Iatrogenic Effect: A negative consequence brought forth by the healer.

I have long known that iatrogenic issues are present in the mental health field. I am regularly surprised at the courage of people to continue to try and find help through therapy despite some of the very damaging and/or traumatising experiences they’ve had.

Gary Direnfeld

While the concept of the iatrogenic effect is well known to medicine, it doesn’t receive much attention in the context of counseling. However and if we accept the counselor as a form of healer, emotional, psychological or psychiatric, then it does us well to ponder this concept as applied to counseling.

Counseling tends to be treated at best, something to help overcome emotional, personal or interpersonal problems. At worst, counseling appears to be viewed as innocuous; if not helpful, at least not harmful.

Rarely discussed though are those unintentional consequences, the negative outcomes of well-intended acts. Like any intervention, counseling too has its potential iatrogenic effects even while at some level being helpful.

As much as we rail against the stigma of mental illness and mental health services, it remains such that a stigma exists. As much as a person may be appropriately served and aided by mental health services…

View original post 1,119 more words

Published by Susannah-Joy

Susannah-Joy Schuilenberg is a Canadian mental health professional with a passion for travel. Bossy from birth, compassionate by choice, and funny by accident, She writes about anything that catches her attention. All opinions are her own, as is the writing, unless credited otherwise. Stay tuned.

Talk amongst yourselves...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: