For service users, the opportunity to have ‘a voice’ began to disrupt the routine objectification or dehumanisation that consistently, if unintentionally, characterise the treatment experience. Having a voice, it seemed, was synonymous with being human, with having ones’ ‘humanness’ recognised. We contend that not only did the introduction of consumer participation appear to empower service users and enhance the therapeutic alliance, it may have also improved service quality and health outcomes.

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