© 2008

Mental Health User Narratives

New Perspectives on Illness and Recovery


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Bruce M. Z. Cohen
    Pages 1-5
  3. Bruce M. Z. Cohen
    Pages 6-31
  4. Bruce M. Z. Cohen
    Pages 32-59
  5. Bruce M. Z. Cohen
    Pages 60-76
  6. Bruce M. Z. Cohen
    Pages 77-89
  7. Bruce M. Z. Cohen
    Pages 90-131
  8. Bruce M. Z. Cohen
    Pages 132-148
  9. Bruce M. Z. Cohen
    Pages 149-164
  10. Bruce M. Z. Cohen
    Pages 165-183
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 184-211

About this book


Following extensive research in the UK, Bruce Cohen allows mental health users to tell their own stories (or 'narratives') of illness and recovery. Institutional and home treatment care is covered alongside controversial self-coping techniques such as drug-taking, spiritualism, alternative healing, sleep and watching television.


care coping crisis Institution intervention methods psychiatry television treatment

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Humboldt Universität zu BerlinGermany

About the authors

BRUCE COHEN is a Research Fellow at Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany. He has previously researched mental health communities in Teesside and Bradford, publishing articles in the Psychiatric Bulletin and Science, Discourse and Mind. He has been awarded Research Scholarships to work in Australia and Germany, and is currently researching migrant youth in Berlin.

Bibliographic information


"Bruce Cohen offers innovative views about the value and impact of considering mental health services from users' perspectives." - British Journal of Psychology

"... very interesting, well researched and respectful of the service-user voice." - Psychiatric Bulletin

" an engaging critical study of the development and treatments of mental illnesses, which successfully demonstrates both the importance and relevance of social scientific approaches to the study of this area of medicine." - Medical Sociology Online

"In Mental Health User Narratives Cohen places the real experts on mental health problems centre stage. The subjective experience of people who use mental health services has been largely ignored, by researchers and clinicians, for as long as the 'medical model' has been dominant. This book provides a refreshing antidote to the bizarre notion that we can understand people's emotional pain by counting 'symptoms' and applying a diagnostic label. This is a must read for all involved in mental health services and research." -Professor John Read, University of Liverpool