Karen Minikin and David Pavón Cuéllar.
This issue is a double issue that comprises, firstly, six peer-reviewed articles and one interview, and then six commentaries honouring Keith Tudor as author and past PPIeditor. While this tribute highlights various facets of Keith’s work, the generic first part addresses topics as current and diverse as collective trauma, ethnic identity, ethics in psychology, anti-racism in the clinic, and the use of psychotherapy for resistance and revolt.
Between 2020 and 2022, the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic were among the main concerns of psychologists and psychotherapists around the world. PPIdedicated a special issue in 2021 to the psychopolitics of the global pandemic crisis and to the specific topic of online therapy (Vol.19, issue 1). One of the participants in that special issue, Bert Olivier, has continued his reflection in PPI through two articles in which he reflects on the political effects of the pandemic on subjectivity, particularly the reduction of existence in its complexity to ‘barelife’, that is, the sheer biological fact of life. In the second of his articles, the one included in this issue, Olivier not only denounces various destructive strategies that he imputes to governmental and economic powers, but he also draws on ideas from the ancient Greek philosopher Plato and the psychoanalyst Julia Kristeva to propose a form of psychotherapy aimed at resistance and revolt. This psychotherapeutic proposal implies a psychological theory of desire, passion, courage, anger, and non-conformity. In addition to rejecting any psychotherapeutic purpose of adaptation or adjustment, Olivier promotes the politicisation of psychotherapy in a confrontational sense. This sense also appears in the anti-racism strategy for clinical psychology that Romana Farooq and her colleagues developed in the Clinical Psychology Doctorate Programme at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom. Their anti-racism strategy, as exposed and analysed in their article, attended to power and systemic oppression while tackling racism in teaching, in selection, and on placements. Farooq and her colleague’s work brought them into contact with the emotions of individuals from a racially minoritised background experience in the United Kingdom. These emotions are at the centre of another article, by Romena Toki and colleagues, who investigate the sense of well-being in connection with the ethnic identity of British Bangladeshis. Their research reveals that a strong relationship with collective identity, understood in this case as a combination of Islamic and Bangladeshi heritage, could provide greater wellbeing by protecting the person against racism and discrimination. The theme of collective identity continues with PádraigCotterand Paul Callery’s article in relation to historical trauma. Cotter and Callery chart the different social, political, and military and paramilitary events in Irish history and how this has given rise to collective trauma. The article posits that national and differential group psychological states are transmitted to subsequent generations and considers an integrative approach to working with collective trauma. Combining process-oriented psychology (POP) with the spirit of ancient Irish storytelling is suggested as a way of reclaiming identity. The emerging themes are discussed alongside the potential benefits of continuing this group model of psychotherapy. Following this, Rita Edah develops the ideas of community counselling in relation to disasters. In particular, she reviews the overnight counselling service for survivors of the Grenfell fire, in London. This was a terrible and controversial fire in 2017 that destroyed a high-rise block of flats, killing 72 people. The study focuses on the change in boundaries in response to social neglect, giving rise to traumas such as this one. It comprises a small study of nine counsellors, offering reflections on boundaries and consideration of what was helpful in the face of devastating loss. Given thatEdah’sarticle focuses on boundaries, it has been relevant to follow that with Kirill Kryuchkov’sstudy on the perception of ethics and codes. Kryuchkovis interested in mental health practitioners and their subjective understanding and meaning that they hold around ethics. This is a piece of research with an initial pilot study of 89 practitioners, with a particular focus on whether attention was biased towards the profession or the clients.
Finally, part one of this double issue offers an interview between two men familiar with working on the front line. David Weaver has a history of working in social work and was the president of the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy). He talks with Eugene Ellis about his prior hopes, aspirations, and experiences of holding this role as a Black man. The interview offers reflections on the challenges of leadership and aspirations for progressive change—a theme that is always relevant in this journal.
TRIBUTE TO KEITH TUDOR
This double issue of PPI includes a tribute to Keith Tudor, who edited the journal for eleven years, from 2011 to 2022. This tribute consisted of inviting Keith’s colleagues and friends to write about his work and some of the articles he published in PPI, some of which he co-authored with them. The authors highlight the importance of Keith’s ideas and praise his work as editor of the journal. Keith Tudor’s predecessor at the head of PPI, Nick Totton, stresses the importance of shifting the journal’s editorship from the North and Atlantic to the South and Pacific. Nick also refers to Keith’s relationship with the Māori nation. Building on this relationship, Nick introduces and discusses a 2012 article by Keith on Indigenous Southern psychotherapies, emphasising how it shows their challenge to the universalism and individualism of Western Northern psychologies, but also wondering if it might not be better to drop the term ‘psychotherapy and speak of ‘approaches to emotional distress to designate certain practices of Indigenous peoples. Jeffrey Cornelius-White reviews Tudor’s critique of ‘independence day in his article, ‘In(ter)dependence day’. He reflects on Tudor’s capacity to speak out from a pluralistic stance and honour the life experiences of those who have been consciously marginalised by dominant groups. Cornelius-White honours Tudor’s commitment to collaboration and humility, illustrating what an important part he has played in role-modelling this to the professional community. Following this, Julia Ioane and Catherine Knibbs reflect back on their collaboration with Keith to write about the new movement to online platforms following the pandemic. They describe the significance and impact of the working alliance, as well as the importance of inviting practitioners to really think about their contribution to society via online working. There was much to consider professionally, ethically, and politically, and so the content and the process of arriving with it are shown to be so meaningful. Helena Hargaden reflects back on her personal and working relationship with Keith, triggered by remembering the article they wrote to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the revolt in 1916 to begin the process of claiming Ireland as a republican state. The theme of emancipation is relevant for both these authors in similar and different ways, and Hargaden describes the experience of bonding with another who understood, was informed, and who cared. She describes the longevity of their fond bond charted by experiences of friendship and debates, and even disagreements and love. In the following commentary and article, Karen Minikin highlights the legacy that Keith Tudor has contributed to by keeping the political alive in transactional analysis. She summarises some key points in the article, naming their wider relevance with personal and professional meanings. As Keith reflects on the back-story of Eric Berne and his encounter with the McCarthy regime—an experience that may have silenced him politically, Minikin illustrates how Tudor is a man of principle—someone who has been, and encouraged others to also embody, the ‘conscientious objector’.Finally, Gottfried Heuer looks back and honours his experience of collaborating with Keith and expressing his appreciation for what Keith Tudor has done for this journal. His capacity to collaborate and power share, even when he is in disagreement, fuck meis something that Heuer remembers and recounts affectionately. It is evident by all those who speak of him, that our encounters have been enjoyable, growthful, and valuable, both personally and professionally.
The next issue will be published in August and will be a special issue on gender. The deadline for receipt of contributions is 31 May 2023, but please feel free to submit articles for the next generic issue.