This is our final editorial for Inside Out. The journal is ceasing publication after ten years. When it began, in 1990, the first issue was a slim 18 page journal, with a print run of 250. We have since increased to 92 pages and our print run is 1200. That first issue contained articles by Ger Murphy and Judith Ashton. We feel it is most appropriate that they have also contributed to our last issue.
When Inside Out started, there was a strong impetus towards providing a professional body for psychotherapy, largely in response to pressure from Europe. Now I.A.H.I.P and the profession have come of age and it is time to take stock of the gains and disadvantages of what has been put in place. Has the professionalisation of psychotherapy been of benefit? Courses are becoming increasingly expensive, attracting only those who can afford the fees and reimburse themselves afterwards by their work. Does the increased emphasis on the entry requirement for a primary degree for trainees rule out those whose life experience would benefit clients ? There is a question of whether, in apparently standing over the qualifications of graduates of training courses, we are offering protection to the public and fostering trust where there is no guarantee. We need to be mindful of George Bernard Shaw’s remark that ‘all professions are conspiracies against the laity.’
There is a long journey ahead for psychotherapy. The profession has still to work out its attitude to sociology. Are we the servants of society or masters of individual freedom? We continue to live with that conundrum and there are many other important questions raised by our contributors to this final issue.
We are preparing a collection of what we consider to be the most significant articles published in Inside Out during the past ten years to be launched at the meeting of the European Association of Psychotherapy in Dublin, June 2000. It will be dedicated to the memory of our dear friend and colleague, Alan Mooney, whose passionate commitment to Inside Out was an inspiration to all of us.
We wish to thank you all – readers, subscribers, advertisers – and most especially our contributors, for your support and encouragement over the past ten years. We are including a letter from Shirley Ward which expresses the views and feelings of many others too numerous to mention, but which we have greatly appreciated.
We wish all our readers a happy and peaceful Christmas and stimulating and successful future in psychotherapy.