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Many people strive to be normal, and deviation from accepted norms can feel like failure. But why do we want to be normal? And what does that mean? Ordinary? Sane? Similar? When probed, the notion of normality starts to look fragile. It is not clear who decides what being normal means or who is entitled to say. Nonetheless, concerns about conforming and being accepted are deeply pervasive. With an extraordinary diversity of perspectives, the authors featured in this collection - all psychotherapists - use biographical accounts, political analyses and clinical vignettes to challenge the concept of normality. Through these stories and discussions, it emerges that our very uniqueness, oddness and differences as individuals are what make us fully human. At a time of rapid social change, the freedom to be oneself - whatever form that takes - is at the core of contemporary debate, and this volume makes a vital contribution to that project.
About the Author
Jane Ryan trained as a psychotherapist at the Centre for Attachment-based Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (CAPP) in the 1990s. Having worked in private practice for 8 years she set up Confer in order to bridge the theoretical gaps between schools of thought and professional communities in the field, and to provide a platform for interdisciplinary dialogue. She is the editor of How Does Psychotherapy Work? (Karnac, 2006) and Tales of Psychotherapy (Karnac, 2007). Roz Carroll is a relational body psychotherapist and supervisor. She teaches on the MA in Integrative Psychotherapy at The Minster Centre and has been a regular speaker for Confer for twenty years. She is committed to interdisciplinary dialogue. She is the author of numerous articles and chapters on subjects from working with the body in psychotherapy, to intersubjectivity,