David Smail

The Origins of Unhappiness

The Origins of Unhappiness
A New Understanding of Personal Distress

HarperCollins, 1993; Constable, 1999.
Published by Robinson, 2001, in the double-volume
The Nature of Unhappiness, along with How to Survive Without Psychotherapy.

This book is an extension and consolidation of views which were elaborated in previous books over a period of about ten years. The insight that it is individuals' worlds and not their psychology which causes them distress becomes absolutely central, and a social critique of the times is embedded in a detailed and explicit theory of social power in relation to personal distress.


Chapter headings:-

1 Psychology and distress - the story so far
2 'When I was little' - the experience of power
3 Bodies and worlds - the field of power
4 Case study: the 1980s
5 Help
6 A rational faith

Read an edited version of Case Study: the 1980s - the chapter described by Larry Elliott in The Guardian (17.4.95) as 'one of the best evaluations of the eighties'

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