independent

Editorial

Gracies! by Ferran.

Over April and May of this year, BBC Radio Four broadcast In Search of Ourselves, a series of talks about the history, development and understanding of the mind, psychology and applied psychology. At the London Science Museum, an exhibit called Mind Maps: stories from psychology (closes at the end of October 2014) also addresses the history of psychoanalysis/psychotherapy and is reviewed in this issue. And 2014 is also the centenary of World War One, a war during which the term ‘shell-shocked’ was first coined. The synchronicity of these public memorials leads one to think about how the world has changed over the last century. With such inspiration this issue of Contemporary Psychotherapy takes on historical and corporeal notes, with contributions about the history of therapies and the connections between body and mind.

Examining war-like activities such as boxing, reveals, in The Struggle to Succeed, the extraordinary personal experiences of the boxers going through their training and the aftermath of achievements in the ring. Through interviewing these sportsmen Professor Martin Milton finds psychological themes that are are both public and personal. In Bodywork as a Portal to Transformation, Paula Charnley describes the intrinsic connections between the body and the mind as she understands and experiences it through her work as a shiatsu practitioner.

In keeping with the historical themes we include a detailed description of filmed  therapy sessions with the client Gloria and three different therapists: Carl Rogers, Fritz Perls and Albert Ellis. The decoding of Gloria’s story is carried out by Dr Debbie Daniels who brings a fly-on-the-wall view and analysis of what emerged from the sessions. This article will be the first of two, the second to be published in the next issue.

Tina Fuller reviews, in It’s My Turn, her own program, P.A.C.E., through her personal back-story. This article resembles a short auto-ethnography, and brings to us a revelation of how the author heals herself through reading, therapy and a practical method of empowerment. In NLP and CBT: towards a full-spectrum cognitive behavioral psychology we see a comparative review of these two practices which undulate in popularity and which complement and supplement each other, in a view drawn from scientific observation and deduction.

In addition we have a review of a lecture – After Effects, After Images given by Griselda Pollock –  and a review of an exhibition – Mind Maps mentioned above.

But that is not all. This issue additionally considers six books including Robert Johnson’s memoir Balancing Heaven and Earth and Emma Letley’s biography of Marion Milner; Colin Feltham’s Counselling and Counselling Psychology and Eric Sherman’s  Notes from the Margins are reviewed and Uta Blohm, psychotherapist and doctor of theology,  gives her take on Keir Howard’s The Healing Myth, a critique of the healing ministry within Christian Church.

Although not a new publication, one other book,  The Fifth Child by Doris Lessing, provides us with the chance to remember  a great novelist, playwright, biographer and poet, spokesperson for women everywhere and marks a clebration of Lessing’s insight into psychological traumas.

Doris Lessing born in Persia (Iran) on 22 October 1919 and died in London on 17 November 2013.

Lynda Woodroffe

Image: Gracies! by Ferran.