Volume 6, 2 (1997)

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Volume 6, 2 (1997)


The British Gestalt Journal 1997, Volume 6, 2


Editorial - Malcolm Parlett 

Physical Process Work with Children and Adolescents - Denise Tervo

The Client-Therapist Relationship: An Action Research Approach, Part II - Paul Barber 

Diagnosing in the Here and Now: The Experience Cycle and DSM IV - Joseph Melnick and Sonia Nevis

Individual and Community in the Third Millennium: The Creative Contribution of Gestalt Therapy - Margherita Spagnuolo Lobb, Giovanni Salonia and Pietro Cavaleri 

Parallell Processes in Organisational Consulting - Rae Davis 



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Pat Levitsky 

Pat Levitsky who has been a key figure in the BGJ since its founding, has retired from the Journal. Her departure is a significant loss. This is the first issue where we have had to do without her as an associate editor. I want to express my enormous appreciation in print, as I have to her privately. She has been a stalwart colleague, bringing a fine perception and sound judgement to our affairs. We have not always agreed, of course, about every article and every choice made. But out of the clashes have come clarity and good decisions - with no loss of goodwill or mutual respect.

Over the seven years of the BGJ’s life, Pat has done a lot of work on behalf of the Journal - including especially the hard graft of getting articles into publishable form, as well as negotiating with authors. I am relieved that I have persuaded her to retain a small connection with us, as 'consultant to the editor'. Although I do not plan to call on her except in extremis, I am glad that she will still be distantly associated with the Journal which she has done so much to shape. Finally, on behalf of all associated with the BGJ, including most importantly its regular readers, I thank you, Pat, for what you have contributed.

Other Changes at the BGJ

Pat's departure has come at a time of major reorganisation for the British Gestalt Journal. Let me tell you about the changes in staffing.

First, I am delighted to announce that Judith Hemming has moved from being an associate editor to the new position of deputy editor, with increased responsibility for major editorial decisions of the kind called for in the production of each issue as well as long term policy. I am glad to welcome her to this new position, where she will also continue to be (in effect) our commissioning editor.

Second, I am pleased and relieved that Sue Clayton has accepted an invitation to take over as our first ever (and long-needed) Business Manager. She is reorganising the subscription system, our record-keeping, our financial management. Her long-term particular interest is in marketing the Journal more widely and increasing our sales, upon which all plans for expansion and innovation ultimately rest. She is assisted by Caroline Hutcheon, who is now in charge of the week-by-week office work of the Journal, its subscriptions and its distribution; and also by Leanne O'Shea, who is helping to upgrade our information technology, and Mary Beth Clarke who is advising on marketing. The BGJ as a business has always been our weak side. The fact that Sue Clayton has taken over responsibility is a hopeful sign that we can move from a 'ticking over' position as a business to one where we can make improvements, and have a greater impact both in Britain and abroad.

Third, on the editorial side, and directly related to prospects of expansion and new avenues for the Journal, there is the appointment of four new Associate Editors - Paul Barber, Neil Harris, Vanja Orlans, and Richard Wallstein. I am delighted to welcome such a distinguished group. They will be assuming particular areas of responsibility and will also be working closely, on a rotational basis with the editor and deputy editor in the production of each issue. Sara Bladon, an unsung heroine of the BGJ, will continue as editorial assistant. Without this manifestation of personal commitment, there would be no journal.

To dispel any illusions, it may be worth pointing out that all of those mentioned above who work for the BGJ - except for Caroline and Sara - work unpaid including myself. I am grateful for all the effort and goodwill that people contribute, as I am sure readers will be too.

There are bound to be changes in the way we do things, and perhaps in the BGJ itself, as this great influx of new talent and energy makes itself felt. Changes will be communicated to readers as they come into effect. Our determination to provide a high quality, well-written, intelligent and informed publication remains undimmed. Your ideas and suggestions, as our readers, are greatly welcome. Please write to us, and continue to write for us as well.

Diversity and Range

We have always sought a broad range of topics, as well as of different kinds of writing, and some kind of balance between the articles. This issue is as full and varied as any. In wanting a broad range of topics - including some that are not clinical - we are also reflecting the nature of the Gestalt tradition, which is a comprehensive, far-reaching system of thought and practice, with a host of applications. The BGJ seeks to reflect and embody this extraordinary range.

Thus in this issue we touch on many different topics: physical process work with children and adolescents in Denise Tervo's compassionate and clinically rich paper; action research and therapy in the second part of Paul Barber's account - jointly-written in part - of a therapeutic relationship; Gestalt therapy in the next millennium from the Italian perspective of Margherita Spagnuolo Lobb, Giovanni Salonia and Pietro Cavaleri; Gestalt diagnosis as developed by Joseph Melnick and Sonia Nevis; and parallel processes in organisational settings by Rae Davies. There is an interesting interchange in the Letters to the Editor between Arthur Roberts and Daniel Rosenblatt on 'Neo-Gestalt’. There are also four book reviews by Des Kennedy, Gabe Phillips, Judy Graham, and Vanja Orlans, which touch on a wide swathe of Gestalt concerns.

We welcome readers to this, our twelfth issue, and hope that you enjoy reading it. Do not forget that our letter columns are available, and though we do not guarantee publication, we are always pleased to receive letters.

Publications in Gestalt: A Postscript

In the editorial to the last issue (Vol. 6, No 1) I made reference to the important contributions of the various conferences and journals to the current development of our field. I also mentioned how new Gestalt books were appearing, many geared to mainstream audiences. I want to highlight further the significance of this. Only ten years ago the publication of a new Gestalt book was a rarity; now it is hard to keep up with the rapidly growing literature. Foremost among book publishers has been the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland Press, which has concentrated on trying to bring Gestalt ideas and practice more into the general therapy domain. A series of outstanding books has appeared; we review another one here (Michael Clemmens on addiction). We also carry an advertisement for GIC Press books (which are actually produced by The Analytic Press). British readers may wish to know that direct ordering from the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland works out to be considerably less expensive than buying them in Britain.

Malcolm Parlett 

Letters to the Editor: 

In Opposition to Stereotypes: A Reply to Daniel Rosenblatt - Arthur Roberts 

Unregenerated and Unreconstructed: A Reply to Roberts Daniel Rosenblatt 

Book Reviews:

Presence of Mind: Literary and Philosophical Roots of a Wise Psychotherapy, by Stephen Shoen - Des Kennedy 

Gestalt Counselling, by Charlotte Sills, Sue Fish and Phil Lapworth - Gabe Phillips 

Getting Beyond Sobriety: Clinical Approaches to Long-Term Recovery, by Michael Craig Clemmens - Judy Graham 

The I in Science: Training to Utilise Subjectivity in Research, by Judith R.Brown - Vanja Orlans