• A Straight-Talking Introduction to Psychiatric Diagnosis

A Straight-Talking Introduction to Psychiatric Diagnosis

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ISBN 978 1 906254 66 7 (2014)
Cover Price: £9.99
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Read 11 oustanding 5-star customer reviews on Amazon here

Psychiatric diagnosis has become one of the most contested practices in mental health services today. Lucy Johnstone asks 'Do you still need your psychiatric diagnosis?' This book will help you to decide. A revolution is underway in mental health. If the authors of the diagnostic manuals are admitting that psychiatric diagnoses are not supported by evidence, then no one should be forced to accept them. If many mental health workers are openly questioning diagnosis and saying we need a different and better system, then service users and carers should be allowed to do so too. This book is about choice. It is about giving people the information to make up their own minds, and exploring alternatives for those who wish to do so.

Series introduction by Richard Bentall and Pete Sanders 

1. What this book aims to do 

2. Psychiatric diagnosis: The current context 

3. What are the problems with psychiatric diagnosis? 

4. For and against psychiatric diagnosis in more detail 

5. The wider impact of psychiatric diagnosis 

6. The personal impact of psychiatric diagnosis 

7. An alternative to psychiatric diagnosis – Finding your own story 

8. Personal stories 

9. Next steps in developing a personal story 

Read 10 outstanding 5-star customer reviews on Amazon here

This book is simply fantastic. An absolute must read for anyone and everyone working in or accessing support from mental health services. Buy it! Amazon reviewer, January 2015

An excellent overview of the key issues regarding psychiatric diagnosis, drawing on theory, evidence and personal testimony. Expertly written, engaging and a must have for all connected to mental health services. Amazon reviewer,  November 2014

Some of Lucy Johnstone's best writing to date. It is a triumph of plain English, and my 15 years of work as a mental health nurse make the truths here resonate all the more strongly with me. … It is a slim volume which contains a huge amount of thought-provoking and accessible material. Amazon reviewer, March 2015

Rigorously researched, powerfully argued, and engagingly written, this thoughtful and valuable book empowers readers with something too often missing in statutory services – the knowledge and resources to make an informed choice. Eleanor Longden, Psychosis Research Group, University of Liverpool, UK.

Making sense of personal experiences promotes hope, strength and recovery. This is the message from Lucy Johnstone as an alternative to the biomedical language that keeps mental health care in a stranglehold. She carefully deconstructs psychiatric diagnosis and adds personal stories as evidence. Dirk Corstens, Psychiatrist, Chair of Intervoice.

… the book is concise, well written and with full references. Johnstone states the arguments clearly and lays our short chapters giving a well-balanced mix of theory, research evidence and personal experience … The book should be useful in the training of all psychiatrists, for continuing professional development (CPD) and for team development. Brian Martindale, consultant psychiatrist and psychotherapist. RCP Bulletin, August 2015

It's magnificent book, which encapsulates and nails the paradigm shift [in mental health] in clear, informative, no nonsense and highly readable ways. It's great on established and emerging alternatives to diagnosis and responding to human misery, and as a rich and detailed resource. Following the BPS Division of Clinical Psychology’s position statement on the 13th May last year I've been looking forward to reading this text for months and I haven't been disappointed. I've already started to reference it in journal articles, and promoting it among my students, and user, survivor and academic colleagues. Dr. A. Grant, Reader in Narrative Mental Health, School of Health Sciences, University of Brighton.

Lucy Johnstone

Dr Lucy Johnstone is a consultant clinical psychologist, author of 'Users and abusers of psychiatry' (2nd edition Routledge 2000) and co-editor of 'Formulation in psychology and psychotherapy: making sense of people's problems' (Routledge, 2nd edition 2013) along with a number of other chapters and articles taking a critical perspective on mental health theory and practice. She is the former Programme Director of the Bristol Clinical Psychology Doctorate and was the lead author of the 'Good practice guidelines on the use of psychological formulation' (Division of Clinical Psychology 2011.) She has worked in Adult Mental Health settings for many years and is currently based in a service in Wales. She is an experienced conference speaker, lecturer and trainer.

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Lucy Johnstone