Experiential knowledge of serious mental health problems: One clinician and academic's perspective

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In 1998, a dialogue between mental health consumers and psychologists was sponsored by the Center for Mental Health Services. It is against this backdrop that the author briefly discusses her personal experience with serious mental health problems and how it has informed her clinical training and practice, especially in working with individuals with serious mental health problems and disorders. Using some of the overall recommendations of the 1998 meeting as guiding principles, the author reviews the literature on four topics that have become salient in her role as clientg€"scientistg€ "practitioner. Her experiential, academic, and clinical knowledge has led her to focus on how she can provide hope to her clientsg€" patients in their recoveries and increase the use of first-person stories of individuals with mental disorders in both her practice and teaching. The discussion of therapist self-disclosure is reexamined in light of current research evidence and shifts in theoretical paradigms. Finally, readers are encouraged to examine the ongoing stigma associated with mental disorders perpetuated within the profession and look at experiential knowledge of mental disorders as an additional competence in the field of psychology rather than solely as an issue of professional competence or impairment. © 2009 SAGE Publications.

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Journal of Humanistic Psychology





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This article was published in Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Volume 49, Issue 2, Pages 174-192.

The published version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0022167808327749.

Copyright © 2009 Sage.

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