With the year 2016 moving towards its end, we are presenting you with another issue of Contemporary Psychotherapy. As I look back over the year, it looks like the global move into the Post-Factual age has become undeniable. It is a phenomenon that Pankaj Mishra calls the age of anger. The Post-Factual age is exposing our societies to unbridled frenzied emotions, manipulation of facts and complex truths being melted into one-line messages. Has the Age of the Enlightenment ever happened I find myself wondering?
The election of a highly prejudiced president in the US and in the UK, the calamity of the Brexit, all driven by women and men who employ a dangerous populism that is peppered with misleading rhetoric. This global right-wing shift, with its moral vanity, is caused by hijacking deep-seated fears, which are linked to many causes. These include the deepening chasm between rich and poor, the fear of globalisation, the refugee crisis, poor political leadership throughout many countries, the carnage caused by terrorism, Twitter and Facebook having become springboards for millions of messages of extreme hate, to name just a few.
In a highly surprising turn of events in this country people with Irish roots are now applying for Irish passports, and the number of applications for German Passports from Jewish people who once fled Nazi Germany has risen sharply, all looking for safety elsewhere.
This all makes for a gloomy outlook. But gloominess, in its many shapes and forms, is the world in which counsellors and psychotherapists operate. The influence of the current political climate right now cannot yet be quantified but as therapists we need to be open to whatever may come.
Against the backdrop of these events we present you with a range of interesting articles and reviews in our current issue (Vol 8, No 2).
The contributions deal with themes relating to both the political and personal. For example, there is Jonathan Hoban’s “Together we must stand”, which deals with the psychology of the Brexit results. It is a first article about this topic and hopefully more therapists will address this in future. We also have Peter Jenkins’ “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire?” dealing with the pitfalls of contracts in therapy whilst Jacquie Keelan in “Don’t shoot the messenger” looks at depression as a means of appreciating what is important in life.
I hope you enjoy this issue. As always, we welcome your feedback and suggestions.
With all best wishes for the New Year,
Dr. Werner Kierski
Image: See No Vader, Hear No Vader, Speak No Vader by JD Hancock