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The Skeleton Cupboard

The Skeleton Cupboard Book CoverBy Tanya Byron
Review by Charlotte (Experimental Psychology)

The Skeleton Cupboard is comprised of six chapters, each following a separate case study from each of the placements Byron undertook as a clinical psychologist in training. In each chapter, she reveals the realistic challenges she had to overcome in her training, offering a vulnerable account of the beginning of her inspiring career. Her account emphasises the importance of the learning curve, sharing the message that no one enters a degree with full knowledge, and therefore emphasising the importance of the ability to develop. Not only does this book inform you of the process of clinical training, it inspires one to learn and grow intellectually.

The book is accessible for those without any experience in the field, written casually and without jargon. The narrative delves deeper than the clinical label into the story of the patient and emphasises that, unlike physical disorders, there is no standard cause of mental illnesses, making each case unique from the last. The variety within the clinical sector is demonstrated through the personal stories told throughout. They show how complex mental illness can be, and the fascinating process of unravelling the causes in order to develop a treatment process.

The tone is refreshing as she reveals her deepest frustrations and insecurities in a candid manor, while her exploration of human nature in both the patients and practitioners reduces the stigma of the profession and shows how anyone can get into it. It is an honest account and inspirational so I cannot recommend it enough for anyone interested in the fields of psychology, mental health, and humanity!

The Skeleton Cupboard by Tanya Byron
ISBN-10 : 9781447270218
ISBN-13 : 978-1447270218

Try checking the availability of this book at your school or local library or explore second hand bookshops and websites. You may also wish to purchase from either Amazon or Blackwell’s.

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