Build it and they will come? Understanding public views of ‘emotions talk’ and the talking therapies

Simon Anderson, Julie Brownlie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Recent policy and practice debates about the expansion of the talking therapies in the UK have been concerned with the ideological premise of the programme or with questions of effectiveness, cost-benefit, availability and access. For the most part, however, discussion of the needs and demands for such services has been largely abstracted from any consideration of prevailing cultural orientations towards 'emotions talk' and the talking therapies. By drawing on survey data from a major Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)-funded study of emotional support, this paper looks at how such beliefs and practices are patterned across and within the general population in the UK, with particular reference to the effects of gender and age group. In doing so, it challenges the implicit assumption that ‘if we build it, they will come' and argues for an approach to service provision that acknowledges the highly differentiated character of emotional culture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-66
JournalBritish Journal of Guidance & Counselling
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2011

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • talking therapies
  • counselling
  • emotions talk
  • cultural beliefs
  • social differentiation


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