Books


Doing research in psychological therapies: A handbook & a step-by-step guide

2020. SAGE: London.

To be released in winter 2021/2022.

The Psychology of COVID-19: Building Resilience for Future Pandemics

2020. SAGE Swift: London.

The Psychology of Covid-19 explores how the coronavirus pandemic is giving rise to a new order in our personal lives, societies, and politics. Rooted in systematic research on Covid-19 and previous pandemics, this book describes how people perceive and respond to Covid-19, and how it has impacted a broad range of domains, including lifestyle, politics, science, mental health, media, and meaning in life. Building on this, the book then sets out how we can improve our psychological and social resilience, to safeguard ourselves against the psychological effects of future pandemics.

More infoGoogle Ebook / Amazon

The Economics of Meaning in Life: From Capitalist Life Syndrome to Meaning-Oriented Society

2020. The University Professors Press: Colorado Springs.

There is not such a thing as value-free economics. All economic theories prescribe a unique meaning in life. What meanings are hidden in economic theories? How can we live a meaningful life despite the meanings that economists and politicians promote?

The Economics of Meaning in Life offers a unique multidisciplinary study that systematically examines the meanings that are often hidden in economic and political debates. This book starts with a brief world history of how people have experienced meaning in different economic systems. For example, authors on capitalism often have a rational focus on materialistic and self-oriented types of meaning in life. Subsequently, the book describes research showing that many individuals feel taken hostage by this capitalist perspective, but simultaneously defend its meanings. This is the Capitalist Life Syndrome, named after the Stockholm Syndrome where hostages like their hostage-takers and develop a psychological alliance with them. Similar to the Communist Life Syndrome, individuals take over this capitalist approach to meaning even though these syndromes may not be good for their mental health.

In response to the Capitalist Life Syndrome, increasing numbers of people want personal and societal change. A review of research discussed in the book shows that increasing numbers of people have started to focus on social and larger types of meaning since the 2007/2008 market crash: the meaning-oriented economy. Many aspects of the economy are transforming, from personal job-motivation to organisation structures, human resource management, and production. People search for new meaning within, outside, against, and beyond capitalism. This meaning-oriented trend is the future of economics, according to leaders in for example the World Economic Forum.

This is the first book to integrate systematic empirical studies on meaning in life with economic theory, written by a leading researcher on meaning. The author makes his insights accessible with examples ranging from conversations with London CEO’s and Ugandan orphans to political uprisings in Latin America, environmentalist campaigns, and COVID-19. The author defends the human right to a meaningful life and recommends practical meaning-oriented steps for political campaigners.

The Economics of Meaning in Life is for all readers who are interested in the real life-world hiding behind the veils of traditional economics and politics. This book should be required reading for all students of economics, psychology, sociology, and philosophy.

More infoGoogle Ebook / Amazon

Mental Health in Crisis.

2019. SAGE: London. Joel Vos, Ron Roberts & James Davies

At a time of huge pressures on mental health services, this highly topical, broad-ranging and thought-provoking analysis of the mental health crisis examines the current challenges in mental health service delivery and access using a range of perspectives (political, economic, and cultural, organisational issues). It then puts forward a number of alternatives, reviewing both current and alternative initiatives, and exploring what is needed for a mentally healthy society.

More infoGoogle Ebook / Amazon

Meaning in Life: An Evidence-Based Handbook for Practitioners.

2017. Palgrave MacMillan: London.

This inspiring, insightful new text provides a practical guide to helping clients live a meaningful and satisfying life despite the challenges they may be facing.

Divided into three parts, it starts by drawing on empirical research to demonstrate the effectiveness of meaning-oriented practice and reviews a large body of literature on meaning in a wide-range of psychological and philosophical approaches, translating this into specific recommendations for practitioners. It continues by exploring the basic skill set required for working effectively in this area – from how to assess clients’ needs and address issues of meaning, to specific existential, phenomenological and mindfulness skills. Finally, it provides a step guide to applying the skills to clinical practice with the support of examples and case studies from a range of professions.

In what is still an emerging area of practice, this text stands alone as a comprehensive source of reference for both students and practitioners across the full range of people professions.

More infoGoogle Ebook / Amazon

Fifty pictures of living a meaningful life: Art, cartoons, reflections & exercises

2017. Independent Publishing.

How can people live a meaningful life? Most likely, you are already doing it. You do not need to make up an abstract theory and use obscure words like an academic in an ivory tower. Meaning is about you, for you, by you. Here and now, Look around you and you will see it. This book shows 50 pictures about where you could see meaning in life. This is the first art book ever published on meaning in life: one picture can say more than a library full of books. These 50 pictures are accompanied by brief explanations, questions and exercises for reflection. This book makes this often serious complex topic easy, visible and humorous. Be prepared for laughter and tears. This book is for individuals who are just curious to learn more about meaning, searchers for meaning, therapists, researchers, priests, philosophers, life coaches,… you?!

Google Ebook / Amazon

Opening the psychological black box in genetic counseling

2011. Gildeprint: Enschede.

Women from families in which many individuals have developed breast and/or ovarian cancer may request for DNA-testing. A DNA-test result may disclose their own risks to develop cancer (again), their relatives’ risks and subsequent options for medical surveillance. This thesis describes several multicenter studies in the Netherlands about the psychological and medical impact of DNA-testing on the lives of these women and their relatives. Despite their accurate understanding of the global meaning of DNA-test result, many participants interpreted the result differently from what the genetic-counselor had actually communicated. Like in a children’s whisper game, their relatives also misinterpreted the information communicated by the first messenger. The messengers’ misinterpretation was not only related to their inaccurate thoughts about heredity and cancer in general, but also to their feelings, and especially to their unfulfilled need for certainty, sense of self and unresolved existential issues. The presence of misinterpretations predicted the extent of the counselees’ distress and the medical decisions after DNA-test result disclosure. The study results are described in their historical and theoretical context, followed by practical clinical suggestions for genetic-counselors and psychologists. For instance, we suggest that genetic-counselor try to avoid the communication of ambiguous DNA-test results that do not have medical consequences.

Free digital copy





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