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Fine (Not Fine): Perspectives and Experiences of Postnatal Depression

What happens when a mother says she is ‘fine’ but really she is not?  Post-natal depression (PND), an illness which affects four in ten new mothers, is still stigmatised, and devastatingly misunderstood.   In Fine (not Fine), Bridget Hargreave charts her own experiences of depression following the birth of her sons and records the histories of a collection of mothers with a diverse range of perinatal mental health problems, such as anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, and ante-natal depression.  She includes the stories of the mother who was hospitalised with severe depression, the mother who was so anxious she was physically sick every day, the mother whose birth trauma means just hearing the word “midwife” leaves her in a cold sweat, and the mother who bravely and honestly outlines the plans she made to end her own life.   Brought together by a series of interviews with mental health professionals and charities campaigning for changes in perinatal care, Fine (not Fine) tells the story of a hidden epidemic, and the remarkable people fighting it. Read more…

Mind, Immunity and Health: The Science of Psychoneuroimmunology (Key texts in the psychology of health & illness)

: Evans, P; Hucklebridge, F; Clow, A.

There is a growing consensus that the mind can affect the immune system and over the past decade a new field – known as psychoneuroimmunology or PNI for short – has established itself to investigate the effects of the mind upon the immune system and vice versa. The authors of this exciting new area of research in the field of health psychology provide a comprehensive and detailed account informed by the latest research. Topics covered by Philip Evans, Frank Hucklebridge and Angela Clow are stress and immunity, depression and immunity and assessment of the evidence that PNI effects are directly related to health. Read more…

The Solution Lies Within: Towards a New Medicine for the Body and the Mind

: Janssen, Thierry

In “The Solution Lies Within”, surgeon and psychotherapist, Thierry Janssen examines the daunting task of reconnecting: reconnecting our mind to our body, in order to gain a true sense of well-being, and reconnecting our body to our inner resources, in order to prevent or to heal illness. Through simple often age-old solutions, the author sets out on a fascinating quest, exploring Western and Eastern techniques, favoring a global approach to the human being and advocating a form of holistic medicine based on the cooperation between conventional and complementary or alternative practitioners. Inviting the reader to discover the astounding capacities of human beings, “The Solution Lies Within” is a must-read for anyone interested in his or her health and well-being, in particular for those looking for an alternative to today’s trend of over-medication. Based on more than 500 recent scientific studies, the book is broken up into three parts: a mind-based medicine to treat the body, a body-based medicine to treat the mind and, lastly, and an energy-based medicine to treat the body and the mind. Such a work is unprecedented. Avoiding any bias, the author offers a new and original understanding of health and disease. And the clarity of his style deftly transforms a complex subject matter into an enjoyable and highly-readable work. Read more…

Psychoanalysis and Handicap

: De Groef, Johan; Heinemann, Evelyn.

It is with this quotation from Freud that Maud Mannoni began her book The Backward Child and His Mother (1972). Nearly forty years after her pioneering work was first published, these words still retain their full significance as psychoanalysts like Valerie Sinason have continued the work of extending psychoanalytic understanding to the needs of the mentally handicapped. In 1996 twenty-five psychoanalysts from seven different countries emerged from their quiet isolation to meet for a three day conference in Belgium to exchange ideas about psychoanalysis and handicap. In February 1997, a further two-day conference was held in Paris with the financial support of the EC Association for the Research and Training on Integration in Europe. The result of both conferences is this ground breaking book in which a renowned international group of writers including Johan De Groef and Evelyn Heinemann ontribute to a pluralistic review of the subject from the perspectives of Freud, Klein, Bion, Winnicott, Lacan and Mannoni This is the first theoretical and clinical reader on psychoanalysis and mental handicap. It is an excellent introduction and orientation for students and professionals and will be of interest to special education teachers, psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, mental health students and parents. Read more…

A Doctor’s Dilemma: Stress and the Role of the Carer

: Holland, John.

The work of a general practitioner can be highly stressful and the source of much of the stress is often the conflict that arises between the needs of the doctor and those of the patient. A doctor has to face many common but disturbing situations such as dealing with highly distressed people, seductive behaviour and anger in the consultation as well as the demands of relationships with fellow professionals. This book examines and probes the forces that impact on the carer in order to understand and defuse the stress they cause. The author, John Holland, is a counsellor trainer as well as doctor, uses psychotherapeutic understandings to gain insight through the many examples he gives. Read more…

We are All Living with HIV: How to Set Policies and Guidelines for the Workplace

: Pike, Earl; Greasley, Phil.

People living with HIV infection or a diagnosis of AIDS face discrimination in most areas of their lives, including the workplace. Organizations and businesses having to face HIV or AIDS in some form or other is increasingly common. This book by Earl C Pike and Phil Greasley is designed to help such bodies formulate policies and programmes for the workplace. The text should be useful both for organizations without policies and for those who want to review existing policy. Many employers, for example, will want to know what their responsibilities are to people with HIV under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). It explains workplace changes which may be required for people with or recovering from HIV related illnesses. Beginning with an exploration of the practical and ethical need for organizations to develop policies and guidelines, the text goes on, in a step-by-step fashion, to take the reader through the main issues involved. It considers the shaping and formation of policies – including sample policies and special policy considerations for particular populations – ending with a section on resources. Read more…

The Psychosomatic Paradox

: Smadja, Claude.

In this book the author explores a particular mode of mental functioning expressed through a series of clinical symptoms and highlighted by contemporary psychosomatic research. Claude Smadja’s concept, a true clinical and conceptual invention in the field of psychopathology, has evolved from work originally carried out by Pierre Marty, Michel de M’Uzan, Christian David and Michel Fain, pioneers of the psychoanalytic approach to subjects with somatic illnesses. These authors, internationally known as the ‘psychosomaticists of the Ecole de Paris’, have contributed extensively to our understanding of the relations between the life of the psyche and the working of somatic disease. Using his own clinical experiences as a psychoanalyst and psychosomaticist, the author significantly extends the study of ‘operational states’ and their metapsychological implications. His reasoning leads him to underscore the importance of the psychical terrain ‘beyond the pleasure principle’, governed by the sign of the death instinct, source of those mechanisms which lead to distortion of the individual’s development and instinctual life. Read more…

Distinguishing Psychological from Organic Disorders: Screening for Psychological Masquerade

: Taylor, Robert L.

This volume is designed to help clinicians assess medical conditions which are “masquerading” as psychological ones. The author, Robert L. Taylor,  provides essential clues to our understanding of organic disease and shows how to look for these clues during the clinical interview process. Common clinical pitfalls, simple assessment tests, and over 100 case studies are included. New to this edition: obsessive/compulsive disorders; the “love delusion”; postictal psychosis; an update on AIDS; dementia complex; atypical neuroleptics; SSRI’s and newer general medications; and alternative medicine section; multiple sclerosis; ADHD; Lyme’s disease; and an updated bibliography and references. Read more…

The General Practitioner, Patients and Their Feelings: Exploring Emotions Behind the Physical Symptoms

: Zalidis, Sotiris.

The explosion of knowledge in the fields of neurobiology, psychology and genetics has made it no longer helpful to discuss whether or not a particular illness is psychosomatic. This title by Sotiris Zalidis provides an introduction to psychosomatics for counsellors and psychotherapists who want to learn about the psychologically informed management of their patients’ physical symptoms. It is also intended for general practitioners who are interested in the role of emotions in the formation of physical symptoms. Read more…