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Trauma and Madness in Mental Health Services
Hunter, Nol
Palgrave Macmillan / Softcover / 2018-07-01 / 331991751X
Trauma / Psychiatry
price: $55.50 (may be subject to change)
238 pages
Not in stock - ships in one week.

How do survivors of child abuse, bullying, chronic oppression and discrimination, and other developmental traumas adapt to such unimaginable situations? It is taken for granted that experiences such as hearing voices, altered states of consciousness, dissociative states, lack of trust, and intense emotions are inherently problematic. But what does the evidence actually show? And how much do we still need to learn?

Represents a critical exploration of the mental health system as it pertains to individuals experiencing 'madness'
Is written entirely from the perspective of people with lived experience
Offers resources and directions for the future, as recommended by people with the experiences in consideration


Trauma and adversity are almost universal aspects of the distress that brings people into contact with mental health services, but few people get the help they need. This book offers a comprehensive and sensitive guide to the impact of trauma, the limitations of standard medical responses, and the possible ways forward. Nol Hunter brings her clinical and personal experience to this challenging but invaluable overview. (Lucy Johnstone, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Author, and Independent Trainer based in Bristol, UK)

Hunter, a clinical psychologist, fearlessly punctures the pretensions of the psy-professions by examining the politics of madness and research about madness, the victim-blaming uses of psychiatric diagnoses, and the hidden vested interests of professionals who professionalize help and medicalize distress. Hunter effortlessly summarizes an enormous amount of research and perspectives to help people understand traumas and their consequences, as well as practices proffered under the guise of help that offend and dehumanize. She accompanies her searing indictment of the psychopharmaceutical-industrial complex with several liberating proposals for immediate and fundamental change. (David Cohen, Professor of Social Welfare, University of California, Los Angeles, USA)

I first saw this manuscript in draft form and thought it was spectacular, most importantly for the valuable information it conveys to individuals suffering from these problems, and also in how well written it is. The book will also be of great value for professionals working in the fields of psychological trauma. (Fran Grossman, Professor Emeritus, Boston University, USA)

Table of Contents:

Introduction: Containing Multitudes
A History of Dissociation and Madness
The Politics of Madness
The Illness Inquisition
Suffering Is Human
The Body and Mind in Context: The Role of Trauma and Adversity
Finding Help
A Plea for Change
Recommendations and Moving Beyond the System
Resources and Helpful Tips

About the Author:

Nol Hunter is a clinical psychologist working in private practice in New York City, USA. Her work focuses on the link between trauma and altered states, human rights, and alternative approaches to healing.

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Newsletter 2019-01
Palgrave Macmillan