chapter  4
12 Pages

Is there an emancipatory psychiatry?


The seminal work of Suman Fernando in bringing the specific issues of race, culture and accessible and appropriate services to the fore within mental health is to be commended, and the influence of his work is considered throughout this chapter in relation to his practice and work. This chapter describes how some of the ideas developed in Western psychology and psychiatry may have limited utility when used by clinicians working in multi-ethnic societies or applied to varied cultural contexts as they fail to account for cultural and racial diversity adequately. Several theorists have claimed that psychological theory is Eurocentric, while others have claimed it can be racist, among many other theorists, have argued for mental health professionals to consider the context and experience of service users. Also, mental health practitioners are likely to be influenced by their professional culture, thus adding another variable into how they conceptualise psychological distress and ways of addressing it.