Talking as Cure? Contemporary Understandings of Mental Health and its Treatment [2020-21]

Alternate Wednesdays 14.30-16.30 during term time, unless otherwise noted. Please see programme for details (UK Time).

Online sessions until further notice.


About

In so far as the field of mental health has been surveyed from the ‘outside’, the focus has been on dangers of psychopharmaceuticals or the excesses of psychiatric diagnosis. Less attention has been given to the role of psychotherapy, particularly the ‘talking therapies’, aside from psychoanalysis.

Talking therapies are often presented as safe and versatile interventions, suitable as an alternative to pharmaceuticals. In addition to treating mental illness, individuals increasingly face an expectation to seek professional talking services when experiencing challenging circumstances more generally. Are there any risks to these interventions? What are the implications of a tacit expectation to seek therapy?

This network unites scholars from across the humanities to develop a holistic understanding of why certain methods of talking and interpersonal exchange are deemed therapeutic and how they came to have this status. We will explore the emergence of these therapeutic ideas and practices, survey the landscape of contemporary talking therapies, scrutinise the structures and dynamics that practitioners and patients must negotiate while participating in talking therapies today, and consider the ethical questions raised by these therapeutic practices.

The network comprises of a fortnightly reading group, an adhoc work-in-progress group and a monthly 'Coffee with Clinicians' meeting.


Lent Term 2021

How does Psychotherapy Work?
We will start with a discussion of how psychotherapy is currently tested, and then turn to the question of what makes it efficacious and how we should understand psychotherapy as a discipline — as a science, as offering frameworks for understanding the world, as a culture of healing?
 

Michaelmas 2020

Using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy — one of the most prevalent schools of contemporary psychotherapy — as a case study we will consider the various background forces that shaped the landscape of contemporary talking therapy.

ALL SESSIONS FOR THIS TERM WILL OCCUR ONLINE
Join the mailing list for up-to-date information and details of online meetings; please also let us know if you have difficulty locating the readings.

To join the mailing list please click here
Twitter: @TalkingasCure
Administrative assistance: networks@crassh.cam.ac.uk

Convenors

Convenors

Riana Betzler (McDonnell Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Philosophy/PNP Program, Washington University)
Hannah Blythe (PhD Candidate, Faculty of History)
Sahanika Ratnayake (PhD Candidate, Faculty of Philosophy)


Faculty Advisors

Anna Alexandrova  (Senior Lecturer, History and Philosophy of Science)
Simon Szreter (Professor in History and Public Policy, Faculty of History)
Robbie Duschinsky (Senior Lecturer, Department of Public Health and Primary Care)

Programme 2020-21

All online events are scheduled at UK time. Please check time for individual events.

Lent term 2021
How does Psychotherapy Work?
We will start with a discussion of how psychotherapy is currently tested, and then turn to the question of what makes it efficacious and how we should understand psychotherapy as a discipline — as a science, as offering frameworks for understanding the world, as a culture of healing?

Talking as Cure
Helping and Harming. Reading Group
20 January 2021, ONLINE SESSION (UK Time)
The Dodo Bird Problem. Reading Group
03 February 2021, ONLINE SESSION (UK Time)
Jerome Frank and Common Factors. Reading Group
17 February 2021, ONLINE SESSION (UK Time)
Carl Rogers: Talking as Cure? Reading Group
03 March 2021, ONLINE SESSION (UK Time)
Robert Fancher: Cultures of Healing. Reading Group
17 March 2021, ONLINE SESSION (UK Time)


Michaelmas term 2020
Using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy — one of the most prevalent schools of contemporary psychotherapy — as a case study we will consider the various background forces that shaped the landscape of contemporary talking therapy.
Talking as Cure
The Decline of Psychoanalysis. Reading Group
07 October 2020, ONLINE SESSION (UK Time)
The Rise of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Reading Group
21 October 2020, ONLINE SESSION (UK Time)
Psychotherapy in Britain – Reading Group
04 November 2020, ONLINE SESSION (UK Time)
Reading Group: Evidence Based Medicine
18 November 2020, ONLINE SESSION (UK Time)
Psychotherapy and the NHS. Reading Group
02 December 2020, ONLINE SESSION (UK Time)

Blogs