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Hinshelwood, B. (1990). Editorial. Brit. J. Psychother., 7(2):119-120.

(1990). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 7(2):119-120


Bob Hinshelwood

If the Standing Conference (UKSCP) shows signs of cohering into a proper professional organisation at last it is because of years of cool (though sometimes impatient) debate. The Conference has become a forum where those who would never normally feel inclined to speak to each other have sat down and shared passionate hopes together. Michael Pokorny's letter, as Chairman of the Conference, marks steady progress in the political organisation of psychotherapy in this country and in Europe.

Politics is one thing; perhaps, however, we are still a long way from a similar engagement over differences of theory and practice. However Petruska Clarkson's careful analysis of the various levels of the psychotherapeutic relationship is an attempt to find a perspective from which an overview might become possible. She contends that all therapeutic relationships have five levels even though the different psychotherapies prioritise different levels. This offers a way of circumventing the inherent contradictions and incompatibilities that exist between different psychotherapies; instead of incompatibilities we have different priorities and emphasis. And this leaves a way open for the beginnings of a possible integration of psychotherapies.

The unusual topic of Cecilia Batten's paper is also one of differences. She emphasises the glancing impact of cultural forces on the relationships both in psychotherapy and in supervision. Such problems are difficult for there is no-one who can stand outside the cross-cultural differences.

[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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