Smail's book is a radical critique of conventional psychotherapy, allowing readers to see their distress in terms of a natural response to events beyond their control. What is needed is not the will to become different, but the clarity to see through the confusion caused by the notions of morality, responsibility and change.
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David Smail was a consultant clinical psychologist in the NHS and Special Professor in Clinical Psychology at the University of Nottingham.Review:
"David Smail’s analyses, commitments and elegant prose comprise classic works in the tradition of independent scholarship. He translated the traditional assumptions of psychotherapy into the structural and situational determinants of human problems. He was a psychologist who argued against psychology and came to see the barriers to social progress institutionalized within society itself. A man of the left, he made the left less doctrinaire and more relevant. He is greatly missed." (William M. Epstein, author of Empowerment as Ceremony and Psychotherapy as Religion)
"David Smail showed that if we want to ease our unhappiness then there is no other way but to change the world in which we live, beginning with the illusions perpetrated by the psychology industry. David’s work forms a rich intellectual legacy and a testament to a man who spoke up for the most oppressed and marginalised. It will also provide a beacon for anyone who wishes to understand what is wrong with our society and to struggle towards making it a better one."
"David Smail was a constructive critic. With finely tuned precision, he cut deeply into what is wrong with psychotherapy and, with wisdom, he pointed to another way to deal with the feelings of despair, anxiety, and depression we experience in contemporary life. He was a genuine psychologist who applied the craft skillfully. Reading what he has written is, for want of a better term, "therapeutic." His books always leave me thoughtful and hopeful, comforted by the sense that here was a man who actually understood something of life and had a grasp of what happiness really means." (Dr Tana Dineen, author of Manufacturing Victims: What the Psychology Industry is Doing to People)
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Book Description Constable, 1996. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 94754004