• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

I was most impressed by the author's thoroughness in writing this book. She seems to leave no stone uncovered... [this is] a work which should become a necessity for all counsellors, counselling psychologists, psychiatric nurses and psychotherapists... This is a book to which I will make reference time and time again, and one which will occupy a prominent place in my library' - Counselling, The Journal of the British Association for Counselling `An invaluable handbook for students of psychotherapy and a good reference for established therapists... I recommend that all therapists have a copy of this book on their shelf' - Psychology, Health & Medicine Assessmenp and refer

What is Psychopathology?
What is psychopathology?

Any attempt to define what psychopathology is presupposes that we really know what normality is. In view of this, any consideration of psychopathology requires an examination of the notions of mental health and illness and their inherent assumptions and biases. This will be the aim of the first part of this chapter. It will be followed by an exploration of some of the functions served by the notion of mental illness.

Throughout history, people's understanding of psychopathology has constantly shifted; different cultures and historical periods have labelled ‘mad’ those whom other times and societies have regarded as ‘sane’. Indeed, it has been argued that madness is nothing but a label pinned by the respectable on those they cannot tolerate or that ...

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