As we head into 2009 we would do well to reflect on events that have happened globally and where we are heading. The party is over, the hangover has lifted and a new reality is dawning. We are being called to confront many difficulties, face the uncertainties and ring in the changes.

It was with bated breath that the world watched the drama of the US election unfold against a backdrop of financial meltdown. Who would have thought that a disillusioned electorate would find the energy and momentum to organize a grass roots campaign and field an extraordinary candidate for President whose message was what we most fear and resist: change. Change comes at a price. It inevitably involves loss and a letting go. In this publication, Patricia Allen-Garrett gives us a very personal account of loss and the range of raw emotions evoked in the grieving process. Jan de Vries discusses the inner conflicts and resistance to change as well as offering solutions in his article on cognitive dissonance.

Obama’s call to change also offers hope and possibility to a world deeply fragmented, grappling with a global recession of enormous magnitude. Could this be a time when united in our vulnerabilities we might finally realize what interconnection truly means? Judy Lown’s article on Core Process Psychotherapy invites us into the empty space, the core of our being where we are both everyone and no one. Not only are we being called to interconnect to save the planet but we are also being called by deeper inner voices. Shirley Ward and Althea Hayton explore new territory in a deeply personal conversation as an introduction to a review of Althea’s Womb twin workshop, which uncovers a pre-verbal time and connection with our psychic inheritance. The Living Body workshop also speaks of deep bodily connections. This is surely a time for governments, organizations, communities and individuals to listen to the voices from within and without. Maybe we will only find the vision to go forward by listening to the wisdom of our ancestors.

We are 60 years on since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a document consisting of 30 Articles written in clear simple terms that everyone could understand. Its message was a demand for rights, justice and equality. As we listen to the daily barrage of jargon and legal language that bombard the airwaves, we might wonder what happened to that simple message and to democracy. There is a very real need to get back to direct and meaningful communication. Psychotherapy should also perhaps reflect as to where it is heading and where it has come from. Through conversation Mary de Courcy and Sheila Killoran Gannon attempt to get us back on track by unravelling the jargon and untangling the regulations, which are in danger of making us forget our primary purpose; to connect with our clients. Even more urgent is our responsibility and duty of care towards ourselves as practitioners. Ursula Somerville in her article Wear and Care of the Psychotherapist offers a compassionate challenge to our profession to follow the wisdom of self-care and avoid burn out.

Inside Out would like to thank all those who contributed to our publications this year as writers and as advertisers. We would encourage all readers to not just listen to their inner voice but to go a step further and put your thoughts into writing and speak your truth. We live in challenging times and we need to hear your ideas, your vision, as well as your story, be it prose or poetry. It’s no longer enough to rely on our leaders. We must all play our part if we are to say Yes We Can. Seamus Heaney finishes his poem From the Republic of Conscience by saying:

‘Their embassies, he said were everywhere but operated independently and no ambassador would ever be relieved.’