'Prejudice is, for good or ill, a part of our nature. It is instilled in us from birth onwards. All we can hope to do is to combat it, and the first tool in our armoury must be that of awareness. Without this, it is very difficult, perhaps impossible, for the psychotherapist or counsellor to explore how it might be influencing the psychotherapy relationship. Sue Marshall has, in this book, performed a valuable task in that direction, and has done in it very cogently in a most difficult area. I applaud her' - Joe Sinclair, Nurturing Potential Difference, prejudice and discrimination are issues which all counsellors and psychotherapists need to address as part of their personal and professional development. Designed to support training on these complex issues, Difference & Discrimination in Counselling & Psychotherapy helps therapists understand the experience of discrimination, as well as explore their own - often unconscious - attitudes to others, based on gender, sexuality, race, culture or mental health. For most therapists an attitude of acceptance and non-judgmentalism is fundamental to their view of practice. However, in seeking to be non-judgmental, therapists may run the risk of concealing their own prejudices. It is only by facing up to these attitudes and exploring them that therapists are able to fully relate to their clients and help them effectively. Synthesising sociological knowledge with her experience of a practitioner, Sue Marshall powerfully demonstrates both the importance and the practicalities of developing awareness about difference. Difference & Discrimination in Counselling & Psychotherapy offers a straightforward approach to some of the most difficult issues relating to practice, making it an ideal text for use in training and for qualified therapists continuing their professional development.
The title of this chapter is, in itself, controversial enough to have been the subject of academic discussions that have filled whole books. What is mental illness (or ‘mental illness’)? Does it really exist? Are we referring to something that is of the mind, of the brain, or of the whole person? Is it an illness? (What is an illness anyway?) Or is it a cluster of random symptoms and behaviours? Or one point on a wide continuum of possible human experiences? It is outside the scope of this book to discuss in depth the attempts that have been made to answer these and other related questions, though I will be touching on many of the relevant theories and hope that the ...