Psychologists with Lived Experience Face Stigma and Discrimination, Study Finds

A new study finds clinical psychologists with lived experience of mental illness are adversely impacted by witnessing discrimination and stigma.


Prosumers, or clinical psychologists who are both providers and consumers of mental health services, are negatively affected by witnessing discrimination of persons with lived experiences of mental health issues. A new study published in Psychological Services investigates how witnessed discrimination impacts prosumers’ experiences of internalized stigma, anticipated stigma, and stigma resistance. The results highlight that even “experts” in the field of psychology are subject to experiencing distress and stigma related to mental health struggles.

Researchers Laura López-Aybar of the Derner School of Psychology at Adelphi University and Lauren Gonzales of Columbia University describe their study:

“Discrimination against those with mental illness is widespread in clinical psychology, including among prosumers. This study found that prosumers often witness discrimination by colleagues, leading to internalized stigma and stigma resistance. Further research is needed to address stigmatizing attitudes and discriminatory behaviors in the clinical psychology field and promote inclusivity and reduce discrimination against individuals with mental illness.”


You've landed on a MIA journalism article that is funded by MIA supporters. To read the full article, sign up as a MIA Supporter. All active donors get full access to all MIA content, and free passes to all Mad in America events.

Current MIA supporters can log in below.(If you can't afford to support MIA in this way, email us at [email protected] and we will provide you with access to all donor-supported content.)




  1. who doesn’t have lived experience? a disturbing issue I see is the amount of academics and others self diagnosing or seeking a label especially the highly marketable, lucrative, easy to fake, nice drugs, so called ‘adhd’

    Report comment

  2. Stigma is rooted in fear, and illness breeds fear (stigma) because illness means infirmity and infirmity means invalidity and invalidity means irrelevance — a condition most psy professionals are trained to believe they are (or should be) immune to.

    “Mental health” stigma will always exist as long as psychic/emotional distress is “treated” as a medical condition. So, it stands to reason that most of the stigma in so-called “mental health” emanates from psychiatry’s very own DSM.

    Report comment