Using qualitative methods, we studied current and desired relationships between members of mental health consumer/survivor and family self-help groups and mental health professionals. Two major themes, professional ideology and practices of power and control, captured both the positive and negative aspects of the relationships the participants had experienced. To move toward more desired relationships, participants suggested education and ongoing interaction between self-helpers and professionals are needed to change professional ideology and practices, while consumer/survivor and family participation and involvement in decision making are required to reduce the power imbalance between self-helpers and professionals. We discuss the implications of the findings for changes in training, practice, and research.
Constantino, Vic and Nelson, Geoffrey, "Changing Relationships Between Self-Help Groups and Mental Health Professionals: Shifting Ideology and Power" (1995). Psychology Faculty Publications. 28.