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Identifying and Working with Diverse Explanatory Models of Mental Illness 

Identifying and Working with Diverse Explanatory Models of Mental Illness
Chapter:
Identifying and Working with Diverse Explanatory Models of Mental Illness
Author(s):

Tony B. Benning

and Justin A. Chen

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190849986.003.0008
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date: 07 March 2021

Derived from research undertaken in various cultural settings, and encompassing spiritual, traditional, religious, and folk beliefs, the knowledge base on diverse explanatory models of mental illness is burgeoning. Unfortunately, there is a dearth of literature that examines these explanatory models from the sort of overtly clinical perspective that would be of practical relevance to clinicians. To be able to identify, honor, and work with a diverse range of explanatory models of mental illness is an ethical imperative in an increasingly globalized and culturally diverse society. The purpose of this chapter is to address this gap in the literature by exploring diverse explanatory models from a clinical perspective to inform the work of psychiatrists and other mental health clinicians. We propose that David Bohm’s concept of dialogue is a potentially useful communication framework that can aid clinicians working with patients with diverse explanatory models of mental illness.

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