Journal article

Pathogenic language in psychiatric practice and how to combat it

Sidney Bloch, Nick Haslam

AUSTRALASIAN PSYCHIATRY | SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD | Published : 2020

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Psychiatrists are susceptible intermittently to use dehumanising terms in their clinical practice, which arguably harm patients and their families. Our goal is to shed light on this unwelcome phenomenon and to develop the means to combat it. METHOD: We have examined journal articles, books on the history of psychiatry, and educational material devised for psychiatric patients, for evidence of what we have called 'pathogenic language'. We have also sought colleagues' reflections on the subject. RESULTS: We have identified several terms that are ostensibly pathogenic, tried to illuminate their intrinsic features and devised guidelines to stem their use. CONCLUSIONS: Psychiatrists ha..

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