original team have now been serving for four and a half years. We would now like to recruit another new member to the Editorial team. The team has recently clarified the roles and duties of the various members and there is also a clear process of meeting and induction for new members. People are welcome to discuss their interest in joining the committee in an informal manner first, with any of the current Board members.

We wish all our readers a happy and relaxing summer. We again encourage and invite you to consider contributing to Inside Out-you are welcome to contact any member of the editorial Board to discuss a potential article.. We also apologise for our omission, in the Spring issue, to indicate that the article by Mary-Jayne Rust was first published in Psychotherapy and Politics International, Vol 2 No 1, 2004.