For Labour party members, calling each other "comrade" at meetings had pretty much disappeared by the millenium. In 2000, the Journal of Critical Psychology, Counselling and Psychotherapy evolved overnight from Changes: An International Journal of Psychology and Psychotherapy. After stints with Wiley and Laurence Erlbaum, PCCS Books were the new publisher, by which time I had been editing Changes for twelve years. It was an honour.
The journal had started out in the 1960s with a bunch of maverick psy professionals and, as the Psychology and Psychotherapy Association Newsletter (first edited by David Smail), had been distributed by hand amongst a select few – all committed to humanising Psy, amongst them Bob Hobson, Miller Mair, Dorothy Rowe and Faye Fransella. All gone now – along with much of the humility and humanity previously found in the psy professions ('nostalgia is a memory of something that never happened'). Glenys Parry and Jenny Firth Cozens took over as editors and then the task fell to me half way up a hill-side in the Peak District.
By 2000, the journal was struggling to survive and PCCS Books took over. From the board, critical psy colleagues and other contributors to the journal, the publisher did what publishers do – asked people to write books, contribute to the enterprise and generally try to make a difference. Two series of critical psy volumes were commissioned and amongst others, David Smail (Power, Interest and Psychology), Ron Roberts (Just War: Psychology and terrorism), Susan Hansen, Alec McHoul and Mark Rapley (Beyond Help: A consumer’ guide to psychology) and Terry Lynch (Beyond Prozac) all wrote for PCCS. The contributors to many other PCCS books have been JCPCP board members and supporters. Drop the Disorder could be seen as a re-run of the first PCCS critical psy effort, This is Madness – edited by myself, Guy Holmes and Cailzie Dunn. It’s still a best seller and way ahead of its time, even if pre-dated by the likes of Thomas Szasz by over thirty years.
Struggling on, the journal hit something of a low a couple of years back – despite continuing to publish papers by people like Grace Jackson, Peter Lehmann, Mary Boyle and Lucy Johnstone; all actively resistant to the claims of psy like. Service survivors were – and remain – present in print and on the board. Then, inevitably, a turning point. PCCS couldn’t really continue with a journal making nothing and after a couple of discussions it ended in December, 2019. Except it didn’t. In a burst of lunacy Egalitarian Publishing took over with no subscriptions and JCPCP was re-born. Once Ben Donner joined as production editor the phoenix fluttered – with a few scorched feathers – from the ashes. As with many other companies, COVID-19 has made this a hesitant and difficult resurrection. But, hey, sometimes anger at injustice and the state of psy gives some energy.
Craig Newnes - 'Still crazy after all these years'