Iatrogenesis refers to the negative or unwanted effects that accompany treatment by medical providers. Things like adverse drug interactions and hospital-acquired infections are iatrogenic effects of treatments that were intended to – and hopefully did – provide some benefit to the patient. In psychiatry, more attention has been paid to iatrogenic effects of medications than to the effects of psychotherapy. As various psychotherapeutic interventions are increasingly shown to have causal efficacy, however, we should expect that they may produce negative effects as well as positive outcomes. I argue that we can understand many of the negative effects of psychiatric interventions in terms of epistemic injustice. In this talk, I will focus on the ways in which forms of silencing arise within therapeutic contexts and on the types of epistemic harm that are produced.
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