Issue 3, October 2013

Editorial: Hihikomori in Greece and the new dilemmas for psychotherapists

The third issue of our electronic magazine Systemic Thinking & Psychotherapy begins with the article by Lia Mastropaolo about hihikomori, a phenomenon which has overwhelmed one million teenagers in Japan. The author defines it as a "new social phenomenon”, a cultural syndrome that now ceases to be exclusively Japanese, as it is spreading in Italy and the rest of a crisis-ridden Europe.

Introductory comment: On hate and envy

To approach the social dynamics in our time, we need to refer to the concepts of greed, envy and hatred, which are inherent aggressive human tendencies. Greed comes from archaic fantasies of seizing and destroying what is good and desirable. Melanie Klein (1952) describes the baby’s vampire-like sucking of the breast, as if trying to dig outall the goodness out of it.

New pathologies of adolescence or new social emergence? The hihikomori is only Japanese?¹

More and more frequently, over the last years of her clinical activity, the author has met young adults showing the same symptomatology, that is to say staying locked at home, in a room/den, spending all day surfing the net, creating a virtual alter ego and living parallel lives. The question is whether we are encountering new pathologies or symptomatologies

We live a life we do not understand

In this paper the author presents certain indications of a breakdown. A breakdown of meaning. Humans are by nature cultural animals.  Their place of origin and their place of residence are their way of life, which is expressed within a culture. Humans are not the genes contained in a cell but rather the expression of their genes which depends on the life they live with others

Early addiction treatment: creating the capacity for attachment¹

It has long been a well-known axiom in the addiction treatment community that addicts or alcoholics will usually not give up their chemical use until the pain and dysphoria they experience from its continual use exceeds the pleasure or euphoria they derive from its present use. Conversely, the possibility of successful long-term recovery is greatly reduced unless the alcoholic’s newfound life of abstinence is more rewarding than the previous one centered around alcohol use.

Bonding and meaning as an antidote to trauma. The contribution of the attachment theory to the therapy of adults with traumatic experiences

Neglect, premature loss of close emotional bonds and abuse constitute serious traumas, which impact people's ability to achieve emotional attachment and give cohesive meaning to their life's experiences. Psychotherapy offers a context of emotional healing and reparation. The dialogical creation of psychic space where adults with traumatic experiences can tell their stories and establish a trusting relationship with the therapist is of great importance.

Promoting children’s resilience to parental mental illness: engaging the child’s thinking

The negative effects of parental mental illness on children are not dependent on the parent’s diagnosis, but are related to that parent’s behaviour, the responses of other key adults (both familial and professional), and the degree to which development of the child’s resilience has been encouraged.

Tibetan Polyandry

Man and social groups that are composed by humans, are open systems that are governed among other things, by psychosocial, sociocultural and socioeconomical processes. Under this frame, the observation of the relationship between personal/psychological and social/cultural remains one of the core issues of social sciences that the debate between systemic theory and the science of anthropology tries to spread light on.