It is entirely appropriate that our twenty-fifth issue should be devoted to an examination of the meaning of humanistic and integrative psychotherapy, and also to looking at the history of how it has developed in Ireland. It is quite possible that many of our readers will be unaware of this history or of the commitment, vision and hard work which has gone into the formation of the IAHIP into the solidly professional body it is today and we take this opportunity to congratulate all those who have been involved.
Since its inception, on 1 May, 1990, this journal has set out to serve two functions: to act as a resource to those involved in psychotherapy and to foster the development and growth of psychotherapeutic practice and theory, through the stimulation of thinking and discussion. We believe we have fulfilled our original purpose, and our continued existence, our increased readership and the reactions of so many of you, lead us to believe that the journal has an important role to play.
Originally seen as outside the sociological or psychoanalytical frame of reference and regarded with some caution because of that, humanistic and integrative psychotherapy has been a seminal force since the mid-forties. Humanistic psychology is a mirror in which we reflect ourselves in a way in which people may test what is real for them. It is capable of allowing fresh perception, and of experiencing the world in a completely new way. Yet there is no way of predicting felt experience and for that reason, if for no other, the practice must continuously change and evolve to meet these realities and must never be taken for granted. “If you can see the path, then it is not your path”.
But this is a time for much more than congratulation. We may have come far, but it is not a time to stand still. We are all too aware of the dangers of complacency. If we are to keep the real values of humanistic psychotherapy then our function is to be a watchdog for this branch of our profession and we must be prepared to accept the importance of change and growth.
Our autumn 1996 issue will be on the theme of HIV and AIDS. As always we welcome your comments, contributions or reviews. Most of all, we value the support and encouragement which you have given us over the past twenty-five issues and which we know you will continue to give.