In this issue we are focusing on Child Abuse, primarily of a sexual kind. There has been much publicity of this area in recent times and the secrecy around the scale of such abuse is being exploded. This has been immensely valuable to the culture as a whole and to the therapeutic world in particular.
It is, however, not without its attendant dangers. These dangers come in a number of forms. Firstly, with the advent of this new awareness, many clients can become obsessed with a question about whether “I was or was not sexually abused”. This can be used defens ively to avoid contact with and the working through of a wide range of other abuses of a physical and emotional nature.
Secondly, there can be a danger of pathologizing the existence of any sexual energy in adult/child contact. As Lilly Pincus in “Secrets in the Family” (1979) states ”…the child who has not been desired by a parent looses out …” This issue has indeed put pressure on many parent/child relationships in what can be a detrimental way.
With these issues held in our awareness we can face the therapeutic task involved in dealing with child abuse from a sensible and sensitive perspective.
We believe you will find our contributors helpful in this instance.
In keeping with our policy of letting you know in advance of future themes, the Spring issue will focus on Dreams and their place in Therapy. The Summer issue will focus on aspects of Transpersonal Psychotherapy.