Origins Of Unhappiness: A New Understanding of Personal Distress (Psychology/self-help)

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9780094793408: Origins Of Unhappiness: A New Understanding of Personal Distress (Psychology/self-help)

Through his examination of how visible and invisible social power - institutions, politics, the Establishment - wields an influence over our lives often beyond our immediate control, Smail leads us to a clear understanding of distress.'

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From the Back Cover:

The normal interpretation of emotional distress – more usually labelled as 'neurosis' or 'mental illness' – is that it originates from within the individual.

Unlike others who have looked at the outside world as a cause of fear, pain and unhappiness, David Smail offers a radical account of what this view means for a therapeutic practice that still, for the most part, 'treats' people. Through his examination of how visible and invisible social power – institutions, politics, the Establishment – wields an influence over our lives often beyond our immediate control, he leads us to an understanding of distress which has never been clearer.

Taking as case studies the experience of people who suffered from the 1980s 'business culture', when failure to meet impossible demands was considered the fault of the individual, Smail illustrates the sometimes devastating effects of the interplay between personal and political power. Finally, he analyses the failings of psychiatry and psychotherapy in Britain, and offers a vision of psychology which recognizes that it is the society we live in rather that the individual that needs to be treated.

About the Author:

David Smail was awarded a PhD in psychology by University College London in 1965. While working for the NHS as a clinical psychologist, he helped pioneer the 'therapeutic community' approach to mental disorder. He moved to Nottingham in 1968 he held the honorary post of Special Professor in Clinical Psychology at the University of Nottingham from 1979 until 2000. Other books by David Smail include The Origins of Unhappiness, How to Survive Without Psychotherapy, The Nature of Unhappiness, and Why Therapy Doesn't Work.

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