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The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021

The Recovery Model or the modelling of a cover-up? On the creeping privatisation and individualisation of dis-ease and being-unwell-ness

In this article we present a psycho-social, 'group-ish' (Bion, 1961) and philosophically Cynical commentary upon contemporary notions of recovery and well-being and positive psychology. These are, at times, being cynically deployed to address profoundly damaging processes of social traumatisation which gives rise to certain forms of mental dis-ease, which we describe as 'being unwell-ness', and related psycho-social dis-ease which is being linked to low productivity, under- or unemployment and low social status, and which we describe as worklessness and worth-lessness. We state at the outset of the paper that much excellent work is done by statutory, non-statutory and service user led groups and organisations to engage with these problems. However, in our commentary we will suggest ways in which the language and currency of these initiatives is in danger of being hi-jacked and side-tracked by the vested interests of explicit and tacit political and professional agendas of the in group at the expense of those whom we seek to help.