• People Not Pathology: Freeing therapy from the medical model

People Not Pathology: Freeing therapy from the medical model

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It is only in the last two or three decades that the medical model has come to dominate psychological theory and practice. This book considers the evidence that points us towards freeing ourselves from this creeping medicalisation and recognising the influence of our environments and circumstances on our psychological wellbeing. Contributors from a range of modalities illustrate how to practise in a demedicalised way. Drawing on these examples from the field and perspectives from different theoretical models, the book demonstrates that an approach freed from the medical model provides the ethically axiomatic framework for psychological practice today.

Introduction – Pete Sanders and Janet Tolan

Section 1: Why demedicalised counselling and psychotherapy?
1. The history of medicalisation of counselling and psychotherapy – Janet Tolan and Pete Sanders
2. Challenging the medicalisation of psychological disorders – Richard Bentall

Section 2: Demedicalised counselling and psychotherapy
3. A demedicalised approach to psychodynamic therapy – Suzanne Martin
4. A demedicalised approach to person-centred therapy – Pete Sanders
5. A demedicalised approach to cognitive behavioural psychotherapy – James Binnie
6. Demedicalised integrative therapy – Garthine Walker
7. The power threat meaning framework and de-medicalising counselling and psychotherapy – Jo Watson
8. A non-medical approach to therapy with people who hear voices – Kirshen Rundle
9. Incorporating demedicalised therapy into training and continuing professional development – Rachel Freeth

Section 3: Inappropriately medicalised and over-medicalised groups
10. Demedicalised counselling and psychotherapy with children and young people – Ani de la Prida
11. Demedicalising disability in counselling and psychotherapy practice – Chris Coombs
12. Demedicalised counselling and psychotherapy with gender, sexual and relationship diversity – Paula J. Williams
13. Demedicalised counselling and psychotherapy and the racist overmedicalisation of people in Black diaspora – Sarah Henry
14. Demedicalised counselling and psychotherapy with women diagnosed with 'borderline personality disorder' – Gillian Proctor

Section 4: Demedicalised counselling and psychotherapy services
15. The Mavam Group – Matthew Morris
16. The Market Place – Lisa Norfolk
17. Women and Girls Network – Akima Thomas

Contributors' biographies
Name index
Subject index

'This brilliant book is a vital resource for the increasing number of therapists concerned by the growing medicalisation of counselling and psychotherapy. It should be compulsory reading for all therapy trainees and practitioners. What a timely and vital intervention.'
James Davies, Associate Professor of Psychology and Medical Anthropology, University of Roehampton

'... a coherent and powerful narrative for the philosophy of therapy as a social, psychological and community activity. It will help to inform thinking and debate for years to come.'
Professor Andrew Reeves, Professor in Counselling Professions and Mental Health, University of Chester

'... a testament to its editors' tireless work to challenge injustice in this world; a breath of fresh air'.
Professor Emmy van Deurzen, Principal, New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling

'... a must-read not only for students, professionals and service providers but also anyone contemplating entering the mental health profession.'
Mamood Ahmad, psychotherapist and founder of The Anti-Discrimination Focus

Pete Sanders

Pete Sanders worked as a volunteer at ‘Off The Record’, Newcastle-upon Tyne, in 1972 before completing a degree in psychology at the university there, and then the postgraduate diploma in counselling at Aston University. He practised as a counsellor, educator and clinical supervisor for more than 30 years, and published widely on many aspects of counselling, psychotherapy and mental health, as well as co-founding PCCS Books in 1993. After practising and teaching counselling, he continued to have an active interest in developing person-centred theory, the politics of counselling and psychotherapy, and the demedicalisation of distress.  He died in February 2022.

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Pete Sanders

Janet Tolan

Janet Tolan has worked in counselling since 1979, first as a volunteer, then as a full-time counsellor. She is a senior accredited counsellor/psychotherapist and a Fellow of BACP. She qualified in 1984 and completed her supervisor training with Brigid Proctor and Francesca Inskipp in 1988. Her last employed role was as head of the master's programme in counselling and psychotherapy at Liverpool John Moores University. She is now in private practice, working with individuals, couples, groups and teams. Along the way, she has worked in teacher training and in team and management development.

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