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Psychiatr Bull (2014). 2014 Jun;38(3):97-101. doi: 10.1192/pb.bp.113.045260.

Psychiatry, subjectivity and emotion - deepening the medical model.

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Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust.
Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
West London Mental Health NHS Trust.
Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust.


Morale among psychiatrists continues to be seriously challenged in the face of recruitment difficulties, unfilled posts, diagnostic controversies, service reconfigurations and public criticism of psychiatric care, in addition to other difficulties. In this article, we argue that the positivist paradigm that continues to dominate British psychiatry has led to an undervaluing of subjectivity and of the role of emotions within psychiatric training and practice. Reintegrating the subjective perspective and promoting emotional awareness and reflection may go some way towards restoring faith in the psychiatric specialty.

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