“I believe that a different therapy
must be constructed for each patient
because each has a unique story.”
Irvin D. Yalom
In your (virtual) hands you are holding the first issue of “The Global Psychotherapist”, the international journal of Positive and Transcultural Psychotherapy. Like everything, it has a past, present and – hopefully – a bright future.
Five years after Nossrat Peseschkian (1933-2010) founded Positive Psychotherapy (PPT) and published the first of his 29 books in 1974, he decided to form the German Association of Positive Psychotherapy in 1977, and to publish a regular journal. The first issue of the German Journal of Positive Psychotherapy (Zeitschrift für Positive Psychotherapie) was published in November 1979 and mentioned four themes as the main purpose of the journal: education, self-help, psychotherapy, and transcultural problems. As Nossrat Peseschkian explained further in his editorial: “These four aspects of Positive Psychotherapy are important elements of a psychotherapy, which has a preventive function and understands human-beings in their social and economic environment” (1).
The first issue of the German Journal of PPT from November 1979
The inclusion of a transcultural viewpoint into the everyday work of psychotherapy was not only a central concern of Nossrat Peseschkian from the very beginning, rather transcultural questions had a political-social dimension for him: “The transcultural approach runs like a red thread through the whole of Positive Psychotherapy. We consider it especially because the transcultural point of view also offers material useful for the understanding of individual conflicts. Furthermore, this point of view possesses extraordinary social significance: Problems of guest workers [immigrants], of help with development, problems which arise in dealing with people from other cultural systems, problems of transcultural marriages, prejudices and overcoming them, alternative models which originate from another cultural framework. In this connection we can also address political problems which originate in a transcultural situation.” (1).
With the expansion of PPT, especially to Eastern Europe, journals in other languages and countries followed in the 1990s.
Today, Positive Psychotherapy has become an international movement: The World Association for Positive and Transcultural Psychotherapy (WAPP) has more than 1,600 members in 35 countries and five continents; Training Centers of Positive Psychotherapy are active in more than 20 countries; more than 150 trainers are teaching hundreds of PPT training courses every year; some leading books were published; dozens of theses on PPT have been written and defended; the first National Association and PPT-Center on the African continent was established; the 7th World Congress was held in 2019; and Positive Psychotherapy (PPT after Peseschkian, since 1977) was registered as a trademark.
Our world has changed a lot since 1979, but the message of Positive Psychotherapy is getting even more and more important every day. Not only, because PPT as a humanistic psychodynamic psychotherapy method integrates approaches of the four main psychotherapy modalities: a humanistic conception of human-beings, a psychodynamic understanding of disorders, a systemic approach towards culture, work and environment, and a practical, goal-oriented approach with some cognitive-behavioural techniques (2). But this conflict-centred and resource-oriented short-term psychotherapy can be applied in different areas of human endeavour, and thus bring psychotherapeutic insights into daily life.
With this expansion and firm foundation of PPT during the past decade, it was a logical step that the WAPP Board of Directors decided to re-launch its international journal. With Professor Olga Lytvynenko and Professor Erick Messias as the main editors, assisted by an experienced international editorial and advisory board, the Journal is in good and very capable hands.
Scientific papers and journals are often boring, but this must not be the case (3, 4). The publications of Positive Psychotherapy have shown over the past 50 years, that it is possible to publish exciting, refreshing and stimulating papers, which are at the same time very deep and thought provoking.
It is the hope of the WAPP Board that this Journal will offer an international platform, and – in the words of Nossrat Peseschkian – “Our aim is to offer both: high quality scientific articles and information and an opportunity for international dialogue and friendship” (5). As an integrative and transcultural method, this PPT-Journal offers unique opportunities to exchange professional experiences from all over the world. Young professionals will find here the possibility to combine scientific and practical work, and to become future experts in both. Positive Psychotherapists all over the world have developed an identity as global psychotherapists and want to share their experiences with like-minded colleagues.
Now, dear reader, the Journal is – in many ways – in your hands. Your papers and contributions will keep it alive and attractive. It is my hope that The Global Psychotherapist will contribute to a deeper understanding of a global society, and can find an answer to the question: “What do all people have in common?” (5).
Dr. Hamid Peseschkian, MD, DM, DMSc, IDFAPA
Medical and Academic Director,
Wiesbaden Academy for Psychotherapy
- Zeitschrift für Positive Psychotherapie. Heft 1, 1. Jahrgang, November 1979.
- PESESCHKIAN H., REMMERS A. (2020) Positive Psychotherapy: An Introduction. In: Messias E., Peseschkian H., Cagande C. (eds) Positive Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychology. Springer, Cham.
- SAND-JENSEN K. (2007) How to write consistently boring scientific literature. Oikos 116. pp.723-727
- CHAPMAN, P. (2014). Scientific papers should not be boring. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 87. 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2014.08.020.
- PESESCHKIAN, N. (2011). Former President´s Message. Posthum published editorial for the first issue of the International Journal of Positive Psychotherapy and Research, p. 3.