Newsletter for Self & Society, No. 1, Summer 2018

Newsletter for Self & Society,
No. 1, Summer 2018


Please note: around a third of this newsletter is free open access, and the remainder is password protected for subscribers only. AHP subscribers were sent the newsletter password with the newsletter on 26/7/2018. For non-subscribers, to gain full access, you can join AHPb here.

EDITORIAL By Richard House, Newsletter Editor

Welcome, dear member and reader, to the very first online AHPb Newsletter for Self & Society (S&S). We hope this emailed newsletter reaches you before the customary therapists’ summer/August break, so that if you wish, you can dip into its delights at your leisure whilst on your summer sojourns.
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Introduction from Lucy Scurfield, AHPb Chair

AHPb Chair Lucy Scurfield introduces this, the AHP’s very first online newsletter in our 46 years of existence.
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Obituaries and Remembrances


Photo of John RowanRemembering John Rowan, 1925–2018

In this article, Sue Rowan and Richard House describe John’s 93rd birthday celebration and his funeral service, respectively. The article also contains some beautiful photos taken at John’s birthday celebration.
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Remembering Jean Clark, 1926–2018

Jean Clark was one of the early pioneers of counselling in Britain, and did some leading-edge work on racism and transcultural issues (with Colin Lago) in the 1970s and 1980s. Here, Jean and her many contributions are fondly remembered by Rachel Freeth, Brian Thorne and Richard House.
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A Sonnet by Brian Thorne

Brian has shared this deeply touching sonnet which he wrote to his late wife Chris on Valentine’s Day this year.
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AHPb Conference talks

‘Love Madness and Transformation’ by Jill Hall

Jill Hall’s inspiring talk delivered at the recent AHPb London conference, Saturday 30 June 2018.
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Photo of Jay Ramsay‘Grit and Pearl’ by Jay Ramsay

Jay Ramsay’s deeply moving talk about his journey with cancer, filmed for the recent AHPb London conference, Saturday 30 June 2018.

Malcolm Stern: The Empath as Therapist and Healer

Malcolm Stern’s contribution (see for a film of the talk) was an account of the suicide of his daughter. A painful issue for anyone, and no less so if one is a therapist meant to be able to navigate a client through a bereavement


‘How Humanistic Psychology Has Changed My Life’ by Caroline Brazier

In a new series, Caroline Brazier writes engagingly and passionately about how Humanistic Psychology has changed her life.
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Editor’s note:  We’re delighted to introduce this exciting new series on how HP has influenced our lives with this excellent contribution by Caroline Brazier. If you would like to write a piece for this series (max length 1,000 words), please contact the editor at

‘Through murky climate-change clouds…’ by Nick Duffell

In this engaging article, Nick interrogates the massive democratic controversy surrounding Britain’s Brexit vote to address the highly prescient question, ‘Are Digital Technologies Making Politics Impossible?’

Regulation and professionalization


‘Principled Non-compliance’: Some Background to a New Cultural Movement

With another pusch underway by the psy institutions to bring about the state regulation of the psy therapies, here is Richard House’s 2009 document written for practitioners  who were preparing for a principled non-compliant stance towards the then-mooted state regulation of the psy therapies.
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The National Counselling Society’s Open Letter on Developing ‘Generic Standards’ for the UK’s Psychological Therapies

NCS CEO Vicky Parkinson gives the professional and political background to recent moves by the major psy organizations around ‘standards’ for the psy therapies, reproducing here in full their excellent and widely supported Open Letter to the BACP, UKCP and BPC on this issue.
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Image of the cover of the book Implausible ProfessionsRetro Review of Implausible Professions (2nd edn), edited by
Richard House and Nick Totton

Seamus Nash reviews a new edition of one of the earliest texts in the therapy literature to challenge the professionalization of, and attempt to regulate and control, the practice of counselling and psychotherapy.
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Britain’s welfare state


The Planned Demolition of Britain’s Welfare State: Interview with Independent Researcher Mo Stewart

Renowned researcher and writer Mo Stewart goes into detailed, fearless depth about an issue that will have intruded into many a therapist’s consulting room and therapy-space under neoliberal austerity – the UK Conservative government’s calculated assault on Britain’s welfare state and benefits system. Be prepared to be rendered speechless and outraged, if you’re not aware of this, perhaps the greatest scandal and atrocity in modern political history.

Psychiatry in Question


Open letter from Professor John Read & 30 others to the Secretary of State for Health – ‘Ethical, Professional and Scientific Standards of the Royal College of Psychiatrists’

With James Moore explaining the background to the letter, which challenges the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ grossly downplaying the withdrawal effects from taking antidepressant medication.
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The Redress of Poetry, by Peter Watkins

In this article, Peter explains why poetry is so important to and in the Human Potential Movement.
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A poem by Jean Gebser (trans. Graham Mummery) – ‘And It Will Become Manyfold…’

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‘The Bells’ – a new poem by Jay Ramsay

A poem inspired by a recent visit to his alma mater, Pembroke College, Oxford. See also Jay’s recent AHPb conference talk (in this newsletter).
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Conference review by Graham Mummery: ‘Love, Madness and Transformation’, AHPb annual conference, June 2018

Graham Mummery gives an engaging and comprehensive review of what proved to be a deeply moving conference, at which what humanistic and transpersonal approaches have to offer the human journey were amply demonstrated, and our AHPb community was shown at its best.
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A Rumi Retreat with Andrew Harvey by Gabriel Millar

Gabriel Millar reports on a very special retreat experience with sacred activist and poet, Andrew Harvey.
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Review of Screen Schooled: Two Veteran Teachers Expose How Technology Overuse Is Making Our Kids Dumber by Joe Clement and Matt Miles

Richard House reviews a new book that comprehensively disrobes the Emperor’s New Clothes that is digital technologies and ICT in our schooling system – a vital issue for all humanistic thinkers.
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Review of Transferring Despair into Hope: Reflections on the Psychotherapeutic Process with Severely Neglected and Traumatised Children by Monica Lanyado

Jane Barclay reviews Monica Lanyado’s book which offers a wide-ranging exploration of the problems and rewards of trying to help severely neglected and traumatized children.
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Review of Embodied Relating: The Ground of Psychotherapy by Nick Totton

Alanah Garrard reviews Nick Totton’s book which argues for a grounding of psychotherapy in the body – for ‘embodiment and relationship are inseparable’.
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Free, Equal and Mutual edited by Martin Large and Steve Briault

Mervyn Hyde reviews an important new book which applies Rudolf Steiner’s Threefold Social Order notion to today’s world-in-crisis. The book has been very favourably received, not least, by Britain’s Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, and Shadow Rural Affairs Minister, Dr David Drew.
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The online ISSN of the AHPb Magazine for Self & Society is 2374-5355.