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2014年08月18日 【我要咨询】 】 来源:清华在线


  Review: Mental Illness at Work, by Mary-Clare Race and Adrian Furnham

  “No great genius has ever existed without a touch of madness,” said Aristotle, and it is a point worth making that mental illness should not be regarded only as a problem. Indeed, our working lives would be much less rich and in-teresting without the varied talents that people with mental health problems bring to work.亚里士多德(Aristotle)曾说,“伟大的天才无不带有一丝疯狂”。一个值得指出的要点是,精神疾病不应只是被看做一个问题。的确,有精神健康问题的人们把多姿多彩的才华带入工作场所,使我们的工作生活更加丰富有趣。

  Even psychopaths, it seems, can utilise their charm and manipulation to great effect. Narcissistic managers are good at driving a business forward, whereas paranoid personalities might notice pot-ential threats. As Mary-Clare Race and Adrian Furnham, both psychologists, right-ly suggest in Mental Illness at Work, “it is where the disorder is very strong that problems arise”.就连精神变态者似乎也能将自己的魅力和操纵本事用到好的地方。自恋型人格的经理善于带动业务,而偏执型人格的人可能注意到潜在威胁。正如两位心理学家,玛丽-克莱尔?雷斯(Mary-Clare Race)和阿德里安?富尔汉姆(Adrian Furnham)在他们合著的《工作场所的精神疾病》(Mental Illness at Work)中正确提出的,“精神障碍非常严重时才会出现问题”。

  For too long, organisations have denied the presence of mental illness at work and as a result business has suffered – morale, productivity, attendance and staff retention are all affected. This denial also contributes to a climate in which those who suffer from mental illnesses dare not reveal themselves for fear of damaging their career.长久以来,各种机构都拒绝患有精神疾病的人出现在工作场所,这给业务带来了损失——士气、生产率、出勤率和员工留任都受到了影响。这种拒绝同时也营造了一种氛围,使精神疾病患者因为担心损害自己的职业生涯而不敢透露自己的情况。

  One would have then to ap-plaud any attempt at de-mystifying this highly stigmatised issue, and this book is a laudable at-tempt. It aims to make managers more mental health-literate, and succeeds in offering a comprehensive and well research-ed manual for understanding, recognising and resp-onding to mental illnesses at work, including the ones most prevalent: dep-ression, anxiety, burnout and addictions.因此,人们会赞赏任何旨在澄清这个蒙上污名的话题的尝试,这本书就是一次值得称赞的尝试。该书力求让经理们增进对精神健康的认知。对于如何理解、认识和应对工作场所的精神疾病(包括最常见的抑郁、焦虑、职业倦怠和成瘾),该书成功地提供了全面而经过充分研究的解释说明。

  Mental Illness at Work is dense in content, and packed with practical information. To help people returning to work, for example, the authors suggest “a change in workload or an introduction of a more flexible working pattern”. Breaking their work up into small tasks to avoid feeling overwhelmed is also recommended.《工作场所的精神疾病》内容非常翔实,充满各种实用信息。比如,在帮助人们重返工作场所方面,两位作者建议“改变工作量或者引入更灵活的工作模式”。将工作分成许多小任务,以避免员工感到负担过重,也是作者推荐的做法。

  However, the book lacks imagination. It would benefit from more stories from working life and personal case studies that would bring many of the good points it offers to life.然而,这本书缺乏想象力。如果能添加更多工作生活中的故事和个人案例研究,该书许多好的观点会变得更为生动。

  Extensive listing of diagnostic categories and res-earch res-ults, sometimes dated – one reported study on alcohol-related illnesses was in 1977 – are un-necessary as an initial guide to mental health. Do we really need to know 11 cate-gories of personality disorder?书中罗列了繁多的诊断类别和研究结果,有些研究过于陈旧,其中一个与饮酒有关的疾病研究是在1977年进行的。对于一本精神健康的入门指导书,这些内容没有必要。我们真的需要了解人格障碍的11种类型吗?

  People are more than their symptoms and they do not fit neatly into diagnostic categories as the book im-plies, which risks re-ducing them to observable behaviours and misses the overall context of their lives. Labels too often lead to preconceptions of what a person can or cannot do and risks ignoring their skills.人不仅仅是他们所表现出来的症状。人无法像这本书所暗示的那样,可以精准地归入诊断类型。机械地将人归入诊断类型,也许会让他们变成只是可观察的行为,而忽视了他们的人生的整体背景。给人贴上标签往往导致对一个人的能力产生先入为主的概念,从而忽视他们的技能。

  Executives are not ex-pected to be psychiatrists, but with one in four people in the UK experiencing a mental health problem each year, they need to be aware of how it affects their employees and, conversely, their business. Managers primarily need to distinguish bet-ween normal anxiety and extreme illness, and to be able to anticipate the severity and length of an illness.没有人期望高管们成为精神病医生,然而鉴于英国每年有四分之一的人遭遇精神健康问题,高管们需要意识到这会如何影响他们的员工,进而如何影响企业。经理们主要需要将正常的焦虑和极端的疾病区分开来,并且能够预测疾病的严重程度和持续时间。

  The book right-ly des-cribes the part org-anisations can play in making people ill, and how a powerful but disturbed leader’s pathology can de-termine the psychological culture of the company.这本书还阐述了机构在使人患病方面可能发挥的作用,以及一个强势却有精神健康问题的领导者的疾病会如何决定企业的心理文化。

  The authors suggest managers ask themselves two questions: “Is my organisation a toxic one that attracts and breeds certain behaviours? And secondly, does my style of management create a set of conditions that could cause people to develop problems.”作者建议经理问自己两个问题:“首先,我所在的组织是否存在不良氛围,会吸引和滋生某些行为?其次,我个人的管理风格是否会营造一种环境,引发人们出现问题?”

  Books such as these, alongside training and schemes to support people with mental health problems, can only help. Meanwhile, if you are concerned about a colleague or subordinate, ask them how they are and how you can help. There is no substitute for talking.这样的书籍,以及旨在支持有精神健康问题的人们的训练和计划,无疑是有益的。与此同时,如果你担心你的同事或者下级,那就问问他们怎么样,你能为他们做什么。什么都代替不了谈话。

  The writer is a psychotherapist本文作者是一位心理治疗师

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