Threats to epistemic agency in young people with unusual experiences and beliefs
Houlders JW., Bortolotti L., Broome MR.
A good therapeutic relationship in mental health services is a predictor of positive clinical outcomes for people who seek help for distressing experiences, such as voice hearing and paranoia. One factor that may affect the quality of the therapeutic relationship and raises further ethical issues is the impact of the clinical encounter on users’ sense of self, and in particular on their sense of agency. In the paper, we discuss some of the reasons why the sense of epistemic agency may be especially fragile in young people with unusual experiences and beliefs. We argue that it is important to identify and avoid behaviours that can undermine young people’s contributions as epistemic agents in the clinical encounter.