Audiences with authors: making room for madness in mental health
37 Mapesbury Road
This Audiences with Authors event will host Marcus Evans discussing his book 'Making Room for Madness in Mental Health: The Psychoanalytic Understanding of Psychotic Communications'.
Marcus Evans argues that in addition to providing a helpful treatment for patients with serious psychological difficulties, a psychoanalytic approach, offers an important model for understanding staff-patient relationships. A psychoanalytic approach can also give mental health professionals a language for describing their experiences of, and interaction with, their patients. Importantly it can help in the day-to-day management of patients and their sometimes challenging symptoms and behaviours.
Evans argues that the diagnosis and active interventions employed by psychiatry need to be accompanied by a receptive psychological approach to treatment and care. Mental health professionals need to be interested in the meaning of their patient’s symptoms together with verbal and physical communications, which convey important information about the patient’s internal world and underlying conflicts. His work and thinking is illuminated throughout the book by lively clinical vignettes, supported by accessible accounts of key psychoanalytic theory.
Working with people who have mental illness can be rewarding and enlightening but it can also be frightening, boring, frustrating, anxiety provoking and stupefying. At times actions taken by staff may be driven and dominated by a wish to control provocative or disturbing elements of the patients mind. Staff and patients alike need to begin to understand these disruptive and destructive elements of their own thinking. Psychoanalysis offers a model for thinking about and providing meaning for, the anxieties that drive us ‘out of our minds’, and this can reduce the risk of thoughtless action. To some extent this involves putting the madness back into mental health.
To find out more and to book:
The British Psychotherapy Foundation is a strong professional organisation providing access to treatment for the public, education and training.