Welcome to Volume No. 72 of Inside Out. It will be spring when this journal, dressed in the colour of daffodils, drops through your letterbox. Along with it come our wishes to you, our readers, for a very healthy and satisfying 2014.
Since our last edition, the world has sadly marked the death of Nelson Mandela. We want to acknowledge the towering impact of his life on the peoples of South Africa and also on many others around the planet. His walk, through painful diversity, towards compassion was inspirational for us all. As psychotherapists, when we sit in therapeutic relationship with another human being, the ability to offer compassion is a fundamental base in our work.
A theme of compassion threads through several of the articles we offer you in this edition. One piece explores the need for acceptance in the law towards the healthcare preferences of those at risk of becoming incapacitated. Other papers invite our acceptance of the uniqueness of each client and of his or her worldview alongside our own beliefs and the theories we integrate into our work. The writer of a paper on supervision points to our need to bring self-acceptance as we meet the personal edges of capability and vulnerability in our work of professional intimate relationship. We also offer an American perspective on compassionate response to multicultural diversity, in the form of a narrative.
Spring invites us to get curious again around our own wellbeing: to look within. Self- compassion doesn’t disregard a responsibility to accept our own vulnerability in therapeutic work. In these days of austerity, we sit with people whose usual methods of coping are being stretched to snapping: fellow humans sometimes struggling to put bread on the table and experiencing economic desperation as well as emotional despair. It is our clear responsibility as therapists to recognise when we need space to process any vicarious sadness of the heart, whether in personal therapy or in self-nourishing time.
With sadness, we also mark another passing since our last edition – that of fellow IAHIP member Diana Erskine-Hill. Diana was a frequent contributor to Inside Out in recent times and she movingly recited one of her poems at our 10th anniversary celebration in May 2012 (this may be listened to as a podcast on the IAHIP website). We offer our condolences to those who loved her and are now missing her.
This season of spring also invites the new and so we introduce the Inside Out Journal Ethos which has been budding into existence in recent months. We felt it was important to identify and set out clearly the purpose and values of the journal. We hope the Ethos will inspire you to communicate and engage in debate through these pages. We also hope that it might stimulate one or two of our readers to consider flexing their editorial muscles and joining us on the Board. If you are interested in offering your skills, or would like further information about what is involved, please contact either the IAHIP office or any member of the team (names can be found here https://iahip.org/inside-out/issue-72-spring-2014).