The 9th edition of the journal "Systemic Thinking and Psychotherapy" is dedicated to the 9th European Congress of the European Family Therapy Association (EFTA), entitled “Origins and Originality in Family Therapy and Systemic Practice"and held in Athens, from 28 September to 1 October, 2016. The program was built upon Aristotle’s philosophy of Polis, Logos, Ethos and Techne. All articles in this issue are based on the authors’ presentations at the conference.
The first article of the journal is written by Maria Borcsa and Katia Charalabaki. Its title is "Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis: An opening speech to create dialogue" and its structure is based on the corresponding philosophical principle. The “thesis” of the first author, i.e. the need to build in therapy, in institutions, in the wider European context a city, POLIS distinguished by LOGOS, ETHOS and TECHNE, is countered by the “antithesis” of the second author, namely the lack of Aristotelian concepts, starting from the lack of reason (LOGOS) in all aspects of personal, family and social life in Greece and Europe today. This results in deep hurting for the concepts of ETHOS and TECHNE, while a new concept, the NOSTALGIA, emerges. In the last part of the article the two authors jointly conclude that the synthesis may be "to go back and forth in time, to reflect upon and give meaning to the past, present and future, to personal and social experiences."
The second article, by Elisavet Barbaliou, refers to the painful experience of trauma which is linked to individual and collective experience. The article is entitled “The journey from the ‘lost homeland’ to the discovery of a new self; Family therapy as a safe place of processing, treating and healing the intergenerational transmission of trauma of being a refugee, from the perspective of men". Through the presentation of a clinical case of a descendant of a family of refugees from Asia Minor, the author presents the trauma of refugeeism, the biopsychosocial disruption of the individual, and the corrosive action not only within the person but also in his interactions with the systems he belongs in. The author also describes the way that trauma penetrates into the future generations if it remains untreated, while through the psychotherapeutic process she presents aspects of understanding, interpretation and processing of refugee trauma, particularly usable herein.
The third article, by Laura Rocchietta Tofani, is entitled "Socio-economic marginalization and its relation to psychological functioning: how family therapy can help?". The title and the issues of the article could be seen to touch upon the topics of both POLIS and ETHOS (or the lack of it), since poverty is characterized as violence against those who experience it. The author states that poverty is associated with poor psychosocial adjustment, intense mental distress and post-traumatic stress. Typical aspects observed in these families is the intergenerational transfer of a way of life characterized by a permanent state of emergency, shame, anger, dependency and action avoidance. The author argues that the role of family therapists is to enhance the protective factors in families who suffer poverty is important, mainly through the resilience.
The next three articles comprise a thematic unity entitled "Systemic reading of Oresteia." The authors, Kostas Batsalias (“Aeschylus’ Oresteia and its psycho-social context”), Katerina Theodoraki (“Oresteia as a therapeutic process”) and Katia Charalabaki (“Interactional envy in a couple’s life: From Oresteia to the present”) are inspired by a monumental work from the field of TECHNE, the trilogy of Aeschylus. They connect the content and the symbolisms of the three tragedies to contemporary issues in the treatment process and basic concepts of modern thinkers, such as the concept of envy in the couple. Finally, guidelines for the psychotherapeutic treatment of corresponding issues are proposed.
The last feature in this issue is a collective article by Vicky Gotsi, Androulla Ilia, Kia Thanopoulou, Eleana Koubi, Julia Balaska, Athena Pistikou and Athena Psyllia entitled "Therapist: the art of remaining human - Reflection on the experience of a dialogue group in psychotherapy." This is about a description of the creation and evolution of a therapist team from different professional frameworks. This team is based on the principles of Open Dialogue with the aim to find the ways to integrate dialogue into therapeutic practice and into professionals’ relationship among them and into the systems they belong. Through their meeting as individuals within the group, as special and separate subjects, they experienced the team "as a safe place where openness and diversity, being in constant negotiation, allow inspiration, hope and humanity to emerge”.
Ultimately, Diogenes’ _Ἄνθρωπον ζητώ !” _ (I am looking for a Human!)" may be the meeting place that we desperately seek through our different roles, attributes, contexts and institutions...
For the editing committee