Psychodamnation?

In my previous post on psychosalvation I argued that psychotherapy, and, to a certain extent, psychoanalysis, were grounded in an ideology of ‘psychosalvation’, by which I meant that therapy offers the possibility of ‘saving’ the human subject from the secular equivalent of Christian hell and damnation. On this reading, ‘hell’ …

Peter Sutcliffe: mad or/and bad?

Last Thursday a mental health tribunal ruled that Peter Sutcliffe (aka ‘The Yorkshire Ripper’ and now know as Peter Coonan) no longer required clinical treatment and could be moved back to a mainstream prison. 1  Some in the tabloid media have inferred from this decision that this means that Sutcliffe is …

Mad, bad, or…..?

What was rather striking about the (British) media’s response to the recent knife attack in Russell Square, London, where a nineteen year old Norwegian national of Somali origin murdered an American woman and injured five others1 was that as soon as it became apparent that the perpetrator was suffering from …

The nature of trauma

There are a number of ways to consider psychological trauma, and perhaps the most common one is that the individual is overwhelmed by an event which they struggle to come to terms with.  This may either be an event in their early childhood, for example being sexually and/or physically abused; …

Understanding depression

Along with anxiety, depression is probably one of most common mental health problems in this country. It is estimated that over 6 million people suffer from depression and/or anxiety in England.  However, these numbers tell us little about the true nature of depression. In other words, what it is to …

The nature of anxiety

For many people, anxiety is an ever-present, and distinctly unwelcome, companion. Sometimes it can erupt into a full blown panic attack, but often it’s just there in background: a barely perceptible but continual sense of unease, a sense of anticipation that something unnamed but terrible is about to happen. And …