Well-being is an important topic for many different professions. From health professionals to politicians, a number of fields seek to research, understand and promote wellbeing. As a concept at the heart of psychotherapeutic practice, it is essential that trainee and practising therapists understand the distinctive contribution to our understanding of well-being that each of these professions have made. In this unique text, author Digby Tantam explores the philosophical, political, economical, psychological, medical and spiritual perspectives on well-being through a psychotherapeutic lens, explaining current research data and summarising findings. Theoretical approaches are balanced with an insight into their practical applications, showing therapists how each approach can inform their practice and make a real difference to the life satisfaction and health of their clients.

The Health Worker’s Viewpoint

The Health Worker’s Viewpoint

We can introspect our state of happiness, but the feelings that go with good health are more difficult to pin down. However, as I argued in Chapter 1, we do sometimes feel good about our bodies’ functioning and, if we are healthy, we can usually tell that we are once we think about it, even if we are not feeling actively fit. Self-reported health is inversely correlated with the uptake of medical care, although it also has cultural influences (O’Reilly & Rosato, 2010). If spontaneous feelings of healthiness are even more evanescent than self-consciously happy feelings, then feelings of unhealthiness are often overwhelming and harder to disregard than negative feelings.

‘Holistic health’ is holistic because it tackles happiness ...

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