There is a modern myth that says it is possible to make living pain free. Many of the conveniences of late 20th century living are designed so that the amount of effort or struggle involved in doing things is removed or reduced – think of processed foods or package holidays for example. Some popularised psychology supports this myth by encouraging the idea that if you can esteem and love yourself you will be OK because you will not depend on others.
Psychological and emotional health has both a personal and a social dimension. The truth is that we do depend on others and need their support. Of course such dependence can be unhelpful if we rely upon others to create the entirety of our self worth. A balance of separateness and dependence is the ideal.
When we experience loss or abandonment we become despondent and lonely. This issue of Inside Out explores some issues raised by the experience of loneliness. John Bowlby’s attachment theory examines the importance of having a secure base from which to explore both the self and the world. Where this secure base is damaged it makes the experience of loneliness more acute.
Rob Weatherill explores illusion of togetherness created by the development of communications systems and the false image of being cared for generated by helplines, chatlines, etc. He situates his comments in the context of Object Relations theory and brings Klein and Winnicott along to help him in his explorations.
Ger Murphy discusses the experience of loneliness in the context of psychotherapy and tries to come to some understanding of the process of dealing with loneliness. He says psychotherapy can be seen as offering the holding necessary for the developmental process of maturation to occur especially where this has been impeded in the emotional and psychological sphere of the individual.
We hope you enjoy the contributions of these and other authors in this issue, togeth er with our book reviews and reports.
Miceal O’Regan, founder of Eckhart House, died as our Autumn issue went to press so we are pleased in this issue to include a personal appreciation of Miceal by Vincent McNamara and again, we offer our condolences to those who are saddened and lonely because of his death.
In 1998 we will publish on the following topics and we would really appreciate any contributions you as readers would like to make. Please don’t wait, if any of these topics interest you get in touch with us soon.
Spring: Psychotherapy, Ethics and the Law. Summer: Children and Psychotherapy. Autumn: The Therapeutic Relationship. Winter: Imagination and Psychotherapy.
Thank you for your support of the Journal in 1997. We look forward to the new year.