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Diagnosis and Beyond: Counselling Psychology contributions to understanding human distress

Diagnosis and Beyond: Counselling Psychology contributions to understanding human distress

Martin Milton

ISBN 978 1 906254 37 7 (2012)

Cover Price £18.00

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Human distress is sometimes thought of as ‘psychopathology’, a thing separate to the person, that affects people; a thing that can be diagnosed, treated and hopefully cured. This mindset leads psychiatrists, psychologists and other therapists to develop ‘evidence bases’ for specific ‘disorders’ and manualised forms of ‘treatment’. While there are advantages to this way of seeing distress, it is clearly only one framework and sometimes leaves the client feeling depersonalised and unheard. It is also a view that has been critiqued and criticised by service users and professionals alike.

Diagnosis and Beyond: Counselling psychology contributions to understanding human distress explores forms of distress such as depression, anxiety, phobias and personality disorder going beyond what can sometimes appear as meaningless and horribly painful experiences to describe the meanings that can be embedded within these difficulties. The book also considers ways in which therapists and clients can create meaning, hope and possibility through robust, relational therapeutic processes. By recognising the universality of human distress, the contributors also discuss the ways in which their own experiences and feelings are a legitimate, and central, part of the therapeutic process.

Foreword  Professor Arlene Vetere

Preface. Diagnosis and Beyond: Counselling psychology contributions to understanding human distress  Martin Milton

Ch.1. Introduction. Dealing with diagnoses  Roly Fletcher
Ch. 2. Depression: Un-medicalising misery  Joanna Jackson
Ch. 3. Anxiety: Reaching through fear  Lucy Atcheson
Ch. 4. Phobias: Extreme fear in everyday situations  Lucy Atcheson & Martin Milton
Ch. 5. Pain: Working with meanings  Terry Boucher
Ch. 6. Relational Trauma:The boy who lost his shadow  Louise Brorstrom
Ch. 7. Borderline Personality Disorder: Ending with diagnosis  Timothy Knowlson
Ch. 8. Embodiment and somatoform disorders: From symptoms to domains  Ben Rumble

Epilogue. Going beyond diagnosis  Martin Milton

Working with the person beyond their diagnosis is an essential skill for all psychological therapists. This critical exploration of diagnosis and its alternatives makes a valuable and refreshing contribution to our field: helping us to deepen our capacity to relate to our clients as the diverse, meaning-orientated and intelligible human beings that they are. Professor Mick Cooper, University of Strathclyde

… thoughtful attempts by counselling psychologists in practice to go beyond diagnosis and instead to engage with clients in a manner which is respectful of the urgency and yet also of the complexity of their distress …  Martin Milton and his contributors have taken a significant step forward for writing about counselling psychology. Dr Bill Farrell, Research Fellow, Auckland University of Technology

Martin Milton

Martin Milton

Prof. Martin Milton is Professor of Counselling Psychology at Regents University London and also runs an independent practice in counselling psychology and psychotherapy. He is editor of Diagnosis and Beyond (PCCS Books, 2012) and Therapy and Beyond (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010) and has published in a range of academic journals. Martin is on the editorial board of  Counselling Psychology Review and Psychology of Sexualities Review.

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