With every issue of Contemporary Psychotherapy, I never fail to be struck by the scope and depth of the interests shown by our UK and overseas contributors. Whether it is the originality of their respective research passions, books they have read, DVDs they have watched, exhibitions, theatre or talks they have attended, the sheer range of therapy-related topics and the desire to share them more widely is invariably reflected by our contents page each time.
Underneath the broad church though on which Contemporary Psychotherapy prides itself is a sense of ‘linkage’ I think, particularly evident in this edition where some common themes and counter themes have organically emerged. For example, having read Miles Matise and April Young’s article on The New Wave in Therapy, I began to reflect more deeply on how the energy from one or more systems can change other systems, and to wonder if their proposal could also relate to networked journals, in that somehow contributor and reader are connected, which in turn could influence our clients, however subtly.
Stephen Westcott’s piece on The Infinite Music of the Therapeutic Relationship echoes the mutual effect principle, where what he describes as ‘the perpetual resonance in the therapeutic relationship’ creates an influence on both parties whereby each is changed by the other. Resonance emerges yet again in Julie Scheiner’s grounded theory research on Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy, with an account that is both professional and personal on the energy exchanges that make this modality so powerful and moving. If this is unfamiliar territory, I would strongly recommend this piece as a helpful and thought-provoking starting point.
In contrast, Loray Daw’s Mastersonian approach to the schizoid dilemma highlights how ‘connectedness’ can become compromised or can be experienced as fear-making, with devastating results. The vulnerable psyche can become damaged and difficult to reach, and attempts by the practitioner to do so can pose a challenge to both parties. This release also brings us Zach Boren’s in-depth psychoanalytic exploration of The Nature of Nostalgia, a philosophical ‘think-piece’ which at the same time touchingly captures the innate human sadness we experience when we realise that what we once had or felt is no longer, and the pain of the subsequent profound loss against which we try so desperately to protect ourselves.
Finally, for those of you who missed or were unable to get tickets for the recent Ask Yalom event through BACP, there is a summary and review by Grace Hopkins and Lynda Woodroffe in the review section, along with a number of books, DVDs, films and theatre experiences which may have gone under the radar until now. I do hope you will find some of these suggestions of interest.
I would like to welcome Peter Jenkins and Polly Mortimer to the panel of Contemporary Psychotherapy. Peter strengthens our reach into the academic community and our ability to commission contributions from even further afield, and Polly joins us as caption writer and to help manage our on-line presence through Twitter. Tweet us/follow us @ContemPsych.