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Implications of a psychological model

In this Peter Kinderman explains how we understand mental health problems and why it might lead to a different way of delivering services.
I think that this way of thinking about mental health has some quite profound consequences. If you realise the way in which a person thinks about the world, the way in which a person responds to events in their lives, makes a difference to their mental health, to their well being, to anxiety and depression, it does change the way in which we should approach mental health problems. Of course, it’s important to remember that most psychologists believe that the ways in which people respond to the world are themselves learned through experience. So if I respond to negative events in my life by ruminating and by blaming myself, there will be a reason why I’m doing that.
But this way of thinking has some significant consequences for how we care for people and understand people who have profound mental health problems. It brings it back to the idea that how we think about the world matters. Because it changes the way in which we feel and behave. In my opinion, this gives us some very exciting opportunities for how to help people who’ve got emotional difficulties. But I think it’s also important for people who themselves are suffering, because rather than blaming them for their difficulties, it means that there are things that they can do themselves to get out of the problems that they find themselves in. It gives people a sense of agency and control over their own mental health.

As a practicing clinical psychologist, the point of doing research is to make a difference in practice. In this brief video, I explain some of the implications of the findings of our study – what it might imply for how we understand mental health problems, and why it might lead to a different way of delivering services.

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Psychology and Mental Health: Beyond Nature and Nurture

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