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Hinshelwood, B. (1986). Editorial. Brit. J. Psychother., 3(2):103-104.

(1986). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 3(2):103-104


Bob Hinshelwood

This Journal has achieved a degree of popularity that is extremely heartening to the editorial board, and we have been pleased that the ideas we have had that have got as far as reaching the printed word have been so well appreciated. It is not true that everything about the Journal is positively appreciated by everybody who sees it, as witnessed by the two letters at the end of this issue. So, it may be important, for a Journal that aiming to make a small contribution to the integration of the world of psychotherapy, to recognise that there is a very large field of professional activity and practice involving many many people who do not identify with the world of analytical psychotherapy. It has been the assumption of this Journal that the psychoanalytical form of therapy was the first real psychotherapy and remains the core element in psychotherapy today.

However, psychoanalytic theory is not the only framework for thinking about our work, yet it is the only framework that derives from the study of human beings. Psychological learning theory, towards which most non-analytic psychotherapists turn for their conceptual framework, derives from the study of dogs and rats. In my view the animal species giving rise to a psychological theory is of considerable importance, but it is not the only difference we should take note of. The humanism of psychoanalysis, bearing on the subjectivity of the person and the intersubjectivity of his world, takes analytical psychotherapy dangerously, and excitingly, apart from and probably beyond the world of objective science, as I have noted before in these Editorials.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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