Ideological hegemony or shifting perspectives? : the mental health ideologies of psychiatrists and clinical psychologists in the province of Manitoba

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Kotler, Philip.
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An attempt was made to isolate the dominant ideological positions among clinical psychologists and psychiatrists in the province of Manitoba. Ideology was operationalized for use in this study, to convey the properties associated with the belief systems of particular occupational groups. A structural analysis of the mental health professions was provided to show how ideological content and professional practice are linked. After providing a socio-historic account of the evolution of psychological and psychiatric ideologies, some of the conflicting ideological positions were examined. The study focused on within group differences as well as inter-group differences between the professions. Each profession was observed in terms of practitioner attitudes to other members of his profession, attitudes to the "ideology" of that profession and attitudes to the ideology of the other profession of which he is not a member. The evidence suggests that "ideology" in the psychiatric profession has tended to coalesce around a dynamic, social, or somatic model. Among psychologists the most divisive ideological issues have centered around "behaviorist" and "humanist" differences... Evidence seemed to support the notion that ideological content was a major factor in shaping the professional styles of practitioners in Manitoba in accordance with the larger psychological and psychiatric ideologies.