Human distress is sometimes thought of as 'psychopathology', a thing separate to the person, that affects people; a thing that can be diagnosed, treated and hopefully cured.
This mindset leads psychiatrists, psychologists and other therapists to develop 'evidence bases' for specific 'disorders' and manualised forms of 'treatment'.
While there are advantages to this way of seeing distress, it is clearly only one framework and sometimes leaves the client feeling depersonalised and unheard.
It is also a view that has been critiqued and criticised by service users and professionals alike.
Diagnosis and Beyond: Counselling psychology contributions to understanding human distress explores forms of distress such as depression, anxiety, phobias and personality disorder going beyond what can sometimes appear as meaningless and horribly painful experiences to describe the meanings that can be embedded within these difficulties.
The book also considers ways in which therapists and clients can create meaning, hope and possibility through robust, relational therapeutic processes.By recognising the universality of human distress, the contributors also discuss the ways in which their own experiences and feelings are a legitimate, and central, part of the therapeutic process.