Welcome to Contemporary Psychotherapy. With the professional community of psychotherapists and counsellors in mind, Contemporary Psychotherapy aims to be progressive, inquiring and creative, to encourage interactive debate with its international readership and to address rather than avoid the possibly contentious.
‘Digitally-defined’ vulnerable clients: Jasna Levinger-Goy
First, do no harm (Part 2): Peter Jenkins
From identity-oppressed Kurdish girl to professional: Anonymous
Gaslighting and coercive control: Anonymous
Psychosocial factors and mental health issues in Indian immigrants: Vinod Thacore
A Private War: Lindah Kiddey
Complex Psychological Trauma: Beth Glanville
Core Competencies of Relational Psychoanalysis: Brad McLean
How to Flourish as a Psychotherapist: Ben Scanlan
We Need to Talk About Kevin: Lynda Woodroffe
We’re very pleased to bring you the latest issue of Contemporary Psychotherapy, the first under the new editorial board, and our first as co-editors. The past year has seen a huge amount of change around Contemporary Psychotherapy and almost a complete overhaul in what many of the editorial board do and how we work together, with all of the founders now having left, with the exception of Lynda Woodroffe, who continues to provide the guiding hand of experience. We’re excited by the challenge and the opportunities that lie in front of us. We want to expand away from any perception that we are based on any particular orientation or tradition, and welcome voices from colleagues who’ve trained in varying modalities and with differing perspectives.
Psychotherapy and counselling are in a state of flux as ScopEd looms large over us all, and other professions and industries provide pressures previous generations of therapists did not have to face. We feel strongly that this provides an opportunity for us as individuals and as a community to learn from each other to be better for our clients, and Contemporary Psychotherapy can be an impartial container for that. We also want to situate ourselves within the socio/political/economic context that surrounds us, and provide more content that engages in an in-depth, psychotherapeutically-informed manner with issues we are facing on the contemporary global stage, such as Brexit, climate change, knife crime, racism, and gender politics, to name but a few, rather than sit in isolation from the world’s story unfolding around us.
Our restated aim is to be open and to encourage dialogue. Papers which could be received as controversial will be very much welcomed, subject to the usual editorial-review process, and responses to those papers will also be accepted for review; such is the beauty of publishing twice a year, that we can accept and editorially engage with responses that make sense in the arc of publication. We have papers this issue which really go out there based on experience both in and out of the therapy room, and we want to build on this.
We also want to encourage reviews of experiences, not just the traditional literature-based reviews, as we recognise that for us as practitioners our way of being with clients is impacted by so much more than books and traditional learning. Conferences, TV programmes (both fictional and non-fictional), reflections on exhibitions at galleries and performances in theatres would all be very well received.
We hope you enjoy what is a splendid edition to start with. We have, by chance, something of a theme around the topic of domestic abuse, gaslighting and psychopathy in this issue. We have two articles focusing on the topic and drawing on the authors’ personal experiences, with the severity and sensitivity of the subject matter highlighted by the fact that, after much discussion and consideration, we felt it most appropriate to publish these pieces anonymously. Meanwhile Lynda Woodroffe writes a review of ‘We need to talk about Kevin’, a book that has become something of a modern classic and that, although published over 15 years ago, feels as ever relevant to the current social context in which we are living. Furthermore, we could wonder how Kevin would experience being-in-the-world today, with the added element of the enhanced digital era which we now inhabit: Jasna Levinger-Goy writes about the digital world from the slant of ‘digitally-defined clients’, whose main way of being and interacting at all levels now takes place online. She highlights the vulnerable profiles of such individuals, focusing on how technology enables the proliferation of relational patterns that are already in place, rather than falling victim to blaming technology as being the root cause of such patterns of being and interaction.
Continuing with the theme of relationality, we have book reviews on the value of relationship within the therapeutic process, with Brad McLean reviewing Roy Barsness’s text considering relational aspects of psychoanalysis, and Beth Glanville (ed.) reviewing Philp J. Kinsler’s writings on the value of relationship and social support in working with complex trauma. Peter Jenkins concludes his two-part article about limitations in the field of research, whereby concerns and complexities in the area impact on both the breadth and depth of research being undertaken within the arena of psychotherapy. And of course, we ensure our standard mix of eclecticism with the inclusion of further varying reviews and articles. As always we continue to welcome submissions of diverse reviews and articles which ensure original, far reaching and, at times, provocative content for our readership.
We’re not where we want to be, but we are deliberately locating ourselves in an existing framework to build on what’s come before, rather than start afresh, as Contemporary Psychotherapy has contributed a lot to the profession in its first ten volumes, something represented by its readership. We want to expand that, but we need you. We’d love to expand the impact we have on the world through social media, and the awareness colleagues have of us, our authors and the thoughts presented. We want more articles from a greater number of voices, from a greater variation of experiences. To do this we really want to hear from you; if you want to get involved in writing something for a future edition do get in touch, as we are dependent on contributors for excellent content.
Beth Glanville & Ben Scanlan