April 11, 2001

Empowering social work in the era of biological psychiatry (2001)

Breggin, PR (2001). Empowering Social Work in the Era of Biological Psychiatry. [The annual Ephraim Lisansky lecture of the University of Maryland School of Social Work.] Ethical Human Sciences and Services, 3(3): 197-206.

Although I am a psychiatrist, it seems to me that social work, along with counseling, embodies my own values as much as any of the mental health professions. Yet, I’ve noticed in recent times that social workers have increasingly come under the influence of the traditional psychiatric biological modal rather than under the influence of their own psychosocial model of democratization, social change, and empowerment of the client. If I can accomplish one thing today, and I hope this in no way sounds paternalistic, I would like to reempower you as social workers so that you can empower your clients in one of the traditions of the social work profession.