Welcome to the 2013 Spring Edition of our Inside Out Journal. To begin, let’s be grateful that we managed to survive the Mayan Calendar doomsday prediction that the world was going to come to an abrupt end on the 21st day of December 2012!
Another story that became part of the national, as well as international discourse, in 2012 was the death of a thirty-one-year-old dentist during a life-threatening miscarriage. Savita Halappanavar was seventeen weeks pregnant when she presented to the University Hospital Galway with her husband Praveen on October 21st. Doctors informed the couple that Savita was miscarrying but allegedly, as reported in the media, she was then refused a termination as long as there was a foetal heartbeat. Savita died of septicaemia on October 28th and during the aftermath of her death we saw Praveen describe the heart-breaking account of her final days with dignity and pose. This story generated immense grief and outrage both in her homeland of India, as well as in Ireland. The appalling circumstances of Savita’s death forced our Irish legislators (who have been avoiding the issue) to consider legislating for abortion in Ireland. On average four thousand women living in Ireland travel to England each year for abortions. In addition, the decision by the European Court of Human Rights to declare Ireland in violation of Article Eight in the European Convention of Human Rights with regards to abortion legislation has ensured that the Irish Government cannot continue to evade providing clarity on our existing law pertaining to abortion.
As psychotherapists, it is incumbent on us to be informed of what is happening locally and globally. The challenging aspect of being knowledgeable in our profession is the necessity that we then have to bracket any bias, prejudices, or opinions we have formed. However, bracketing ensures we are not unfairly influencing the client. Rather, we are the good enough mother that is content with having information while remaining objective so as to encourage the clients’ innate opinions, belief systems and world views to emerge intact.
Continuing on the theme of stories, you may have already noted the front-cover colour of this edition. It is two-tone incorporating the colours silver and purple. The Editorial Board consider the colour of each edition carefully and this time we chose silver to illustrate that IAHIP is now accrediting psychotherapists for twenty-one years.
This issue opens up with a conversation between two long-standing members of our professional community. The articles that follow offer some insight into an array of themes relating to psychotherapy namely psychopharmacology, prayer, spirituality, music and painting and includes, in the penultimate article, an exploration of the experience of being gay which concludes that a person’s sexual orientation is a significant aspect of their identity and experience.
Finally, the Editorial Board wishes to say goodbye to Thérèse Gaynor and acknowledge the creative input she has made to Inside Out over the past ten years. Her excellent formatting and computer skills were an invaluable part of the Board’s challenge to produce exactness in terms of content and layout. We wish her well. We welcome Debbie Hegarty onto the Editorial Board and look forward to working with her.