Psychotherapist Paul Hingston offers a thought-provoking critique of the mental health system and the practice of psychotherapy. Rethinking Psychotherapy exposes the futility of taking a diagnostic approach to everyday unhappiness, encouraging us to resist the fashion for labelling natural reactions to life's challenges as symptoms of mental illness. The book argues that the role of a psychotherapist can never be to provide treatment or to facilitate a process of introspection. Instead, Paul outlines an approach to psychotherapy that helps clients come to terms with unusual or distressing experiences by positioning those experiences within a wider personal and social context. Rather than psychotherapists claiming to possess technical expertise or super-human talents for rising above everyday prejudice and self-interest, the case is made for a more authentic sense of engagement - one that breaks down the social barriers between practitioner and client. For it is only then that the process of confidential dialogue offered by psychotherapy can provide clients with the support, confidence and self-understanding to manage relationships in the wider world. Rethinking Psychotherapy will be of interest to the thoughtful psychotherapist, counsellor or trainee; to those who have suffered at the hands of the mental health system and to anyone with an interest in exploring the fascinating and eternal dilemmas of the human condition.
Paul Hingston, a law graduate and MBA, trained for nine years at some of the country's leading psychotherapy institutions. For the last fifteen years he has worked as a psychotherapist in private practice and as a manager of front line mental health services.