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Critical Issues in Clinical and Health Psychology


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Table of Contents

Introduction: Critical Issues in Clinical and Health Psychology Locating the Field Understanding Health, Illness and Disability Critical Issues in Clinical and Health Psychology Chapter 1: Psychosocial and Critical Models of Health, Illness and Disability Health, Illness and Psychology The Biopsychosocial Model Psychological Models of Mental Health Sociological Critiques of the Medical Model Critical Psychology Chapter 2: Understanding and Changing Health Behaviours Cognitive-Behavioural Models of Health Behaviours Ecological Systems Theory Community and Structural Interventions Chapter 3: Culture Dimensions of Culture Culture and Illness Experience Culture and Mental Health Culture, Body Image and Disordered Eating Culture and Disability Health Care as Cultural Chapter 4: Socio-economic Status SES and Disease SES and Mental Health SES and Disability Homelessness and Health Explaining SES Health Inequalities SES and the Professional-Patient Interaction Chapter 5: Gender Gender Disparities in Health Gender and Sexual Health Gender, Body Image and Disordered Eating Gender and Mental Health Gender and Disability Chapter 6: Sexuality Homosexuality and the Mental Health Professions Homosexuality, Ill-Health and Health Care 'African Sexuality' and HIV/AIDS Sexuality and People with Disabilities Chapter 7: Research Methods for a Critical Approach to Clinical and Health Psychology Different Methods in Qualitative Research Mixed-Methods Quality in Qualitative Research

About the Author

Poul Rohleder is a Reader in clinical and health psychology and Academic Tutor on the Professional Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of East London, UK. He is predominantly a qualitative researcher, whose research interests focus mostly on psychosocial aspects of HIV and sexual health, disability and sexual health, mental health and sexuality. He has published widely in these areas


This book extends the ongoing discussion on critical approaches within clinical and health psychology. In particular, it emphasises the need to consider the importance of social and cultural factors in understanding health, illness and disability. With detailed examination of a wide range of empirical studies it demonstrates the vibrancy of contemporary critical psychological research
Michael Murray
Keele University

This book provides an original overview of areas within health and clinical psychology that are frequently overlooked in other textbooks. It is distinctive in three major ways: first, it takes an explicitly critical approach, and therefore locates our current psychological understandings of issues within health and clinical psychology within their broader social and cultural contexts. Second, it considers both physical and mental health simultaneously, which is a major strength. Third, it is unique in its scope and focus. In achieving these distinctive features, this text competently draws on up-to-date research and literature across a range of disciplines and fields in an accessible and engaging manner.

The first three chapters set the scene well and provide a strong conceptual background for subsequent chapters on culture, socioeconomic status, gender and sexuality. Considerations of disability are threaded throughout all of the chapters, and this enables disability to be understood with greater insight in a much more integrated way than is usual in such texts. The book concludes with a chapter providing an informative and accessible overview of research methods that are commonly employed in critical approaches in these fields. Research issues are also considered and woven usefully throughout the text, with in-depth examples of specific research projects on relevant topics provided across the chapters. These will be highly beneficial for students, researchers and practitioners, as they link research methods, current knowledge (and knowledge construction) to implications for theory and practise in health and clinical psychology.

I have no doubt this book will be extremely valuable students, academics, and practitioners working in health and clinical psychology; but is also likely to be highly useful to others working in health-related professions. I personally think it should be a must-read for all those studying and working within the health psychology field!
Dr Antonia Lyons
Massey University, New Zealand

'...the book proved to be interesting and helpful in its illustration of approaches and ways of understanding distress and difficulty' -- Simon Easton & Maggie Linnell * Psychology Learning and Teaching *

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