Neutrality, autonomy and mental health: a closer look.

Journal Article

Clinicians have traditionally viewed neutrality as the primary means of promoting patient autonomy, and by extension mental health. But patients also require expert direction, want other values incorporated into their treatment, and benefit from collaborating with clinicians toward shared therapeutic objectives. A historical perspective on the physician-patient relationship reveals an evolving richness in the concepts of autonomy and neutrality. Formal, or authentic, autonomy is more descriptive of mental health than individual autonomy, and nurture is a more effective strategy for promoting it than neutrality, although technical neutrality remains an indispensable tactic. This model of mental health treatment is comprehensive, relational, and developmental.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bishop, L; Josephson, A; Thielman, S; Peteet, J

Published Date

  • 2007

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 71 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 164 - 178

PubMed ID

  • 17666005

Pubmed Central ID

  • 17666005

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0025-9284

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1521/bumc.2007.71.2.164


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States