[Where can psychiatry go from here?]
1217 - 1226
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The paper addresses possible perspectives for the future of psychiatry in Europe over the next 30 years. Initially, an historical overview over the history of psychiatry since the Enlightenment suggests that significant changes did not primarily originate in psychiatry itself but were rather the result of the given societal contexts. The paper then describes five different potential scenarios for psychiatric care in 30 years time. Following that, the current situation of psychiatrists and possible signs of a crisis are outlined, and specific aspects that characterize the job of psychiatrists, as compared to other medical disciplines and other professional groups in mental healthcare, are considered. Finally, suggestions are made to make psychiatry more attractive, effective and relevant in society, which may make the profession better equipped for future changes.