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Arundale, J. (2000). Editorial. Brit. J. Psychother., 17(2):145-146.

(2000). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 17(2):145-146


Jean Arundale

The psychotherapy debate has currently taken the guise of ‘romantics’ versus ‘postmodernists’, that is, the former who still believe in a ‘big idea’ that informs an overall world view, the latter ‘eclectic’ group who take up therapeutic ideas as needed or useful for whatever the present context, and who question the existence of objective reality and thus any ultimate truth, placing their trust only in the communication between two subjectivities. Less polarized are the integrationists, the practitioners who, echoing the trend toward newer hybrid disciplines in academia, have taken up the view that enrichment comes from interaction with other fields of knowledge. In this issue, Anthony Bateman reminds us that Freud himself was an integrationist when he recommended a combination of behavioural and analytic techniques for the treatment of agoraphobia. Bateman suggests that integration is quietly taking place at a theoretical and clinical level as cognitive behavioural and analytic practitioners use each other's techniques and theories, bringing integration closer than we think. Jeremy Holmes, too, presents his own integrationist approach in this issue, in which he views psychoanalytic ideas converging with attachment theory, linking in neurobiology, neo-Darwinism, infant research and Kleinian formulations.

Advances in brain research and their application to psychoanalytic understanding move ahead. The work of Mark Solms, Antonio Damasio, Allan Schore and others have led to notions of the way mental processes are located and organized in the brain.

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