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Mumford, S. (1986). Wounded Healers: Mental Health Workers' Experiences of Depression edited by Vicky Rippere and Ruth Williams. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 1985; 192 pp.; £14.95 paperback.. Brit. J. Psychother., 3(1):89.

(1986). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 3(1):89

Wounded Healers: Mental Health Workers' Experiences of Depression edited by Vicky Rippere and Ruth Williams. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 1985; 192 pp.; £14.95 paperback.

Review by:
Susan Mumford

This book constitutes an unusual departure from traditional textbooks on depression. By focusing on phenomenological aspects of depression as experienced by nineteen mental health professionals, including psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, occupational therapists, social workers, nurses and general practitioners, it presents some very interesting insights into and personal accounts of the experience and considers a number of issues generally eschewed among clinicians and mental health professionals. It is not anti-psychiatry and addresses psychotherapists, behavioural psychotherapists and psychiatrists alike. It does however confront us with some of the best and some of the worst aspects of our practices.

Over and above its interest at the sheer descriptive level it leads to a balanced examination of ways of conceptualising depression, of the potential role of depression in personal growth and change, and touches on the controversial issues of the ‘wounded healer’ (Bennet).

The contributors describe a variety of techniques to which they resorted to help them survive their depression and the cognitive therapist will find much useful material here.

The book will be of interest to experienced therapists and clinicians, to those in training and to those trying to cope with depression in themselves, their relatives or indeed their colleagues.

Susan

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