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Hinshelwood, B. (2004). Celebrating the Journal and the Profession. Brit. J. Psychother., 21(2):187-190.

(2004). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 21(2):187-190


Celebrating the Journal and the Profession

Bob Hinshelwood

This is a retrospective issue. It is about development, about change. It is about the change in us, in psychotherapy itself. In her editorial, Rachel refers to ‘fine fat fish’, some that were included in this issue, some that got away. What is a fat fish today? Is it the same as yesterday? The selection here surely must be a mirror reflection of today's preoccupations as much as it is an accurate picture of 20 years ago.

This issue is also to celebrate the Journal's achievement. What is that achievement?

One immediate success was that in 1984 half-a-dozen apparently warring groups sat down with me, calmly to work out our cooperative venture. All that divisiveness from the 1970s seemed to have another side to it - a willingness to cooperate that had been frustrated until I blundered along to suggest it.

With that in mind, it seemed to me we needed a Journal that was a mouthpiece for all sorts of voices in our world - not just an up-to-the-minute account of the latest ideas, but a vehicle for the expression of the political ambitions and anxieties. In those days, when we started the Journal, there was a forlorn sense of the endless quarrels and the compulsively divisive nature of psychotherapy organizations. It was a crazy-paving landscape. ‘It was an injured eagle’. We needed therapy.

I wrote in my first Editorial:

There should have been a Journal for Psychotherapists a long time ago. One can only speculate on the reasons why we have not had one. It must be to do with the fragmented state of the profession … All this separateness creates group dynamics within the profession that polarizes individuals and organizations into positions increasingly distant from each other … However the appearance of this Journal is not a miraculous circus act, juggling all the disparate influences into one swaying edifice of acrobats.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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