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How to Survive Without Psychotherapy

How to Survive Without Psychotherapy by David Smail
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This book is directly aimed at sufferers of mental distress. The book's aim is to remove from sufferers the burden of 'fault' for their pain and to demystify some of the practices that surround the 'treatment' of mental illness.It is not exactly a self-help book because it is a false claim of any 'treatment' of mental illness that 'cure' can be brought about by exercise of will. Much of what causes mental distress is lack of power and resource, outside the control of the sufferer. Surviving without psychotherapy involves the appreciation of several things. First, the limited nature of therapeutic assistance - whilst clarification and support may help the sufferer understand his/her predicament and encourage the use of what resources the sufferer has, therapy cannot change the distal root causes of distress. Second, that only socio-political solutions can address some of the most powerful causes of distress, e.g., redundancy, housing and poverty. In sounding a cautionary note about psychoanalysis, Smail observes that mental distress is far more about money than sex.David Smail analyses the claims of 'treatments' of mental distress. He explains why willpower alone cannot remove symptoms. There is discussion about resources open to an individual in positioning themselves against stressors to minimise the effect of the same. That said, feelings of stress and anxiety are regularly an entirely rational response to the sufferer's predicament.
Karnac Books; August 2015
253 pages; ISBN 9781781815274
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Title: How to Survive Without Psychotherapy
Author: David Smail