Models of mental health and disorder

The world of mental health care can be confusing – especially for those new to the topic. Often the different theories and professional approaches seem to contradict each other. It’s almost as though different workers speak different languages,

That’s not quite true but they do often come from different theoretical perspectives. That’s why, for example, a social worker and a psychiatrist will give you two completely different explanations for the same person’s problems. They’ve been taught radically different ‘models’ that they use to understand mental health and disorder, its causes and its treatments.

This little table isn’t intended to cover all the different models in depth. Instead think of it as a very basic list of models that can guide you in understanding why people focus upon different things. There’s more to it, of course but it’s a start for newcomers trying to get to grips with the contradictions they come across in practice.

The Care Guy Models of mental health and disorder

I just love this stuff

Today I was in Halifax in beautiful W. Yorkshire. It was great.
I arrived last night and met up with a former colleague for a catch up over a curry (& beer of course).


Then today was spent with around 20 of Calderdale’s finest mental health & social care workers talking about psychosis and interventions for people who hear voices. It’s amazing what a really enthusiastic group can get through in a single day. We covered basic principles of psychosis, a little philosophy of mental health care, models of understanding and normalisation in the morning. This afternoon was devoted to meaningful activity and validation, socratic dialogue, delusions and perceptions and principles of risk. These people really got their money’s worth today!

The group was great fun to work with and they really seemed to enjoy the day. Hopefully they’ve got some useful new skills to take away too.
Even better, I think a few of them will be contributing to Care To Share Magazine before too long as well.

All in all it’s been a really successful day. And now it really must be ‘beer O’Clock’!

What a cracking day!

Mental Health and Social Care

Don’t forget about my other book – also available from The Care Guy website.

MH and SC simple lessons meme

This easy to follow book has been written with social care support workers in mind. It’s jargon free and packed with reflection points, tips and exercises to guide you through the social care process from basic principles to support planning and relapse profiling. What’s more – it only costs a tenner. You can download a sampler here.

The author, Stuart Sorensen has many years experience of working in mental health and social care. Drawing on past experience of ‘real world’ care services he boils down the complicated theory of mental health care into the fundamental principles of best practice. The result is an easy to follow book that explains what mental disorder is, what recovery really means and what social care staff can do to help

Great oaks from little acorns grow

Book coverI’ve crossed a bit of a threshold this week. A milestone, you might say.

Yesterday I opened The Care Guy’s brand new online shop. So far there’s only a single product – a book about Mental health and social care but there’ll be more to come.

What’s encouraging is that I made three sales in the first 12 hours which isn’t bad going. At least I think that’s OK for a start. Great oaks and all that, eh?

I’ve attached the MH and social care sampler here for blog readers to have a look at. Who knows some of you might even decide to buy a copy.

Either way – feel free to have a look at the sample.

Go on – you know you want to.

I’m in the top 10!

Now that was a surprise. The Cision UK top 10 UK health blog index has this blog at number 8. How cool is that?

In fairness I strongly suspect that it’s more in recognition for my archived mental health and social care material than for my current stuff. But hey, who’s complaining?

It’s good to know that people still remember the old blog. For those new to my stuff you can find most of the old archived stuff in downloadable PDF and other formats here.

Enjoy and do please let me know what you think of my work.



A request


I have a problem to solve. Some colleagues need advice on the interface between autism spectrum disorders and mental health problems. In particular they are trying to find reliable guidance on dual diagnosis regarding autism spectrum disorders and cluster B (emotionally unstable) personality disorders.

I am very familiar with the cluster B stuff but I need to source reliable (preferably evidence based) information both on autism and on any correlation. I’m aware of a couple of interesting Swedish studies both of which seem to suggest links with clusters A and C (not surprisingly) but not cluster B.

I also need a good primer on autism that I can use to create a syllabus for further study into the autism spectrum.

Can anyone help?

Please get in touch either via this blog (just comment on this post) or Email
if you can point me in the right direction.



International society removes ‘schizophrenia’ from its title

Woohoo! First it was a joke that was taken seriously only in the post-psychiatry movement. Now it’s a mainstream opinion. Soon the only discussion will be how anyone could ever have believed in the syndrome of schizophrenia.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 245 other followers