Dehumanization and mental health: clinical implications and future directions

Tom Jenkins, Morgan Robison, Thomas Joiner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Research shows that people with mental health conditions experience dehumanization, and this is associated with states of emotional distress. Possible sources of meta-dehumanization include interpersonal interactions with members of society, professionals, and institutions, as well as negative portrayals in the news and media. Self-dehumanization may arise from the internalization of these meta-perceptions, interpersonal interactions, or the inherent nature of certain mental health conditions. This article reviews literature on meta- and self-dehumanization within clinical psychology, suggests directions for future research, and provides clinical implications for the field. We advocate for the consideration of self-dehumanization in existing therapies, the development of protocols designed for rehumanization, and the provision of more humanizing care by professionals and society.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101257
JournalCurrent Opinion in Behavioral Sciences
Early online date6 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Dehumanization and mental health: clinical implications and future directions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this