Awais Aftab - Bridging Critical and Conceptual Psychiatry

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MIA’s Justin Karter interviews psychiatrist Awais Aftab about how “conceptual competence” uses philosophy to transform psychiatry.

Awais Aftab is a psychiatrist in Cleveland, Ohio, and Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University.

He is a member of the executive council of the Association for the Advancement of Philosophy and Psychiatry. He has been actively involved in initiatives to educate psychiatrists and trainees on the intersection of philosophy and psychiatry.

He leads the interview series Conversations in Critical Psychiatry for Psychiatric Times, which explores critical and philosophical perspectives in psychiatry and engages with prominent commentators within and outside the profession who have made meaningful criticisms of the status quo. He is also a member of the Psychiatric Times Advisory Board.

In this interview, he explores his journey into both philosophy and psychiatry and how he understands the relationship between these two disciplines. Aftab goes on to discuss how he began the critical psychiatry interview series and what he has learned from this experience and the pushback he has received. He then elaborates on how studying the philosophical issues in psychiatry, through a “conceptual competence” curriculum, could transform the doctor-patient relationship and improve mental health care.

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