Johann Hari and Lucy Johnstone join us to talk about their new books. A panel discussion will follow to further discuss the issues raised.
Thu, 28 April 2022
14:00 – 17:00 IST
Save your place now here
About this event
Crucial Conversations is a series of ‘A Disorder for Everyone’ online events in which authors of recently published books that contribute to challenging the culture of diagnosis and disorder are invited to talk about their work.
In our 3rd event of this kind, AD4E welcomes Johann Hari and Lucy Johnstone to talk about their new books. There will be audience questions and a panel discussion afterwards.
Panel members confirmed so far include Sally-Ann, DrGabor Maté and Prof SamiTimimi. (Bios to follow)
Johann Hari is a writer and journalist. He has written for the New York Times, Le Monde, the Guardian and other newspapers. His TED talks have been viewed over 70 million times, and his work has been praised by a wide range of people, from Oprah to Noam Chomsky to Joe Rogan. Johann lives in London. @johannhari101
About ‘ Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention
Why have we lost our ability to focus? What are the causes? And, most importantly, how do we get it back?
For Stolen Focus, internationally bestselling author Johann Hari went on a three-year journey to uncover the reasons. He interviewed the leading experts in the world on attention, and learned that everything we think about this subject is wrong.
We think our inability to focus is a personal failing – a flaw in each one of us. It is not. This has been done to all of us by powerful external forces. Our focus and attention have been stolen, and there is a massive rise in children diagnosed with ‘ADHD.’ Johann discovered there are twelve deep causes of this crisis, which we urgently need to understand. He shows us how in a thrilling journey that ranges from Silicon Valley dissidents, to a favela in Rio, to an office in New Zealand that found a remarkable way to restore our attention.
Crucially, he learned how – as individuals, and as a society – we can get our focus back, if we are determined to fight for it.
Here’s an extract from the Stolen Focus published in the Guardian:
I don’t know anyone thinking more deeply, or more holistically, about the crisis of our collective attention than Johann Hari. And this is a crisis that we must address if we are to meet any of the other pressing emergencies we face as a species, whether ecological or social. Which means that this book could not be more vital. Please sit with it, and focus — Naomi Klein
A highly original and wide-ranging investigation into the causes of our epidemic of flagging attention. Written with Hari’s trademark incisive prose, indefatigable search for scientific evidence vividly presented, and illustrated with telling anecdotes, Stolen Focus is a bracing and necessary wake-up call to us all — Gabor Maté M.D.
Stop whatever you’re doing and read this book. A deeply researched, disturbing, and yet ultimately hopeful exploration of the primal crisis of our time: our diminishing ability to focus on what really matters — Rutger Bregman, author of HUMANKIND
Thanks to this brilliant book, I have got to know myself and my fellow humans better. It educates and entertains you – the stories will suck any reader in, and then slowly change your mind. Everyone should read it. It has changed my habits – way beyond just putting away my phone more. Stolen Focus is a really important book — Philippa Perry
Dr Lucy Johnstone is a consultant clinical psychologist, author of ‘Users and abusers of psychiatry’ (3nd edition Routledge 2021) and co-editor of ‘Formulation in psychology and psychotherapy: making sense of people’s problems’ (Routledge, 2nd edition 2013), along with a number of other chapters and articles taking a critical perspective on mental health theory and practice. She is the former Programme Director of the Bristol Clinical Psychology Doctorate and worked in Adult Mental Health settings for many years, most recently in a service in South Wales. She is lead author, along with Professor Mary Boyle, of the Power Threat Meaning Framework (2018), a radical conceptual alternative to the diagnostic model of distress, which is attracting national and international attention. @ClinpsychLucy
About ‘A straight talking introduction to psychiatric diagnosis’
‘A straight talking introduction to psychiatric diagnosis’ was first published by PCCS Books in 2013, and offers an accessible overview of the arguments in this complex area. Its core aim, which aligns with that of ‘A disorder 4 everyone’, is to offer people a choice of understandings of distress.In this second, updated edition, Lucy Johnstone revisits the revolution that is underway in mental health.
No one doubts that people’s distress is very real – but are they actually suffering from illnesses which need diagnosing? In our increasingly competitive, unequal and fragmented world, we are all struggling. We are told the answer lies in finding the right diagnosis. We are encouraged to talk about our ‘mental health’ instead of the conditions of our lives. And increasingly, we ourselves seek out labels which reassure us that our feelings of shame, failure and difference are not our fault. But there are better ways forward.
The book ends with a new, hard-hitting analysis of the political, economic and social forces that drive the diagnostic model. It demystifies one of the guiding myths of our age, and opens up hope and new ways forward for anyone who has taken on a diagnostic label.
The revised edition of Lucy’s book will be published in March.
Reviews from the first edition include:
‘Rigorously researched, powerfully argued and engagingly written, this thoughtful and valuable book empowers readers with something too often missing in statutory care – the knowledge and resources to make an informed choice.’
Eleanor Longden, Psychosis Research Group, University of Liverpool
‘This is a tremendously valuable book, punching holes in tradition and psychiatric conservatism, finding lights at the end of very dark tunnels, valuing the individual, giving them space and time and their story back.’ Polly Mortimer, Contemporary Psychotherapy
‘A Straight Talking Introduction to Psychiatric Diagnosis is a short, concise work which combines scholarship with humanity and compassion. It provides a unique resource for those of us who have been harmed by the workings of psychiatry and want to prevent future harm to others.’ Louise Gillett, Huffington Post
The Panel Contributors
Joining Johann & Lucy for a discussion after their talks are…
SallyAnn – Survivor, activist & speaker
Prof Sami Timimi – Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist
Dr Sanah Ahsan – Poet & liberation psychologist
Dr Gabor Maté – Author & speaker
Bios to follow..