David Smail's titles work to a central theme - that psychological distress arises not from "illness" or personal failure, but as a response to damaging influences from the outside world. He believes that such distress can be tackled far more effectively by social than by therapeutic procedures. He examines how the dominant values of society and politics can have devastating effects on the individual, and consequently that counsellors and therapists can have limited success in treating such problems - that in fact it is the circumstances and not the individual, that need to be altered. This volume contains two works by David Smail - "Illusion and Reality" and "Taking Care". Together with the companion volume, "The Nature of Unhappiness", this text forms a synthesis of his theory and practice, offering an understanding of the origins of psychological disorder and the therapy that will help or hinder it.
Sandra Hill lived and studied in the Far East for seven years before training in Chinese medicine in the UK. She is a practicing acupuncturist and the co-author of A Guide to Acupuncture.