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Explorations on the use of lived experiences by psychiatrists: facilitators and barriers

Simona Karbouniaris (Department of Social Work and Research Centre for Social Innovation, University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands, and Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands)
Marjolein Boomsma-van Holten (Psychiatric Epidemiology and Public Mental Health, UMC, Utrecht, The Netherlands)
Antoinet Oostindiër (Aerrea Mental Health Organisation, Wormer, The Netherlands)
Pascal Raats (Department Grasdorpstraat, Dimence, Zwolle, The Netherlands and GGZ Drenthe Mental Health Institution, Assen, The Netherlands)
Cecil C. Prins-Aardema (GGZ Drenthe Mental Health Institution, Assen, The Netherlands)
Alie Weerman (Research Group Mental Health and Society, Windesheim University of Applied Sciences, Zwolle, The Netherlands)
Jean Pierre Wilken (Research Centre for Social Innovation, University of Applied Sciences Utrecht Centre for Social Innovation, Utrecht, The Netherlands)
Tineke A. Abma (Leyden Academy on Vitality and Ageing, Leiden, The Netherlands and Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands)

Mental Health and Social Inclusion

ISSN: 2042-8308

Article publication date: 18 August 2022

Issue publication date: 11 January 2023

105

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the perspectives of psychiatrists with lived experiences and what their considerations are upon integrating the personal into the professional realm.

Design/methodology/approach

As part of a qualitative participatory research approach, participant observations during two years in peer supervision sessions (15 sessions with 8 psychiatrists with lived experiences), additional interviews as part of member feedback and a focus group were thematically analysed.

Findings

Although the decision to become a psychiatrist was often related to personal experiences with mental distress and some feel the need to integrate the personal into the professional, the actual use of lived experiences appears still in its early stages of development. Findings reveal three main considerations related to the personal (3.1), professionality (3.2) and clinical relevance (3.3) comprising 11 facilitators and 9 barriers to harness lived experiences.

Research limitations/implications

This study was conducted locally and there are no similar comparable studies known. It was small in its size due to its qualitative nature and with a homogeneous group and therefore may lack generalisability.

Practical implications

Future directions to further overcome shame and stigma and discover the potential of lived experiences are directed to practice, education and research.

Originality/value

Psychiatrists with lived experiences valued the integration of experiential knowledge into the professional realm, even though being still under development. The peer supervision setting in this study was experienced as a safe space to share personal experiences with vulnerability and suffering rather than a technical disclosure. It re-sensitised participants to their personal narratives, unleashing its demystifying, destigmatising and humanising potential.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors cordially thank the members of the advisory board for commenting on this article.

Citation

Karbouniaris, S., Boomsma-van Holten, M., Oostindiër, A., Raats, P., Prins-Aardema, C.C., Weerman, A., Wilken, J.P. and Abma, T.A. (2023), "Explorations on the use of lived experiences by psychiatrists: facilitators and barriers", Mental Health and Social Inclusion, Vol. 27 No. 1, pp. 66-80. https://doi.org/10.1108/MHSI-07-2022-0049

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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