In life situations when individuals or groups feel threatened, vulnerable or fragile, high anxiety causes a feeling of alienation. The ability for symbolization and reflection wanes. Individuals and groups turn to instinctual reactions. The present issue of “Systemic Thinking & Psychotherapy” focuses on understanding the phenomena and crises we experience today in the social, family, and individual spheres. A crisis can open the door to collective wisdom and allows us to have access to a profound truth that will save us from mental inertia. Could it be that the encounter with the stranger starts partly from an encounter with the negated familiar?

The first article, “Suicide in Greece of Crisis: A Theoretical Discussion” by Konstantinos Dimoulis and Paraskevi Bassioti, approaches the problem of suicide from a sociological, anthropological and existential point of view. It attempts an in-depth understanding through the lens of the most intense social phenomena observed in Greece. It makes an interesting correlation between resiliency and suicide. It categorizes suicides a) as a protest b) as shame and c) as a result of social suffering, uncertainty, existential fear and insecurity: People who face difficulties in silence, because they can no longer survive, be integrated into a society that is now a stranger towards them, rejects them, marginalizes them and deprives them of the means to survive with dignity. Finally, ways of preventing suicide at a social level are discussed.

The article In a “whirlpool”: Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of a client’s experience with panic attacks” by Moschakis and Viou addresses the understanding of the experience of a female client and cites an interesting tool of qualitative research: the method of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Emotional security or insecurity can be traced back to the family narratives and to the levels of cohesion they present… In the therapeutic process, the therapist’s question “Who are you?” reveals the person through her experience.

The article “From couples to the family of origin: Mobile Genogram for Couples. An exploratory and therapeutic method” by M. Coletti and A. Viscosi presents a graphic and flexible tool for exploring the genogram and the narration of relationships in the family, while emphasizing the value of the genogram in couple treatment. An important feature of this tool is the ability of the narrator to intervene during the narrative by changing the position of the characters on a dashboard as the family story goes on. These movements serve to indicate any changes within the dynamics of relationships in the family. The experience of using the mobile genogram shows that the emotional involvement of the clients is intense and the directions indicated by the genogram are used in the ongoing therapeutic process.

If the article on panic attacks talks about the problems that have arisen in the initial exploration of the environment, the article: A child’s welcome to society “our big home”by Efi Konida, Sylvia Konstantinidou and Christine Maerkl, gives an answer on how this initial exploration of the environment will become safer. “Our Big Home” is a children’s place for 0-4-year-olds along with an adult companion, inspired by Francoise Dolto’s ideas. It has been operating in Athens since 2013. The aim of this facility is to prepare the child and the parent for separation, providing a safe starting point for exploring the environment. The article makes special reference to the child’s name. It is very important to listen to a child’s name. It is also important to listen to the conscious and unconscious pathways that have determined the choice of the name. Each name contains more or less a value that “makes a prediction” for the child. When parents can talk about their expectations and fears, then they can alleviate the burden of genealogical continuity.

Where the article “our big home” speaks of the best conditions for a separation, the book “The Faces of the Foreigner” by Sotiris Manolopoulos (presented by Katerina Daskalaki) speaks of uprooting. The thoughts that are raised, the questions that arise lead to other openings that span many fields, as is always the case with Sotiris Manolopoulos’ essays. The author says: “We keep moving between the individual and the whole, between “I am everything” and “I have something”. The “stranger” within us and the “stranger” to and around us is our permanent encounter”. In the search for answers, the author leads the reader to reflect on meaning.

Elizabeth Barbaliou’s book “The Return of the Man” (presented by Dionysis Sakkas and Vassilis Vassilikos) reveals the importance of the essential presence of the husband-father next to the wife-mother, who facilitates the development of father-child relationship as the most important factor for a boy’s maturation, but also generally for the maturation of children. The father has the difficult task of discovering archetypal, ancient truths within him and devising new ways of approaching his relationships with his children, the mother and the networks of relationships around him. The central theme of the book is how the man’s historical absence becomes presence and how the arrival-presence is not an emotional absence. Historical retrospectives prove to be very useful in understanding the present.

We wish to thank the Faber & Faber Leipzig publishing house for their permission to use Klaus Waschk drawings from the book Das Kapital for illustrating this issue.


Have a good reading!

For the Editing Committee

Nikos Marketos