A Straight Talking Introduction to the Power Threat Meaning Framework: An alternative to psychiatric diagnosis

Author(s) : Mary Boyle, Author(s) : Lucy Johnstone

A Straight Talking Introduction to the Power Threat Meaning Framework: An alternative to psychiatric diagnosis

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The current mainstream way of describing psychological and emotional distress assumes it is the result of medical illnesses that need diagnosing and treating. This book summarises a powerful alternative to psychiatric diagnosis that asks not 'What's wrong with you?' but 'What's happened to you?' The Power Threat Meaning Framework (PTMF) was co-produced by a core group of psychologists and service users and launched in 2018, prompting considerable interest in the UK and worldwide. It argues that emotional distress, unusual experiences and many forms of troubled or troubling behaviour are understandable when viewed in the context of a person's life and circumstances, the cultural and social norms we are expected to live up to and the degree to which we are exposed to trauma, abuse, injustice and inequality. The PTMF offers all of us the tools to create new, hopeful narratives about the reasons for our distress that are not based on psychiatric diagnosis and to find ways forward as individuals, families, social groups and whole societies.

About the Author(s)

Lucy Johnstone is a clinical psychologist and Academic Director of the Bristol Clinical Psychology Doctorate. Her main interests are in Adult Mental Health, and in psychological approaches to the more severe forms of mental distress. She is the author of a number of publications including Users and Abusers of Psychiatry, and is a regular speaker and guest lecturer at conferences and training courses.

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