Friday, 26 January 2018
Book review of: Chris Clarke and Emma Wolverson (eds), Positive psychology approaches to dementia
An excellent review, by Prof John Keady of University of Manchester has been published in Dementia; the opening paragraph of John's review says:
This is a ground-breaking book. It is also an important book as it challenges (past) negative discourses in dementia and sets out a new direction for dementia studies and everyday clinical practice. As the name of the text suggests, the focus is squarely on affirming person-centred values with each of the chapters presenting positive psychology understanding/themes and their application to living well with dementia. In the hands of less experienced editors, advancing this understanding could be seen as a form of idealism as, at times, the lived experience of dementia can dance uncontrollably to the tune of stress and distress, emotions that ripple through the generations and into the communities where people with dementia live. However, to their enormous credit, the editors do not shirk from this critique/responsibility and emphatically stress that a balance needs to be struck between idealism and realism. Idealism as expressed through the positive narrative of the text and realism in that this will not be everyone’s experience.