Psychiatric Diagnosis and the Power of Names

This research article, co-authored by Claire Chang and Ronald Bassman, has been published in the Journal of Humanistic Psychology.

The article’s abstract says:

“Psychiatric diagnosis is accepted and pervasive in mental health care and adjoining social systems throughout the world. The recognition of the inadequacy of diagnosis in advancing positive outcomes and healing is prompting the search for alternatives to diagnosis. While there is progress in seeking alternatives, we must be clear on the nature and depth of challenges associated with psychiatric labeling to achieve meaningful movement forward.

To these ends, this article explores the intention, use, function, and impact of select naming practices from developmental, social, cultural, religious, and historical reference points. In studying the role of naming in our human development and making evident the parallel workings of naming systems from sociocultural history and that of diagnosis, the often obscured ways in which psychiatric labels are harmful becomes clearer. The authors offer a perspective drawn from a synthesis of their education, clinical work, lived experience of extreme mental states, and the challenges of growth and development while carrying psychiatric labels. …”

You can find out more from here.

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