Sunday, April 18, 2021

Relational psychiatry should not be seen as extreme

Robin Murray, who I've mentioned before (eg. see previous post) has an invited editorial in Psychological Medicine, which he co-edits with Kenneth Kendler, on 'Listening to our critics; the care of people with psychosis'. In the article he mentions the Critical Psychiatry Network (CPN). What I want to pick up is how he says that CPN is not only critical of psychiatry, but extremely critical. 

Robin Murray himself accepts that there is a "great deal wrong with psychiatry as it is practiced". He recognises that some critics want to abolish psychiatry. I've said before that critical psychiatry may partly have itself to blame for being seen as 'too critical' (see previous post).

Nonetheless, if the main intention of CPN is to make psychiatric practice more relational, then it should not be marginalised. Instead, the person-centred nature of psychiatry should be fundamental. It is actually an indictment of psychiatry that such a position could be seen as extreme. Psychiatry does need to face up to its tendency to objectify people.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Through years of experience I learnt that there is an attitude which may give the ultimate answer to the critical/relational paradigm. The therapist, or for that matter any person, should be concerned from within his or her deepest self how the other person, or the patient, feels.

This means that you open the door that closes the patient in behind his or her own defenses, instead of breaking though the walls.

I believe the word "extreme" is thereby deservedly pensioned off.