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Sternberg, J. Mander, G. (2008). Editorial. Brit. J. Psychother., 24(1):1-3.

(2008). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 24(1):1-3

Editorial

Janine Sternberg and Gertrud Mander

This edition contains papers which reflect the breadth of ideas of interest to BJP readers - diversity, working with perversions, issues of race, psychotherapy training, observation, and language. At the heart of these papers is, as Lowe reminds us, Strachey's view (1934) that ‘a true transference interpretation is one which the analyst most fears and most wishes to avoid, as there is something about truth that is disturbing and that it is important to stay calm in the face of the anxieties which surround it’.

Following Steven Mendoza's paper in BJP 23.3 we are pleased to have further papers from the LCP's series of lectures on ‘Diversity’. Farhad Dalal, Frank Lowe and Helen Morgan's papers, all adapted from papers given at those lectures, each think about issues of race. In his paper, ‘Against the celebration of diversity’, Dalal takes a sweeping view, incorporating sociological and philosophical ideas. He notes the way that liberalism achieves a sense of equality by stripping persons of all their particularities - gender, ethnicity, status, and so on - in the process making the individual that liberalism addresses universal - ‘It is an everybody and anybody’. He points out that, although liberalism deliberately blinds itself to differences of ‘kind’ in order not to favour one individual over another because of some status differential, the results are less positive. Yet he also observes that a sense of identity as something unitary is in fact illusory, ‘Each of us is simultaneously a part of a great many cultures - the ethos of one often in conflict with that of another. If cultures are conflictual and divided, then so are the individuals that both inhabit and constitute them’. He concludes his fascinating paper by highlighting the idea that the themes of inclusion and exclusion are integral to the sense of self.

Frank Lowe's paper, ‘Colonial object relations: going underground black- white relationships’, addresses in both a careful and lively fashion the way that we can each form within us what he calls ‘colonial object relations’.

[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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