Conceptualizing Empowerment

Donald M. Linhorst

in Empowering People with Severe Mental Illness

Published in print September 2005 | ISBN: 9780195171877
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199865338 | DOI:
 Conceptualizing Empowerment

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This chapter defines the term empowerment, describes its basic components, and then applies them to people with severe mental illness. Empowerment is defined as the meaningful participation of people with severe mental illness in decision making and activities that give them increased power, control, or influence over important areas of their lives. The chapter presents the basic components of empowerment: empowerment involves holding power, control, and influence; resources are critical to empowerment; empowerment can refer to a process or to an outcome; empowerment outcomes can be short- or long-term, and subjective or objective; empowerment can refer to an ideology; empowerment involves the interconnection between individuals and their environment; empowerment is situational; and one cannot empower another.

Keywords: mental illness; participation; power; outcomes; resources

Chapter.  3436 words. 

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