Deconstructing Psychopathology

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SAGE, Nov 21, 1995 - Psychology - 176 pages
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`Fast becoming a contemporary classic... this book tries both to be critical and engender critical thinking in a number of ways. It offers an overview of a number of theories that address human distress as well as particular forms of "pathology". This book effectively highlights the way that western society has taken "normal"; and "abnormal" emotional states to be factual entities rather than the constructed understandings of human phenomena that they are.... should be on the reading list of every course/module that attends to human distress' - Journal of the Society for Existential Analysis

This practical and accessible critique of the institutions, practices and presuppositions that underlie the study of `psychopathology' will be invaluable for students and practitioners who are working to understand mental health and distress.

The authors - who come from backgrounds in clinical psychology, psychiatric social work, psychoanalysis, psychology teaching and action research - challenge the traditions of the field. They analyze the notion of `psychopathology' as a conventional term in psychology and psychiatry through the language and institutions that hold it in place; and explore the implications of deconstructive ideas for the theories and practices that sustain clinical treatments; and offer an alternative way of seeing `psychopathology', with accounts of critical professional work and good practice.

Deconstructing Psychopathology is invaluable reading for students, academics and practitioners across a range of disciplines who are working to understand mental health and distress, including

clinical and counselling psychology, psychiatry, psychiatric social work, counselling and psychotherapy.


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1 Madness and Modernity
2 Alternatives to Abnormality
3 Whose Symptoms of What?
4 Representations of Madness
5 Pathological Identities
6 Psychotic Discourse
7 Radical Mental Health
8 Deconstructive Responses and Resources

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About the author (1995)

Ian Parker is Professor of Psychology in the Discourse Unit at Bolton Institute. He is author of Psychoanalytic Culture (SAGE, 1997) and co-author of Deconstructing Psychopathology (SAGE, 1995).


Steven D Brown Keele University

Vivien Burr University of Huddersfield

Andrew Collier University of Southampton

Bronwyn Davies James Cook University

Don Foster University of Cape Town

Kenneth J Gergen Swarthmore College

Rom Harre Oxford University

Maritza Montero Universidad Central de Venezuela

Jonathan Potter Loughborough University

Joan Pujol University of Huddersfield

Carla Willig Middlesex University

I am a CAT psychotherapist and have been involved with CAT since the late 1980s. I am interested in, and have experience of, a broad range of psychological problems.

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