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White, K. (2012). Editorial. Att: New Dir. in Psychother. Relat. Psychoanal., 6(1):vii-ix.

(2012). Attachment: New Directions in Psychotherapy and Relational Psychoanalysis, 6(1):vii-ix


Kate White

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

George Santayana (1905, p. 284)

Ifeel particularly privileged to have had the opportunity to bring together the contributors of this issue of the journal. They seem to have provided in a remarkable way something very special. The link between all the contributions appears to me to be a link with history. The other aspect that they share is that they come from very different parts of the world, namely Italy, Israel, Canada, and the UK. In addition two of our poets in this issue are from France, others are from the USA, UK, and Ireland. I am conscious that one of our aims as a journal is to represent work from different parts of the world, so it is particularly heartening to see this in the current issue and to recognise that attachment and relational approaches are being developed in many different parts of the globe. The voices of both therapist and client are also present in poetry and prose-again something we are committed to fostering.

George Santayana (1905, p. 284), a famous philosopher, is quoted as saying, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”.

We will all recognise the significance of this statement for the well-being and progress of our work, clients and therapists alike. The necessity of revisiting the past is vital, a past from which we may have dissociated, perhaps including the experiences of neglect and utter loneliness and desolation. To recognise its traumatic impact and whilst in the companionship of another, we also need to mourn and grieve. This is the theme taken up with dedication and profound emotion by Paul Finnegan and Graham Clarke as they write about the work with Evelyn, a patient who describes her therapeutic journey over ten years as gaining her “PhD in Wellness”. She was a courageous woman whose story, her “history” or “herstory”, one might say, she wanted known so that others might learn and benefit.


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