Management of the Self: a Humanities Approach to Self-Management in Psychiatry and Psychosomatic Medicine


Presently, there is an increasing call for self-management strategies in healthcare. Self-management involves regarding patients as 'expert-clients', actively involved in the management of their own care. This approach is argued to have great advantages: it holds the prospect of more efficient and (cost)effective healthcare, and converges with theoretical developments underlining the importance of patients' self-experience. However, self-management in mental healthcare entails major conceptual problems requiring in-depth study from a humanities perspective in order to be solved.
Self-management in mental healthcare can only be adequately realized when it is acknowledged that 'the self' itself is a core problem in psychiatry and psychosomatics. Existing self-management approaches do not fully recognize this and limit themselves primarily to management of disease. Therefore, the proposed project conceptualizes and implements self-management as management of the self. Consequently, it establishes a conceptual framework for understanding the self and self-management in mental healthcare.
To achieve this, the project builds on theories of the self from various humanities-disciplines (including narratology, philosophy of mind, phenomenology, and ethics) and establishes a productive dialogue between these theories, and psychiatry and psychosomatics. It integrates the narrative, embodied, emotional, and intersubjective dimensions of self-experience, and investigates the ethical and clinical conditions under which management of the self can be realized.
By collaborating with well-known healthcare and research institutions, and international, pre-established networks, the project provides insight in self-experience in psychiatry and psychosomatics and enables innovative approaches to self-management that can fulfill more fully, the promise of providing effective, efficient, and co-operative mental healthcare.





Prof. dr. M.V.P. Slors

Verbonden aan

Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, Faculteit der Filosofie, Theologie en Religiewetenschappen


D.D. Brandenburg MA, R.P.J.M. Dings MA, Dr. G.E.H.I. Franssen, Dr. S.M. van Geelen


01/06/2015 tot 30/11/2019