Is CBT all it claims to be? The Cognitive Behavioural Tsunami: Managerialism, Politics, and the Corruptions of Science provides a powerful critique of CBT’s understanding of human suffering, as well as the apparent scientific basis underlying it. The book argues that CBT psychology has fetishized measurement to such a degree that it has come to believe that only the countable counts. It suggests that the so-called science of CBT is not just "bad science" but "corrupt science".

The rise of CBT has been fostered by neoliberalism and the phenomenon of New Public Management. The book not only critiques the science, psychology and philosophy of CBT, but also challenges the managerialist mentality and its hyper-rational understanding of "efficiency", both of which are commonplace in organizational life today. The book suggests that these are perverse forms of thought, which have been institutionalised by NICE and IAPT and used by them to generate narratives of CBT’s prowess. It claims that CBT is an exercise in symptom reduction which vastly exaggerates the degree to which symptoms are reduced, the durability of the improvement, as well as the numbers of people it helps.

Arguing that CBT is neither the cure nor the scientific treatment it claims to be, the book also serves as a broader cultural critique of the times we live in; a critique which draws on philosophy and politics, on economics and psychology, on sociology and history, and ultimately, on the idea of science itself. It will be of immense interest to psychotherapists, policymakers and those concerned about the excesses of managerialism.

chapter Chapter 1|10 pages



part I|20 pages

The tsunami

chapter Chapter 2|5 pages

The tsunami begins . . .

chapter Chapter 3|13 pages

The merchants of happiness

part II|35 pages

Politics of identity formation

chapter Chapter 4|14 pages

Master-myths and identity formation

chapter Chapter 5|19 pages

The 'psy' wars

part III|28 pages


chapter Chapter 6|17 pages

Homo economicus

chapter Chapter 7|9 pages


part IV|40 pages

Dispensing CBT

chapter Chapter 8|7 pages


The Bureaucratization of Science

chapter Chapter 9|9 pages

CBT treatment

chapter Chapter 10|22 pages


Managerialism and the privatization of 'mental health'

part V|47 pages

CBT research

chapter Chapter 11|8 pages

Good science

chapter Chapter 12|21 pages

The corruptions of science

chapter Chapter 14|3 pages

The cognitive delusion