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Psychiatric Research and Practice

I have long been interested in questions related to how knowledge is produced, and ought to be produced, in the field of psychiatry. I have written collaborative papers about the application of feminist standpoint theory to the field of psychiatry, asking whether lived experience can underlie the potential for a unique epistemic advantage within psychiatric research, as well as well as how a focus on measuring impact in participatory mental health research can obscure ethical justifications. I am part of a network committed to building service user/survivor research capacities. I welcome students with lived experience - in the classroom, as part of research projects, and as graduate students. 


I have also been involved in qualitative research related to programs developed to support those experiencing early psychosis. While in New York, I co-led an investigation of the experiences of participants and family members in the community-based mental health program, Parachute, and led a project exploring the themes of identity and wellbeing among youth participating in the coordinated care early intervention program, OnTrackNY.

In 2021, I organized a symposium entitled 'The Psychedelic Resurgence in Psychiatry: Ethics, Epistemology, and Enthusiasm' - recordings of the presentations and discussion are available online.


Representative Papers:

·    Wusinich, C., Lindy, D., Russell, D., Pessin, N., Friesen, P. (2020) Experiences of Parachute NYC: An Integration of Open Dialogue and Intentional Peer Support, Community Mental Health Journal.

·    Friesen, P. (2019) Expanding Outcome Measures in Schizophrenia Research: Does RDoC Pose a Threat? Philosophy, Psychiatry & Psychology. * winner of the Jaspers Award from the Association for the Advancement of Philosophy of Psychiatry 

·    Friesen, P., Lignou, S., Sheehan, M., Singh, I. (2019) Measuring the Impact of Participatory Research in Psychiatry: How the search for epistemic justifications obscures ethical considerations. Health Expectations. Special Issue: Showcasing Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement in Mental Health Research. 

·    Friesen, P., & O’Leary, K. (2019). Machine learning and suicide prevention: considering context as a guide to ethical design, Mental Health as Public Health: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Ethics of Prevention, Eds. Cratsley, K., and Radden, J., Elsevier.


Recent/ Forthcoming Papers:​

·    Friesen, P., Goldstein, J. (2022) Standpoint Theory and the Psy Sciences: Can Marginalization and Critical Engagement Lead to an Epistemic Advantage? Hypatia

·    Friesen, P., Goldstein, J., Dixon, L. (2021) A ‘Blip in the Road’: Experiences of Identity after a First Episode of Psychosis. Psychosis: Psychological, Social, and Integrative Approaches.

·    Friesen, P. (2022) Psychosis and Psychedelics: Historical Entanglements and Contemporary Contrasts. Transcultural Psychiatry.


Recent/ Upcoming Talks:

·    “Psychosis and Psychedelics: Exploring Entanglements and Measurements” (Feb 3rd, 2022) at the Jewish General Hospital Grand Rounds

·    “Standpoint Theory in the Psy Sciences: The Epistemic Advantage of Lived Experience” (Jan 13th, 2022) for the McGill Psychiatry Interest Group

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