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31 Oct 2014

British Psychological Society ‘Book of the Year’ award for groundbreaking mental health textbook

A book co-authored by Dr John Cromby from Loughborough University’s School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences has won a highly prestigious British Psychological Society ‘Book of the Year’ award.

Psychology, Mental Health and Distress won the 2014 Textbook award, which is given for work that has made a significant impact on the learning and teaching of psychology.

The book is the first mainstream textbook in its field that is not based upon psychiatric explanations of mental illness. Instead, it takes a consistently psychological perspective where both problems and interventions are understood in entirely psychological terms.

The book has a number of other innovative features, including a chapter written by mental health service users and an introduction to the practice of formulation – the method UK clinical psychologists use to understand their clients’ mental health problems.

The textbook, which was co-authored by Dr David Harper from the University of East London and Professor Paula Reavey from London South Bank University, has been designed to help students reflect on the nature of mental health and illness by balancing psychological, biological and social influences in relation to people’s actual experiences of distress.

It has already been adopted by a large number of psychology degree courses in the UK, Canada and elsewhere, and by some clinical psychology doctoral training programmes.

Dr Ron Roberts from Kingston University said that it is “a game changer in the field. It should be mandatory reading on every psychology course not just those dealing with mental health issues.”

Speaking of the award, Dr Cromby said: “My approach to the book was developed over years of teaching this material to students at Loughborough. The book was trialled with students here, and is now used to teach Loughborough students who want to become clinical psychologists. It’s great that the value of our innovative approach to this topic has now been recognised nationally”.

As a recipient of the award, John will receive a £500 prize and will deliver a Book Award Lecture at the 2015 British Psychological Society Annual

Psychology, Mental Health and Distress (ISBN 9780230549562) is published by Palgrave Macmillan

Notes for editors

Article reference number: October News

Dr John Cromby is a Reader in Psychology at Loughborough University. Previously, he conducted research and teaching at the Universities of Nottingham and Bradford, and he has experience of working in mental health, drug addiction, and learning disability settings. His research engages with the ways that bodies and social processes come together to produce experience, including experiences of distress. This has meant exploring topics including paranoia, clinical sadness, emotion and fear of crime, and experimenting with methods of jointly analysing textual data and embodied activity. He is a former editor of the journal Subjectivity.