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Coercion and cooperation and psychiatry for the person

Coercive treatment in its various forms represents a critical challenge for clinical care. This can be usefully discussed vis-à-vis the opportunities open by cooperation and engagement. The framework of Psychiatry for the Person, a major WPA initiative, can be helpful for such analyses. This initiative's fundamental goals involve the promotion of a Psychiatry of the Person (of the totality of the person and his/her health, ill and positive aspects included), a Psychiatry by the Person (with clinicians extending themselves a full human beings and professionals with high ethical aspirations), a Psychiatry for the Person (assisting the fulfillment of each person's life project) and a Psychiatry with the Person (in respectful collaboration with the person presenting for care). The conceptual and ethical bases of this initiative are quite enlightening and its specific implications to improve diagnosis, clinical care and public health represent nothing less than a paradigmatic shift in our field.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Mezzich, J.E. Coercion and cooperation and psychiatry for the person. BMC Psychiatry 7 (Suppl 1), S1 (2007).

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  • Public Health
  • Clinical Care
  • Paradigmatic Shift
  • Positive Aspect
  • Life Project