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Klein, J. (1987). Psychotherapists for Survival in the Nuclear Age. Brit. J. Psychother., 4(2):161-163.

(1987). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 4(2):161-163

Psychotherapists for Survival in the Nuclear Age

Jo Klein

The first Annual General Meeting of the group calling itself ‘Psychotherapists for Survival in the Nuclear Age’ took place in June 1987. The title sounds cumbersome and is still being debated - but it is not dismissed out of hand because it allows the group to contain not only those who are against the use of nuclear power but also those who are concerned but not necessarily against it.

The group was formally constituted in May 1986 when a steering group was formed and a membership fee decided on. During the preceding two years a group of six psychotherapists had been meeting to consider the implications for themselves, in their professional practices, of life in the nuclear age. They had discussed issues, visited Greenham Common and spoken with the women there, and had eventually come to the conclusion that a more public face was appropriate. The first workshop for ‘psychotherapists concerned about nuclear conflict’ was the result, followed by another four months later. At a third workshop an organisation was established. Three kinds of groups were set up:

(1)  A steering group with responsibility for planning and facilitating further workshops.

(2)  Local groups, for example in North, South and West London. Here members could share and discuss on a more intimate basis the issues of concern to themselves: violence, dreams of nuclear war, Greenham, politics and psychotherapy, etc. Reports from local groups are customarily given at the workshops.

[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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