Doing things with words. Uses and misuses of language in psychopathology

G. Stanghellini (1 2), E. Pienkos (3), G. Castellini (4), L.A. Sass (3)

1 “G. d’Annunzio“ University, Chieti, Italy 2 “D. Portales“ University, Santiago, Chile 3 Department of Clinical Psychology, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA 4 Psychiatric Unit, Department of Neuroscience; Sexual Medicine and Andrology Unit, Department of Experimental, Clinical and Biomedical Sciences, Florence University, School of Medicine, Florence, Italy

This special issue of the Journal of Psychopathology offers multiple views on the role of language in mental health practice – both how it is used and experienced by persons affected by mental disorders, and how these persons are described or characterised within the cultural imaginary of society and the mental health professions. In doing so, it also reveals some of the ways language functions to describe and shape everyday life. Across the papers in this collection, language is shown to be both indispensable and dangerous: a tool that analyses and describes, but that may also create, transform, or distort the phenomena to which it is applied.

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