The latest edition of the British Gestalt Journal is a Climate Change Special guest edited by CPA member, Steffi Bednarek, and featuring many articles by fellow members.
The issue is an enquiry into the notion of health and healing itself and considers the possibility that the dominant culture may require healing along with us. It asks the questions:
- What is the role of psychotherapy in a time in which the familiar is dying?
- What adaptations are needed, when the system that we currently adapt to is not sustainable?
The journal opens with a conversation between Dr. Bayo Akomolafe, Mary-Jayne Rust, Sally Weintrobe, Francis Weller and Steffi on the role of psychotherapy in a time when the familiar is dying.
Other writings come from CPA members Trudi Macagnino (Why aren’t we talking about climate change? Defences in the therapy room), Wendy Greenspun PhD (Frozen in trauma on a warming planet: a relational reckoning with climate distress) and Matthew Adams (Anthropocentrism, animism and the Anthropocene: decentring the human in psychology).
Rhys Price-Robertson, Mark Skelding and Keith Tudor contributed an article that explores anthropocentrism within Gestalt Psychotherapy and suggests what it may look like to place the human back within 'the family of things’.
The causes and impacts of the climate crisis are distributed differently depending on where we live and where we sit in the capitalist and colonial power structure. Shelot Masithi's piece on climate change and thirst highlights that concern about future traumas is a concern of the privileged and brings awareness to the fact that Western notions of healing take little notice of the wisdom of other cultures, such as the South African philosophy of Ubuntu.
The last two articles address the psychological resilience that is needed whilst facing social collapse. Inna Didkovska, the Director of the Kyiv Gestalt University shares her direct experience of being exposed to the trauma of war, whilst also teaching, supervising and counselling clients and trainees who experience war. Her writing highlights that there is power in facing difficult truths. Peter Philippson’s article is a transcript of four webinars given for Ukrainian therapists who have also become soldiers, refugees or volunteers in a war zone and discusses what it takes to live in the conscious presence of death.
You can find the Journal by following this link to the BGJ website.
Lead image by Ma Ti, Unsplash