There’s nothing as practical as a good theory: Trouble is, it’s hard to find a good theory.

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People who like to help others might think spending time understanding theories of behaviour and helping is not a good use of their time. We disagree. Our position is that everyone has a theory about things like why they do what they do. Even the most strident non-theorists can provide some explanation about why they used this technique at that time with that particular individual. We think, however, that, by and large, the theories that relate to behaviour, mental health, contentment, and well-being aren’t very good theories. And that’s a problem. We are in complete agreement that people should not spend time acquainting themselves with poor theories. In fact, we would advocate avoiding poor practices as well as substandard theories. A good theory, however, enables you to be more targeted in the helping practices you adopt and more effective and efficient in the help you provide. In this chapter, we will explain a theory which we think is a better-than-good theory. This is a robust, scientific explanation of life as it is being lived. We will explain why that is important and provide some indications of what it means for our helping practices. When people’s practices are informed by the principles of an accurate explanation that is consistent with other facts we have established about our physical and social world, the help that is offered might become much more helpful so that people experience less torment and anguish for shorter periods of time leading to contentment and social harmony on a much grander scale.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTheoretical Alternatives to the Psychiatric Model of Mental Disorder Labeling
Subtitle of host publicationContemporary Frameworks, Taxonomies, and Models
EditorsA Cantú, E Maisel, C Ruby
PublisherEthics International Press
Number of pages107
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-80441-277-0
ISBN (Print)978-1-80441-276-3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024


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