Engagement and Therapeutic Communication in Mental Health Nursing
Publication Year: 2014
Being able to engage with service users and communicate effectively is a fundamental skill identified by the NMC and required of all mental health nurses. The reality is that building rapport and developing therapeutic relationships does not come instinctively for everyone. The authors have responded to this with a book that explains the different communication theories and models and goes on to show students how they work in the real world. Innovative exercises encourage reflection and enable students to practice their developing communication skills as they progress. Throughout the book the authors are focussed on promoting recovery and have put the service user at the centre of the discussion, ensuring that their voice is heard.
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
- Chapter 1: Therapeutic communication in mental health nursing
- Chapter 2: What is engagement?
- Chapter 3: Building rapport
- Chapter 4: Questioning skills
- Chapter 5: When communication becomes challenging
- Chapter 6: Cross-cultural communication
- Chapter 7: Communication with carers as partners in care
- Chapter 8: Getting it right – the service user perspective
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© 2014 Sandra Walker, Peter Bullard, Simon Grist, Yvonne Middlewick, Dorothy Neal, Julia Pelle, Wendy Turton, Janine Ward and Andy Williams
First published in 2014
Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of research or private study, or criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988, this publication may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form, or by any means, only with the prior permission in writing of the publishers, or in the case of reprographic reproduction, in accordance with the terms of licences issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside those terms should be sent to the publishers.
Library of Congress Control Number: 2014932989
British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
ISBN: 978 1 4462 7480 4
Editor: Alex Clabburn
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One thing that can never be overlooked in mental healthcare is the complexity of human beings. Unfailingly individual, we all operate from a comprehensive array of cultural backgrounds and beliefs; various levels of knowledge and understanding; differing likes and dislikes; diverse life experiences and multiple behaviours. Learning to navigate these differences and managing to connect with others despite them, is one of the hardest tasks ahead of us in our quest for high quality care for those in mental distress. Research has consistently shown that it is the human relationships we develop that have the biggest impact on recovery in mental healthcare; successful engagement and therapeutic communication are essential in order to help people find their way out of the maze of problems that may have beset them.
This book offers many practical suggestions as to how to ensure we successfully engage with those in our care, underpinned by a broad base of theory and evidence. The principles of person-centred recovery, validation, respect and dignity are themes that are interwoven throughout the chapters. The book provides practical exercises that will help the reader to develop a stronger sense of self both as a person and a professional while at the same time learning to put themselves in the shoes of the person they are caring for and always remembering that it is their values, not ours, that must direct our action.
There are two outstanding themes, however, that bear further consideration as you embark on reading this text. The importance of self-awareness is a recurring theme throughout the chapters. It is essential that we are aware of our own cultural background, our own values, beliefs and attitudes, our non-verbal body language, our limitations and when we need to ask for help. The importance of supervision and reflective practice support this and are repeatedly highlighted as hallmarks of best practice. Additionally, curiosity is another, often reoccurring, theme. It is the way to ensure we are not hijacked by our own standpoint. To ask gentle probing questions of the position of the person in distress, to maintain a respectful curiosity in the face of behaviour we find difficult to understand, is key in helping us to work collaboratively with people to help them recover. The importance of these two themes cannot be underestimated.
If you are a student nurse, a newly qualified nurse or even a nurse of some years’ standing looking for tips to update your portfolio of skills, this book will stand you in good stead for practice. It can be read as a whole but can also be dipped into section by section as you come across situations in practice, perhaps, that warrant further exploration of that particular subject. Engaging with this book will help you to become a more effective practitioner of the art of mental health nursing, enhancing your ability to connect with people of diverse backgrounds and needs.April 2014
The authors and publisher wish to thank the following for permission to reproduce copyright material.
Open University Press for the nursing qualities displayed in Figure 1.1, from Megan Ellis and Crispen Day (2013) The therapeutic relationship: engaging clients in their care and treatment, Chapter 12 in Norman, IJ and Ryrie, I (eds) The Art and Science of Mental Health Nursing: Principles and practice, pp172 and 174.
David A Richards and Mark Whyte (2011) for Figures 4.1 and 4.2, Funnelling, reproduced with kind permission from Reach Out: National Programme Student Materials to Support the Delivery of Training for Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners Delivering Low Intensity Interventions (3rd Edition). London: Rethink.
About the Authors
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