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Straight-Talking Introduction to The Causes of Mental Health Problems

by John Read and Pete Sanders PCCS Books
Pub Date:
Pbk 165 pages
AU$28.99 NZ$29.56
Product Status: Available in Approx 14 days
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& Academics:
A pocket sized, good value series of succinct, thought provoking introductions ideal for students in all mental health disciplines, psychiatric service users, carers and indeed everyone with an interest in mental health.

Rather than accept that solutions to mental health problems are owned by the medical professions, these books look at alternatives and provide information so that the users of psychiatric services, their families and carers can make more decisions about their own lives. Becoming more active in mental health issues requires knowledge — this series of books is a starting point for anyone who wants to know more about mental health problems. These books also introduce ways of working collaboratively with doctors, psychiatrists and counsellors.

The authors are acknowledged leaders in their respective specialist fields with reputations for clear thinking, realistic, compassionate approaches and straight talking.

The Causes of Mental Health Problems
The causes of mental health problems are often more complicated than we would like. This book presents straightforward summaries of the history, theories and research about the various possible causes. Because there is no single convenient answer to the questions explored in this book, competing viewpoints are presented. Readers are encouraged to focus on what fits best with their own experience and decide what might be most helpful.



1. Our beliefs and motives

2. A brief history of causal beliefs

3. The twentieth century and beyond: The illness approach

4. Can we understand causes through diagnosis and labels?

5. Public opinion: Depression is caused by depressing things happening

6. Is the public right? What the research says about the causes of mental health problems

7. Psychological theories: How events operate on us to create problems

(A) Psychodynamic

(B) Attachment Theory

(C) Learning Theory

(D) Social Learning Theory

(E) Humanistic

(F) Cognitive

8. An example: Formulating depression

9. Keep thinking (and feeling) about the causes of mental health problems

‘An accessible look at complex issues which empowers the reader to start thinking for themselves. A refreshing antidote to the simplistic and pessimistic biomedical model.’
Jacqui Dillon, Chair, Hearing Voices Network

‘This brilliantly engaging, understandable and thoughtful book describes current opinion about the causes of mental health problems and will equip service users, carers and professionals alike with empowering knowledge.’
Tony Morrison, Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Manchester

‘What causes mental health problems? Lots of things combining together. This book describes these clearly and systematically and how they interact.’
David Kingdon, Professor of Mental Health Care Delivery, University of Southampton
Dr John Read worked in the UK and USA for 20 years as a Clinical Psychologist and manager of mental health services. He then joined the Psychology Department of the University of Auckland, New Zealand in 1994. He is co-editor (with Loren Mosher and Richard Bentall) of 'Models of Madness': Psychological, social and biological approaches to schizophrenia (Routledge, 2004) and founding editorof the research journal 'Psychosis: Psychological, Social and Integrative Approaches'.

Pete Sanders worked as a nursing assistant in mental hospitals in the 1906s and 70s before and during completing his psychology degree. His life and career as a counsellor, psychotherapist and clinical supervisor have been influenced more by those early work experiences than any subsequent qualification. He is a trustee of Soteria Network UK.