AHPb Magazine for Self & Society,
No. 9 – late 2022
Please note: less than a half of this magazine is free open access, and the remainder is password-protected for subscribers only. AHPb subscribers were sent the password in the January 2023 mailing. For non-subscribers, to gain full access, you can join AHPb here.
Editorial – Richard House
Richard writes: I am penning this editorial to number 9 of our online magazine just after Christmas, and as readers will very likely realise, it is now long overdue…. It’s been a tough year…
Celebrating a Great Life: John Heron (1928–2022): A Symposium – Peter Reason & others
John Heron (1928–2022) was a towering giant of British Humanistic Psychology, who has left a rich legacy of work that has provided HP with a formidable and rigorous foundation of both theory and praxis. In this commemorative symposium, we include tributes from Peter Reason, Richard House and others; John’s classic 1990 article ‘The politics of transference’; a review essay of his path-breaking book Co-operative inquiry; and some touching online appreciations. As Peter Reason writes, ‘[John] made significant contributions to the theory and practice of participatory research, participatory education, humanistic facilitation, and participatory spirituality…. The work, and John Heron’s significant contribution, continue.’
The Mythical Story of Our Planet and the Role of Therapy – Rachel Freeth & David Greaves
In a world that is crying out for myth, Rachel Freeth and David Greaves ask, ‘how might therapy, and particularly the creative possibilities and potentialities of the humanistic, existential and transpersonal traditions, contribute to the ongoing task of taking forward the creation of a new mythical story?’. They thus take us into the realms of paradigm change in relation to the psy therapies, and what true paradigm change would entail for counselling and psychotherapy. As they conclude, ‘There is so much still to do if we are to “resacralise” and save our planet. Can we imagine our way into a new mythical story before it is too late?’
Cultivating Reverence during Dark Times – Sue Wright
For Sue Wright, we desperately need reverence, ritual and silence in what she calls today’s ‘dark times’. As she writes, ‘Our foundations are being rocked to the core…. In our pursuit of progress…, we have lost reverence and respect for others, for the earth and its creatures, and for ourselves and our bodies’. For Sue, ‘at the heart of these many languages is a dawning awareness that humankind has lost its way…. We have become disconnected, caught up in addictive sensation-seeking patterns and tribalist mentalities. We have taken things for granted and ignored the inevitability of loss and death. And all this is at tremendous cost.’ She ends with a heart-felt plea: ‘can we reverently create a space away from the “din” of the world where the unarticulated can be expressed and new meanings be found? This is the challenge.’
The Great Awakening: Political and Pharmaceutical Deceits Now Revealed – Paul & Sinziana Barber
These past 2–3 years, it has been an honour to show-case the critical counter-cultural writings of Paul and Sinziana Barber on the Covid ‘pandemic’ and what has been unfolding globally in its wake in relation to core humanistic values. They have been unerring in their determination to get to the truth of what has happened under the cover of Covid-19, and the range and depth of their research has been remarkable. For them, ‘We have all played a part in this all too real-life horror story’ – and they highlight what is at stake for humanistic values and practices if we allow the mainstream narrative about Covid-19 to prevail without subjecting it to the most rigorous of critical analyses.
Feeling with the Eyes: A Psychologist’s View of the Impact of Poor Visual Acuity on the Self – Sally Goddard Blythe
Sally Goddard Blythe takes us on a deeply personal journey about her own relationship with poor eye-sight, and the impact it has had on her developmentally and in relation to her own sense of self. Sally’s courageously self-disclosing article will speak to many of us in helping us make sense of our own journeys with compromised eye sight, especially in childhood. As she writes, ‘there is more to vision than the sense of sight alone, so vision directs, limits and literally focuses attention within the range of its own boundaries…. [W]e see the world not as it is, but as we are. When vision changes, we and the world change with it.’
Interview: Deploying the Podcast in the Service of Humanistic Psychology? – with Catherine Llewellyn
Catherine Llewellyn takes us on a journey into podcasting, explicitly recognising the relevance to psychology of podcasting as a modern and burgeoning cultural phenomenon. Catherine offers many great insights into this medium, of which she is a pioneer with her highly successful podcast series ‘Truth and Transcendence’. As Catherine says, ‘The podcast provides me with the opportunity to relate at quite a deep level with a variety of wonderful people, provides good content for listeners all over the world, and showcases aspects of me as well as aspects of my guests.’
A Client’s Rich Psychotherapeutic Journey – Part I: interview with Wendy Clayton
Wendy Clayton is a former therapy client who has much that’s of value to say about therapy as a process, that all practising and aspiring therapists would do well to listen to very carefully. When asked ‘If, as an ex-client, you had a few hundred words to say to all therapists, based on your experience as a client, what would you like to say to them, to help them be and become the best practitioners they can be?, Wendy’s detailed answer is one which all therapists would benefit greatly from reading – for example, ‘Know that your model is not the panacea of all ills, that the theory is in a long line of philosophies, and it too will be superseded as old hat.’ Altogether a must-read for therapists.
The Whistleblowers: Humanistic Education, according to J. Krishnamurti – Richard House
With mainstream education being rejected by an increasing number of families, this article re-visits the humanistic values underpinning the great spiritual seer J. Krishnamurti’s educational philosophy. K’s insights are as fresh, vital and penetrating as they were when he first developed them. ‘When, in the future, our current toxic educational malaise is transformed into a spiritually mature, truly human(e) approach to creating healthy learning environments for our children, K’s educational writings will offer a rich mine of insight, sense and vision for us to draw upon’
Book Review – Wendy Clayton’s Twinship and Consciousness: A Psychotherapeutic Journey through Separateness and Unity
Anne Goodhew and Lucy Scurfield find Wendy Clayton’s new work on twinship in relation to psychotherapy tackling ‘the age-old debate of what is Self and what is Society, and how, when and where does one become the other [when] being a twin’. How much are we ‘other’ and divided, and/or how much united in one state – of being? For Clayton, following Buddhism and quantum mechanics, all things are far more interdependent than is apparent on the surface. Clayton’s expression of her experience of this division/unity is vivid and often poetic, presented as a series of endeavours.
Chair’s Page – with Lucy Scurfield
Lucy writes: We are at a critical point in the history of the Association for Humanistic Psychology in Britain.… Interesting times ahead!