Welcome to our Autumn edition. As the leaves fall and the light starts to diminish, our thoughts turn to blazing log fires, comfortable armchairs and a good book (or journal) to inspire us. We hope you will agree that there is plenty of thought-provoking material waiting for you to uncover in this edition.
2017 has demonstrated, with ferocious intensity, nature’s power to bring our paltry human existence to a sudden stop. We have been visited by floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, landslides, avalanches, droughts and fires. What can miniscule humankind do in the face of these disasters? Do we ignore them or live in constant fear? Matthew Henson examines how prepared we, as psychotherapists, are to deal with the death anxiety of our clients in the face of climate change and poses the question, ‘What good is therapy when it’s already too late?’
Johnny Moran shares with us his thoughts and personal experiences of encountering shame, and in particular self-shame, in the therapy room. Self-shame can be perceived by the client as part of their core being. Self-shame manifests itself in myriad ways in the therapy room. Johnny guides us through the impact that self-shaming has on a client and the defences they employ in their efforts to manage it and he calls for therapists to become more aware of this problem in therapy and to work to dismantle it.
Is there common ground to be discovered to bridge the gap between psychotherapy and psychiatry? Mary Peyton walks us through the origins of this chasm and suggests that neuroscience may ultimately hold the key to more shared positions.
On the same theme, mental health activist, physician, psychotherapist and author Dr. Terry Lynch converses with Pauline Dolan. Dr. Lynch outlines his own personal battle to raise awareness of the inefficacy of psychiatric medication for those suffering from depression. He talks openly about his own journey through distress in his teenage years and how this experience eventually led to his current career.
With ever-increasing demands on our time as psychotherapists the need for self-care has never been more important. Ursula Somerville reminds us of our responsibility to ourselves in this area (reprinted from our Spring 2009 edition).
We also offer three poems, some affirmations and an inspiration page to nourish the soul, alongside a book review by Emma Philbin Bowman. We sincerely hope you enjoy dipping into this issue during the cold months ahead. Remember, if you have an ambition to see yourself in print please consider sharing your experiences and knowledge with us in the next edition. You can contact any of the editorial committee for further information. We look forward to hearing from you.