1st Edition

Meeting Mental Breakdown Mindfully How to Help the Comprehend, Cope and Connect Way

By Isabel Clarke Copyright 2022
    190 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    190 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Meeting Mental Breakdown Mindfully introduces the Comprehend, Cope and Connect (CCC) approach, developed and evaluated within mental health services, to a wider audience who need to understand mental health issues, whether for themselves or to support others.

    The book deconstructs and normalizes mental breakdown, starting from the individual’s inner experience, leading to practical ways of helping people out of distress and impaired functioning, towards the realization of their whole potential. It is based on an understanding of connections in the brain founded in cognitive science, which explains how human functioning can easily go astray. CCC provides a compelling rationale for putting mindfulness at the heart of the solution, along with other ways of coping with emotions and changing behaviour. The approach is brought to life through three illustrative case histories, giving a representative and realistic insight into both the experience of the individual and the workings of the system.

    Meeting Mental Breakdown Mindfully will help mental health professionals and those in related fields identify more accurately what people in their organization or under their care are going through.

    Section I. Foundations; 1. Being human and why it is difficult – a rethink; 2. Why the conventional wisdom about mental health needs challenging; 3. Turning therapy inside out; 4. Falling between the cracks: Self, relationship, spirituality and mental health; 5. Trauma and mental breakdown; Section II. Opportunity, emotions and the elusive self; 6. Emotion as problem, emotion as solution; 7. The elusive self: Compassion and potential; 8. Beyond consensual reality; 9 Reconfiguring mental health; Section III. How to help: Comprehend and Cope; 10. Meeting someone from the inside and getting the mind in gear; 11. Comprehend: Introducing the spikey diagram; 12. Coping skills: The basics; 13. Harnessing motivation and a new role for emotions: From problem to solution; IV. Forging new relationships: Connect; 14. Healing the relationship with the self; 15. Relationships with other people: Unravelling the tangles; 16. Aspects of self and putting the past in the past; 17. Beyond the self, beyond the consensus; Section V. Wrapping up and wider horizons; 18. The end is the beginning: Therapy as toolkit; 19. CCC in the wider world; 20. Conclusion and further implications.


    Isabel Clarke is a consultant clinical psychologist with over 25 years’ experience as a therapist in the NHS for people with complex problems. Her innovative approach to mental health that side-steps diagnosis is applied widely in Acute Services and is adapted for IAPT and cross-cultural application.

    'This book is clearly and engagingly written, and summarises complex information in an accessible way. I particularly like the way you have made connections with wider issues of social justice, racism, colonialism, climate change and our whole political economy – which are also the aspects the Power Threat Meaning Framework (PTMF) aims to re-introduce. Spiritual perspectives are presented in a way that will be acceptable and useful to people of all faiths/beliefs and none – an aspect that needs incorporating into our lens on distress.'
    Lucy Johnstone, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and lead author with Prof Mary Boyle of The Power Threat Meaning Framework

    'This is an excellent book for coaches and counsellors, or anyone who works in related fields such as student support, chaplaincy and Human Resources to understand mental distress is a part of human life and know how to support those who are experiencing difficulties. For those who read the previous book about Comprehend, Cope and Connect (CCC), they would find this book a great companion. In this book, Isabel Clarke has taken the CCC approach beyond the health service context to a wider audience. The basic ingredients of CCC are described in clear and simple language, making the approach more accessible.'
    Ho Law, Honorary Professor of Research & Psychology; Editor, Transpersonal Psychology Review; Chair and Convenor of Psychotherapy & Mindfulness Workshops; Chartered Psychologist; Registered Applied Psychology Practice Supervisor (APPS) and Coaching Psychologist; Fellow of the Higher Education Academy; International Society for Coaching Psychology (ISfCP); Associate Fellow of British Psychological Society (BPS) & Life Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine