“… Over the last 30 years, like many others I have been dismayed by the persistence of what is often called the ‘medical model’. Part of the reason for this persistence I believe is the bad science and philosophy referred to above which psychology at times colludes with. However, another factor is the lack of a positive alternative to the usual anti-psychiatric polemic. In 2006/7 I got together a group of eminent psychological thinkers (including Peter Kinderman and Lucy Johnstone) to advise the secretary of state for the NHS, Patricia Hewitt, on the universal psychological needs of the human condition.
We came up with five fundamentals:
(a) to be loved
(b) to be heard
(c) to belong
(d) to achieve
(e) to have meaning and purpose.
When I present these at lectures and conferences, no one has ever argued with them. There is only one mental condition, the human condition. By switching from an emphasis of treating mental conditions to meeting the needs of the human condition, we could reduce stigma and offer a positive and normalising vision that portrays psychology as part of a wider public health agenda, rather than as a narrow alternative to drug treatments. …”
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