In the mid-1980s, he received qualification as a psychotherapist and group analyst, bringing together his interests in the reciprocal effects between individuals, groups and societies. In the late 1980s he was central — along with Karl Figlio, Joan Busfield, Ken Plummer and John Walshe — to the creation of a Masters Degree in Sociology and Psychotherapy, organised jointly by the University of Essex and the Mental Health Trust. This was one of the first university courses of its type in the country, combining clinical experience with theoretical thinking.
Craib’s working-class origins influenced his understanding of class systems and the politics of power, and this partly explains his attachment in his late teens to Trotskyite parties. He later rejected them, however, because of their authoritarianism. Unfair treatment and unequal distribution of power and influence angered him. In the psychoanalytic field he encouraged the sharing of the difficulties, pain, joy and fun of group psychotherapeutic work. The need to get things right, the wonder at how interpretations were so often lost and ignored, the question of whether one should be working with the deep unconscious in therapeutic groups or making comments at the overt conscious level were constant themes that he brought to discussions.
He died of cancer on the December 22, 2003, at the age of 58.