Negotiating Discourses: The Dialectical Identities of Survivor-Therapists

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Abstract

The psychiatric survivor movement is a political movement dedicated to fighting for human rights in the mental health system. People who identify as psychiatric survivors have experienced human rights abuses in the mental health system. A small number of psychiatric survivors have chosen to reenter the system as mental health professionals, and the current project focuses on the experiences of people with this dual-identity. The primary goal is to facilitate further dialogues between psychologists and the survivor movement by exploring the implications of identifying with both discourses. I interviewed five survivor-therapists, and asked how their identities as psychiatric survivors influence their approaches to therapy, and the nature of the relationship between these two identities.

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