Over the winter, I started taking a picture of a favourite tree at dawn every day. This was partly inspired by a character who does this (albeit monthly) in the gorgeously tree-centric novel, The Overstory, by Richard Powers.1
This exercise accentuated the elegant, bare bones of the ash tree and brought an awareness that however stoically its silhouette stands against the sky, the tree, and everything around it, is always evolving.
I’d like to claim that the meditative art project was the inspiration behind the restructure that you’ll start to notice in this issue and, who knows, perhaps it was. I certainly intended to create more of a sense that each new issue has a familiar backdrop.
Our regulars will still be here: the Chair’s message, Alistair Ross’s Real-world spirituality and a themed focus each issue. You’ll also find some new writers. José Luis Leal, who wrote about endings in the last issue, is going to explore the shadow side of spirituality in a new column called Spiritually ambivalent therapist. We are also developing a regular space for students to reflect upon spirituality in training. This will be an interactive page, and it would be great to build a panel of lecturers and supervisors who would like to offer reflections. Please do get in touch if you’d like to be involved.
There is also a new section called Toolkit, which I hope will have a CPD feel. I’d like to offer as many practice-based resources as possible to take into the counselling room. Generally, I’m looking to bring people to the fore, so that we can get to know, learn from, and connect with, each other. I’ll leave some surprises for you to discover as you unwrap.
Also look out for the other new Thresholds online features that are publicised throughout the journal, including our first Ten minutes with the author blog, in which Mike Moss answers questions about his work.
I am often wide eyed at the parallels that run through separate articles as I start to collate them. This time, upon looking at the whole issue, I realised that in one article, spirituality is referred to as the ‘S-word’; and in another, faith is referred to as the ‘F-word’. It got me wondering, and I have to say, sadly, not for the first time, whether spirituality might have a bit of a PR problem.
If it does, what can we do about it? It’s a big question and it would be great to hear your thoughts about this.
As always, I also welcome your views about the journal and your article ideas.
Amy McCormack, Editor