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Integrating counselling and psychiatry in the treatment of mental illness : an inside perspective Wachowski, Sonya H.

Abstract

This autoethnographical study addresses the lack of qualitative research in the field of research in mental illness, specifically bipolar disorder. Historically, the narrative of the individuals who experience incapacitating emotional and psychological distress have not been recognized for their power to instruct and inform about psychiatric conditions and psychotherapeutic treatment. The purpose of this study is to present a first person account of the lived experience of treatment for mental illness, specifically bipolar disorder, in order to highlight alternative frameworks for conceptualising and treating people who have been diagnosed with a mental illness. Using narratives based on my own personal experience, I intend to show ways in which postmodern treatment approaches that incorporate client centred personal counselling along side the effective use of pharmacotherapy can transform patients into active and empowered participants in their own recovery process.

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