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Personal profile


James Davies is a Reader in social anthropology and mental health, teaching in the Departments of Life Sciences and Psychology. He obtained his doctorate in social and medical anthropology from the University of Oxford and is also a qualified psychotherapist. He has practiced as a psychotherapist in various settings including the NHS.

He is co-founder of the Council for Evidence-based Psychiatry, which is now secretariat to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence ( https://prescribeddrug.org/ ). 


He has also written three books:

Davies, J (2009) The Making of Psychotherapists: an anthropological analysis. London: Routledge

Davies, J (2009) The Importance of Suffering: the value and meaning of emotional discontent. London: Routledge.

Davies, J. (2013) Cracked: why psychiatry is doing more harm than good. London: Icon Books.

He is working on a forthcoming book:

Davies, J (2020). The New Opium: capitalism, mental health and the sedation of nations. London: Atlantic Books.



BA. MSc. MA. D.Phil.

Research interests

Critical psychiatry, psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, medical anthropology, social suffering, fieldwork methods, professional socialisation.


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Research Output

Antidepressant withdrawal – the tide is finally turning

Hengartner, M. J., Davies, J. & Read, J., 22 Aug 2019, In : Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences.

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

Open Access

Clinical guidelines on antidepressant withdrawal urgently need updating

Davies, J., 20 May 2019, In : BMJ. 365, l2238

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

Open Access

Deceived: how big pharma persuades us to keep taking our medicines

Davies, J., 3 Sep 2019, Drop this Disorder: challenging the culture of psychiatric diagnosis. PCCS Books, p. 66-78 12 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Counselling psychologists’ talk of ‘authenticity’: exploring the implications of ‘authenticity’ discourse for ethical practice

Author: Ryan, L., 31 Jul 2012

Supervisor: Loewenthal, D. (Supervisor) & Davies, J. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The role of anomalous phenomena in the therapeutic process: an exploration of counselling psychologists’ experience

Author: Ryklina, T., 29 May 2012

Supervisor: Bray, D. (Supervisor) & Davies, J. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


‘Become and becoming a dancer’: an ethnography of the Taipei Dance Circle

Author: Chen , Y., 15 Jan 2020

Supervisor: Skinner, J. (Supervisor) & Davies, J. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis