Editorials are often intended to provoke thought and further discussion on one or more issues of the day. Through the material in this issue one possible focus seems to catch – it is the courage of people who show up for themselves. Richard Groves makes a comment in his Conversation with Therese Gaynor where he observes: “I would say the one thing I notice here in Ireland is that there is sometimes a reluctance to take the lead”. In the second Conversation, Gerard Rodgers talks of “…quietude in the avoidance of scandal”. These remarks point to something interesting, and perhaps allow us to consider what it is to show up and why it is that we might choose not to. Is there a possibility that somewhere in our developmental histories (cultural, social and/or personal) the messaging has been that it’s not safe to show up? Do we have a tendency to retreat into the safe recesses of quietude? Perhaps here, we are given an opportunity to think about the reality of showing up, and what this might ask of us.
Tying in with this, there is currently a call to psychotherapists to show up for their profession. There has been something of a quietude among the body of psychotherapists, as the governance of the profession begins transitioning to the bodies of the political State. There are however, exceptions to this quiet, and we meet one in the work of Matthew Henson, who shows up for psychotherapy once again in this issue. Whether you agree or disagree with the points Matthew raises, he sets a bar for what it can look like to show up for this profession. Where are we in debating the great changes that face psychotherapy? Statutory regulation, whether you welcome it or not, will impact the practice, qualifying standards, governance, definition, training, scope and boundaries of practice. There is indeed a curious silence among practitioners that could sound like compliant acceptance, as the profession seems to be slipping quietly under the rising sea levels of the medical model, political appointment, promise of jobs, resolution of tax issues, etc. Is it leaving the developmental and process focus of psychotherapy adrift, along with the relational and humanistic core values?
Billy Desmond takes us inside the personal journey of a potentially real, but fictionally based person who has never felt safe to show up for his innate sexual self-expression. Someone for whom showing up has many different implications, consequences and painful realities but who opts to show up nonetheless. Blake Griffith Edwards talks of Kierkegaard’s idea that the most common despair is born of not being oneself – a great human tragedy – perhaps the greatest of them all. In a different mode, Anthony Kelly takes us through a tri-phasic approach to working with addiction where, as he so eloquently concludes “…a person can find the inner capacities of meaning, self-worth and hope needed to grow beyond the shackles of their addictions” – this may indeed be the very definition of showing up.
We have no less than three book reviews and many poems interspersed to allow time for further pause and reflection. Once again, we thank our authors for their work so generously given, and we look forward to the arrival of new themes and contributions for our next issue, with a submission deadline of 1st September 2019.
Finally, we would like to welcome three new members to the editorial board – Martina Breen, Eleanor Dunn and Sonya Murray. We look forward to continuing our steerage of Inside Out with new travelling companions.