Psy-science and the colonial relationship in the mental health field

Penson, William Joseph (2014) Psy-science and the colonial relationship in the mental health field. Mental Health Review Journal, 19 (3). pp. 176-184. ISSN 1361-9322

Full text not available from this repository.

Official URL:


The purpose of this paper is to critically discuss how the psy-sciences have been, and continue to be, typified by some critics, as colonizers and are credited with Imperialistic motivations. However, rarely are these critiques developed beyond a pejorative characterisation.

This paper reviews the criticisms of psychiatry as colonial and outlines the tensions in taking different frames of reference in the mental health field, before going on to suggest theoretical and research perspectives arising from postcolonial theory that might advance these critical positions more coherently and the implications of doing so.

This study suggests an engagement with humanities-based methods and fields such as postcolonial scholarship.

Social implications
This argument is timely, especially given recent controversies over the publication of DSM5, the scaling up agenda for mental health in the Global South and increased attention to the agenda of Big Pharma.

Postcolonial intersections with psy-science remains a relatively undeveloped area in the critical literature

Repository Staff Only: item control page