Dear colleague, “Connecting Minds" is the theme for this year's Nordic Congress of Psychiatry. The theme, which was decided several years ago, has taken on a new meaning for us since the congress was planned. The prevailing pandemic has affected our lives to varying degrees and opportunities for interpersonal communication has been curtailed and radically changed in the past year for most of us. Some have suffered significantly because of the lifestyle restrictions. For others, the change in pace of life, with fewer trips and participation in events, has contributed to an increased well-being due to being able to stop and take a pause.
Interpersonal communication, “the connecting of the minds” is a necessity for our survival. In a short time, we have had to look for alternative ways for communication, both privately and at work. Fortunately, we live in a time when communication has been made possible by creating new paths in cyberspace. Meeting forms such as Zoom and Teams, which a few years ago were unknown to most of us, are now a part of the daily routine. With new experiences comes new expectations for the future: Will we prefer virtual work meetings and avoid travel? Is there a future for scientific meetings and congresses? And from an environmental perspective, will it even be perceived ethically correct to travel for work as we once did?
The clinical practice of psychiatry has also changed. Doctors now meet their patients via communication services. Therapists have described a different quality of communication in virtual meetings and some have experienced a better connection with their patients online than in real life. How does this type of patient contact affect the “meeting of the minds” in a therapeutic context?
Like with the congress, in this issue of The Nordic Psychiatrist we have chosen to focus on interpersonal communication, from the professional perspective. As always, it has been easy to find colleagues who are happy and willing to write and share their experiences. It is indeed incredibly gratifying!
The sole purpose of a magazine is to be read. The Nordic Psychiatrist was originally published in paper format but since a few years now, it has been published as a PDF file online. Unfortunately, this is not a user-friendly way to read a magazine. I am therefore delighted to inaugurate our new website with this issue. In this way, the articles are more organized and accessible. They can also be more easily shared individually.
The Nordic Psychiatrist is jointly published by the psychiatric associations of Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. This Nordic co-operation has existed for more than a century and manifests mainly through our joint congress and our scientific journal. In this issue you will find programs for this year's congress in Helsinki. As always, there is a summary of articles from the Nordic Journal of Psychiatry.
The Nordic Psychiatrist is our common mouthpiece for psychiatry in this part of the world and as such, I want us to write about topics of interest to colleagues in our countries, which is why I am thankful for your suggestions for future content. With that said, I would like to wish you a rewarding reading experience and not the least, a continued happy future of mind connection! □