Book review: The psychology of the bathroom by Nick Haslam


Cotton, E. 2014. Book review: The psychology of the bathroom by Nick Haslam. LSE Review of Books.
TitleBook review: The psychology of the bathroom by Nick Haslam
AuthorsCotton, E.

It doesn't get better than this. A book that unlocks the door into the rich material of what goes on in the bathroom.
For anyone attracted to the title, this book is important because, much like sex, there continues to be a remarkable inhibition even in psychological and therapeutic circles to talk about our attitudes to excretion.
Those of us working in mental health will have had the opportunity to reflect on the importance of the physical process of digestion and expulsion in understanding our psychic realities. The experience of taking stuff in and getting rid of waste, and the meaning and symbolism of this process is profound. Our communications in the bathroom are heavy with meaning, such as the phenomenon of the ‘dump and run’, or the ground floor ladies’ loos in the Tavistock Clinic - the site of a powerful ‘dirty protest’ against the ‘toilet therapist’, and against hope and progress in the UK’s mental health system. This book is wanted.

Keywordspsychology, shit, excretion, scatology, psychoanalysis, bathrooms, toilet graffiti
Research GroupEmployment Relations group
PublisherLondon School of Economics and Political Science
JournalLSE Review of Books
Publication dates
Print21 Nov 2014
Publication process dates
Deposited27 Feb 2015
Output statusPublished
Publisher's version
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All of our content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. (From the publisher's website)

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