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Psychotherapy and Advocacy

Four Freedoms as Fundamental Patient Rights


Journal of Psychiatric Practice®: March 2019 - Volume 25 - Issue 2 - p 128–131
doi: 10.1097/PRA.0000000000000366

This column differentiates the role of psychotherapist from the role of advocate for our patients. It introduces and provides an overview of areas worthy of advocacy efforts that are encapsulated as Four Freedoms that are inalienable rights of those struggling with the burden of mental disorders: freedom from stigma, freedom from dehumanizing treatment, freedom to pursue recovery, and freedom of access to effective, medically necessary treatment.

PLAKUN: Medical Director and Chief Executive Officer, Austen Riggs Center, Stockbridge, MA; and Founder, American Psychiatric Association Psychotherapy Caucus, Washington, DC

The author declares no conflicts of interest.

Please send correspondence to: Eric M. Plakun, MD, Austen Riggs Center, 25 Main Street, Stockbridge, MA 01262 (email:

Copyright © 2019 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.