Reflections on the identity of mental health professionals - The identity of mental health professionals is fragile despite an increasing awareness of the importance of psychological factors in the health system. This crisis stems from work organization, conflicts between therapy and social control, gaps between expectations and actual responses and between needs and interventions, social and cultural issues, identity as reflected by society at large. Responsibilities of mental health professionals are discussed, and the various goals of their mission are analyzed: mental health professionals are supposed to perform as technicians of adaptation, of social revolution, of crisis, of listening, of uncertainty, of pain, and of death. The professionals’ identity encompasses all these aspects, that are related also to personality traits, working styles and institutional climates. Finally, the importance of ethical, cultural and political norms is emphasized.
Keywords: Professional identity, mental health professionals, responsibilities, common therapeutic factors, mission