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Doing things differently (perhaps...)

This video introduces why Peter Kinderman suggests psychological science offers robust scientific models of mental health problems and wellbeing.

As a Professor of Clinical Psychology, the ideas that I research and write about have real significance. I work (part time, unpaid) in the UK’s NHS as a clinical psychologist. That means that I am passionately interested in how we can translate research ideas into help for individuals (which was really the basis of last week’s material) and how we might design mental health services differently… and better.

This week, I suggest that you read some of the things I have been writing about in a ‘manifesto’ for mental health. This is very similar (in some senses) to the ideas put forward in Week 2 by Nick Craddock and colleagues and in Week 3 by Pat Bracken and colleagues… but I come to rather different conclusions.

In brief, I criticise the poor reliability, validity, utility and humanity of conventional psychiatric diagnosis, and suggest that reviews of the ineffectiveness and adverse effects of many psychiatric drugs as well as of the effectiveness of evidence-based psychological therapies have led many to call for alternatives to traditional models of care. I conclude that psychological science also offers robust scientific models of mental health problems and wellbeing. These integrate biological findings with the substantial evidence of the social determinants of health and wellbeing, mediated by psychological processes.

These significant scientific and professional developments allow us to foresee a future beyond the ‘disease model’ of mental health and wellbeing. I recommend that we move away from the ‘disease model’, which assumes that emotional distress is merely a symptom of biological illness, and instead embrace a psychological and social approach to mental health and wellbeing that recognises our essential and shared humanity.

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Psychology and Mental Health: Beyond Nature and Nurture

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