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Keywords:

  • asylum;
  • postmodern;
  • Soja;
  • Thirdspace;
  • client’s voice;
  • mental illness;
  • psychiatry

Shifting meaning of asylum

Aim(s). This paper offers an expanded way of looking at the idea of asylum from the perspective of Soja’s conceptualization of Thirdspace (Blackwell Publishers, Oxford 1996). Implications for research are discussed.

Background. Soja proposes a different way to think about space. He writes not of dialectics but instead of trialectics which reconstructs space. Soja rejects the binarism of either/or logic about space suggesting a creative combination of both/and also. In this instance, the binary logic of either hospital or community asylum is opened to new possibilities of thinking about the space of asylum.

Conclusions. The value of hearing the stories of those living with long-term mental illness is to obtain an emic perspective of their space of asylum.