Chapter 14. Power

  1. Jan Wallcraft PhD consultant Manager2,
  2. Beate Schrank psychiatrist research worker3 and
  3. Michaela Amering Professor secretary3
  1. Paddy McGowan,
  2. Líam Mac Gabhann,
  3. Chris Stevenson and
  4. Jim Walsh

Published Online: 16 MAR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9780470743157.ch14

Handbook of Service User Involvement in Mental Health Research

Handbook of Service User Involvement in Mental Health Research

How to Cite

McGowan, P., Mac Gabhann, L., Stevenson, C. and Walsh, J. (2009) Power, in Handbook of Service User Involvement in Mental Health Research (eds J. Wallcraft, B. Schrank and M. Amering), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470743157.ch14

Editor Information

  1. 2

    University of Hertfordshire, UK

  2. 3

    Medical University of Vienna, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Austria

Author Information

  1. School of Nursing, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 16 MAR 2009
  2. Published Print: 17 APR 2009

Book Series:

  1. World Psychiatric Association Evidence and Experience in Psychiatry Series

Book Series Editors:

  1. Helen Herrman

Series Editor Information

  1. WPA Secretary for Publications, University of Melbourne, Australia

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470997956

Online ISBN: 9780470743157



  • power constructed in social interchanges;
  • Foucault, biopower and psychiatric/mental health research;
  • service user ‘subjectivised’ – developing subjectivity produced by ‘truthes’ of biopsychiatry;
  • critical theory and consumer-led research;
  • service users - multiplicity of experiences, needs, and appreciation of problems;
  • service users and self-identified problems;
  • consumer or democratic approaches;
  • esoteric knowledge and current research techniques - for meeting needs of academic and professional;
  • social constructionism - making sense of power in mental healthcare systems


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Introduction

  • Foucault, Biopower and Psychiatric/Mental Health Research

  • Critical Theory and Consumer-Led Research

  • Social Constructionism – Making Sense of Power in Mental Healthcare Systems

  • Conclusion

  • References