Sep 28, 2019
This week on MIA Radio, we chat with Professor
Peter Kinderman. Peter is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the
University of Liverpool, honorary Consultant Clinical Psychologist
with Mersey Care NHS Trust and Clinical Advisor for Public Health
England, UK. He was 2016-2017 President of the British
Psychological Society (BPS) and twice chair of the BPS Division of
Clinical Psychology. His research activity and clinical work
concentrate on serious and enduring mental health problems, as well
as on how psychological science can assist public policy in health
and social care. His previous books include A Prescription
for Psychiatry: Why We Need a Whole New Approach to Mental Health
and Wellbeing, released in 2013.
In this interview, we discuss Peter’s new book, A Manifesto
for Mental Health, Why We Need a Revolution in Mental Health
Care, which presents a radically new and distinctive outlook
that critically examines the dominant ‘disease-model’ of mental
The book highlights persuasive evidence that our mental health
and wellbeing depend largely on the society in which we live, on
the things happen to us, and on how we learn to make sense of and
respond to those events. Peter proposes a rejection of invalid
diagnostic labels, practical help rather than medication, and a
recognition that distress is usually an understandable human
response to life’s challenges.
- What led Peter to his interest in psychology, having initially
been interested in physics and philosophy.
- How his academic and clinical work have influenced each other
throughout his career.
- Why it is important to challenge mainstream mental health
messages, not just as an academic exercise but also for the good of
- That it is pretty clear that we currently have a very poor
system for responding to emotional distress.
- How we are not offering real-world help for real-world
- That it is vital for us to offer people an alternative
framework of understanding to allow them to decide for themselves
how best to frame and therefore respond to difficulty.
- That Peter has observed changes in language that are helping to
support public realisation that ‘mental illness’ is an idea or
theory rather than undeniable fact.
- How a psychosocially-based mental health response might
- That Peter’s would like to see psychiatrists treating children
to be employed by the authority also in charge of education
- How our hierarchical health system gives doctors enormous
- That the Nordic countries have evolved a more
socially-integrated and community-based approach, which better
integrates health and social care.
- How those that are critical of the illness model are sometimes
viewed as ‘deniers of real experiences’, but that this is a
mischaracterisation because it is more about understanding those
experiences in a different way or using a different framework.
A Manifesto for Mental Health –
Why We Need a Revolution in Mental Health Care
A Prescription for Psychiatry –
Why We Need a Whole New Approach to Mental Health and
Professor Peter Kinderman,
University of Liverpool, talks about a manifesto for mental health
at the DECP Annual Conference 2016
© Mad in America 2019