`This is a very important book.... This is a book that clearly challenges those of us who subscribe to a view of the self in relationship with society to examine ourselves and our practices and respond appropriately' - Self & Society
This pioneering book demonstrates that counselling and psychotherapy cannot be separated from the social conditions and context in which practitioners and their clients operate. Until now, no single text has brought together and considered the two areas of psychotherapy and social science in conjunction.
The book opens with a discussion of the points of convergence and divergence between psychotherapy and social science. David Pilgrim then concentrates on the relationship between mental health and gender, class, race, age and professionalism, asking and examining a number of questions about each and summarizing the relevant social research. Further chapters explore the role of therapy in relation to the personal, organizational and political context of its practice. The book concludes by providing a critical analysis of the professionalization of `talking treatments' and the experience of service users.
David Pilgrim is Honorary Professor of Health and Social Policy, University of Liverpool, UK and Visiting Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Southampton. After training and working as a clinical psychologist he completed a PhD examining psychotherapy in the organisational setting of the British NHS. He then went on to complete a Master's in sociology. He has worked at the boundary between clinical psychology and medical sociology for the past 20 years and has produced over 60 articles in peer-reviewed journals, based upon his research into mental health policy and practice. His years working in the British NHS provided him with extensive everyday experience of the theoretical and policy aspects of mental health expressed in practical settings. One of his books, A Sociology of Mental Health and Illness (3rd edition, Open University Press, 2005), co-authored with Anne Rogers, won the British Medical Association's medical book of the year award for 2006. Currently he is writing a book on child sexual abuse and public policy.