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The Third Revolution: Philosophy into Practice in Twenty-first Century Psychiatry

Keywords: values , values-based practice , psychosis , spirituality , diagnosis , classification

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Three revolutions in psychiatry characterised the closing decade of the twentieth century: 1) in the neurosciences, 2) in patient-centred models of service delivery, and 3) in the emergence of a rapidly expanding new cross-disciplinary field of philosophy and psychiatry. Starting with a case history, the paper illustrates the impact of this third revolution - the new philosophy of psychiatry - on day-to-day clinical practice through training programmes and policy developments in what has become known as values-based practice. Derived from philosophical value theory and phenomenology, values-based practice is a partner to evidence-based practice in supporting clinical decision-making in the highly complex environment of mental health care. The paper concludes by setting values-based practice in context with other potentially practical important areas of the new philosophy of psychiatry arguing that all three revolutions need to be brought together if psychiatry is to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century.


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