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Social integration as professional field. Psychotherapy in Sweden

Journal article
Authors Lennart G. Svensson
Eva Johnsson
Published in Professions and Professionalism
Volume 3
Issue 2
Pages 1-18
ISSN 1893-1049
Publication year 2013
Published at Department of Sociology and Work Science
Pages 1-18
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.7577/pp.559
Keywords social integration, professions, professional, psychotherapy, mental hygiene, psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers
Subject categories Sociology

Abstract

The present article describes and analyses the emergence and development of a professional field called social integration. Ideas, theories, and occupational practices forming this field are explored, particularly those related to the development of a new discipline, that of psychotherapy. The development of three occupations (psychiatry, psychology and social work) and their professionalisation is described through their qualitative and quantitative take‑offs in particular historical periods. Three periods are identified: formation, 1850-1920, when psychiatry was defined as a medical sub-discipline; consolidation, 1920-1945, with the institutionalisation of psychiatric care, and with psychoanalysis and mental hygiene as qualitatively new cognitive bases for practitioners; and professionalisation, 1945-1980, with the deinstitutionalisation of psychiatric care and the professionalisation of psychologists and social workers. New ideas on subjectivity and individualism, new welfare state institutions, as well as collaborative professionalism all favoured the creation of psychotherapy as professional knowledge, and a possible new profession of psychotherapists.

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