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Hinshelwood, B. (1993). Editorial. Brit. J. Psychother., 10(1):3-4.

(1993). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 10(1):3-4


Bob Hinshelwood

There is a continuing question over psychotherapy's social and cultural place. The idea of the typical ‘yavi’ patient (young, attractive, verbal, intelligent) has worn thinner over the years; as well as the image of white, self-indulgent, middle-class, WoodyAllen-followers cracking at the seams. Particularly with the development of NHS psychotherapy - outside London as well as within the M25 web -class constraints have been eroded. However, the cultural divide remains fairly impervious. The proportions of black patients in psychotherapy does not seem to be commensurate with the size of that population; and certainly the number of black psychotherapy is tiny compared with the indigenes.

In this issue a number of aspects of race have been considered; and social bars are examined from various points of view. Barbara Fletchman Smith has noted the link with abuse. Carribean culture was founded in the abuse of the slave trade, and she argues that it has retained a central place, a ‘cultural introject’ as it were. It hovers as a focus both in the treatments of individuals and in the cultural influences which determine referral of people from that culture. Using an empirical method, Paul Gordon tests the openness of the profession to would-be trainees - we keep them white, he finds. He requires that in common with other professions we should adopt a formal policy of equal opportunities, and a monitoring system.

Being psychotherapists we have a ‘binocular vision’; in addition to social causes and constraints we like, maybe prefer, to examine internal factors.

[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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