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ISBN-10: 113595335X

ISBN-13: 9781135953355

First released in 2002. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.

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This is what we call post-psychiatry. However, the same applies to psychiatry’s critics. Our argument is that those who adopt critical positions must abandon their own tendency to promise too much. com), in which Parker, Bracken, Thomas and many other psychiatrists, critical therapists, counsellors and academics participate, offers an umbrella organization for professionals to discuss the power and politics of psychiatry and suggest new ways of working with people with mental health problems. Whilst user experience of distress and crises are real to them and should be treated as such, ‘mental illness’ and associated medical labels are no longer accepted as useful or valid.

Turner (1987: 155) explains that the professional dominance of certain occupational groups is ‘clearly grounded in the possession of a body of knowledge which is a crucial feature of the exercise of professional power’. In maintaining medical dominance, argues Turner, it is necessary to preserve and extend access to its clientele whilst at the same time limiting and subordinating professionals in related areas. Thus, internally, the psychiatric profession sees itself as having a broader range of skills than other professional 30 Mental Health User Narratives workers in the mental health field, given their ability to treat both the body and mind as well as relating to patients in psychological, social and medical terms.

The inherent danger of a biological view of mental illness also leaves the profession open to claims of the pharmaceutical industry dictating psychiatric treatment (Moncrieff 2003). This increased medicalization of people’s problems has reached epic proportions in the 21st century. Bracken and Thomas (1999c) explain, This biological trend is part of a wider cultural shift towards understanding ourselves in a technical idiom. All sorts of human Mental Illness and Psychiatry 23 difficulties are now regarded as the rightful concern of psychological experts and their knowledge.

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Bipolar Disorder: A Clinician's Guide to Treatment Management


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