Dr. John Cromby is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Leicester.
He is author of “Feeling Bodies: Embodying Psychology” a book which explores the nature of feelings and their relationship with other psychological phenomena, and co-author of “Psychology, Mental Health and Distress” which was a British Psychological Society Book of the Year in 2014.
John is part of the team that produced the recent “Power, Threat, Meaning Framework” which is intended as an alternative to more traditional ideas of mental ill health based on psychiatric diagnosis.
He is also a member of the Midlands Psychology Group, a group of psychologists who believe that psychology has served to make people individually responsible for their own misery by ideologically detaching us from the world we live in, and that what are too often seen as private predicaments are in fact best understood as arising out of the public structures of society.
In today’s episode we discuss why the origins of psychological distress lie outside the individual, why modern psychology tends to overstate the amount freedom and flexibility that people have in responding to negative circumstances, why notions such as willpower and resilience are more likely the byproduct of prior advantage than voluntary acts of will, why discussions about economic, political and ideological influence are sorely lacking in discussions around mental health, and why acknowledging the limits of our own personal power can actually prove quite liberating.
Midlands Psychology Group – for a social materialist psychology
Draft Manifesto for a Social Materialist Psychology of Distress – identifies the main assumptions of a social materialist psychology
David Smail’s books @ Karnac Press (cheaper than Amazon for brand new copies)
Images courtesy: Taecilla