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Hinshelwood, B. (1989). Editorial. Brit. J. Psychother., 5(3):285-286.

(1989). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 5(3):285-286


Bob Hinshelwood

In this issue we have collected some papers on the unfortunately burgeoning work of helping victims of torture and organised violence. Carolyn Landry reviews the scale of this work which is now being done across the world, in fact mostly in the western world. The two papers by Marcelo Vinar and by Janine Puget are personal accounts by professionals of the processes involved in the destruction of human identities that lies at the heart of the business of torture. Psychological destruction is less visible than physical, but more relevant in ideologically-inspired conflicts. The human dedication to wanton destruction of each other is often a neglected subject in academic circles. As Joe Berke comments in his new book (The Tyranny of Malice) some major British and American journals of anthropology and sociology have not carried a single reference to envy, jealousy, or resentment over periods of time measurable in decades. Such subjects are left for the fascinated reader of the tabloid press, as if it were some latterday Manichaean heresy. Not so Berke; a sample of his deliciously poisonous obsession is published in this issue.

More serenely Jon Sklar and Margot Waddell reflect on the construction of identities in relation to gender, and look at some developments in the years since Freud left this area so incomplete. How gender-biased are the methods of psychotherapy still? Shirley Smith found it a struggle, one however which held value. The jockeying between male and female for the centre ground in psycho-analytic theory is a point at issue in contemporary thought, both in psycho-analysis and the wider cultural field.

[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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