1 The Department of Psychology and Educational Studies, Roskilde University2 Department of People and Technology, Roskilde University
Although the field of health communication is growing, few studies of everyday communication between patients and professionals in the mental health sector have been conducted. This project studies the everyday interactions between multidisciplinary mental health professionals and patients at two psychiatric facilities in Denmark: an outpatient psychiatric long-term treatment clinic and a closed psychiatric ward. The applied methods are participant observation, interviews with patients and professionals and analysis of documents. Employing discursive and narrative approaches, the aim of the project is to shed light on how the professionals and patients construct patient identities within the institution. How are the psychiatric patients and the professionals positioned in their interactions? How are concepts such as psychiatric diagnosis and mental illness negotiated? Which possibilities for participation and involvement in psychiatry are negotiated for the patients? Finally, the project wishes to understand what the encounters with the professionals and the practices of the institution may mean for the patients’ self-understandings and subjectivity.