At the start of his article about the important work BACP member organisations are doing with asylum seekers and refugees, BACP Third Sector Lead, Jeremy Bacon, makes the point that when the policy team are lobbying government for better provision, they don’t get much of a chance to talk about the impact therapy can have on a person’s soul.
As a therapist, and even more so as a client, I know that the kind of changes that come from being held with deep care and kind, respectful regard aren’t easily measurable. Jeremy’s statement, made in the context of this particularly vital area of client work, is sobering in its truth.
In the summer, I met with psychotherapist and researcher, Louise Spiers, for a conversation about her PhD which looks at spiritual experiences of epilepsy. Through autoethnography and participant interviews, Louise has looked at the transpersonal nature of the condition. Louise is now looking to use her research to challenge the medicalised model’s understanding and treatment of epilepsy, and give voice to the transpersonal.
Charlotte Hastings takes a poetic look at the power of cookery as a holding space where spiritual and emotional components can mix: a melding of soul ingredients. It’s a beautiful celebration of therapy’s alchemical secrets. To further capture your imagination, read how José Luis Leal uses an ancient alchemical round to understand modern day psychotherapeutic transformation. Both of these pieces invite the reader to step outside the lines of what we have learnt and what we know. Peter Gill writes about ways that we can use our bodies’ knowing to more readily make connection with these ‘edge’ places.
"Both of these pieces invite the reader to step outside the lines of what we have learnt and what we know"
I picked up a short book by Robert Johnson recently called Inner Gold. Alluring title but I actually chose it for its subtitle: ‘understanding psychological projection.’1 I imagined it would offer a quick re-cap about how projection works to keep me on my toes. Reading it, however, was more of a secret ingredient experience. Johnson writes
that we all have spiritual gold that we sometimes give away (asking other people to ‘carry’ it via our projections, rather than holding it ourselves).‘The exchange of inner gold is occurring all the time, ’he writes, ‘try to be conscious
of it. ’It’s a simple but powerful book, shining a light on what we are all doing all the time, in and out of therapy: holding up mirrors to each other.
I hope that you enjoy this issue. If you would like to write for us, please do contact me.
Amy McCormack, Editor