Psychology for Nursing and Healthcare Professionals: Developing Compassionate Care


Edited by: Sue Barker

  • Citations
  • Add to My List
  • Text Size

  • Chapters
  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
  • Subject Index
  • Copyright

    About the Authors

    Sue Barker is a lecturer in Mental Health at Cardiff University; she has been a mental health nurse for over 30 years and is a chartered psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. She has always been concerned with emotional well-being and her PhD focused on emotional care. Her phenomenological approach to understanding people’s emotional experiences has supported her teaching and writing related to person-centred, humanised and compassionate care.

    Gemma Stacey-Emile qualified as a mental health nurse just over 20 years ago; she has spent most of her time working in the field of substance misuse and more recently joined Cardiff University as a lecturer at the School of Healthcare Sciences. As well as her interest in substance misuse, Gemma has a keen interest in leadership and management and enjoys teaching these subjects at the School. She is also interested in helping others utilise their own personal skills to help motivate others to provide high standards of care.

    Gareth Morgan is a lecturer in Research Methods, Ethics and Policy at Cardiff University; he has been a lecturer for over 25 years and is a qualified social worker. As such, he has always been interested in the human condition and the influence of wider structures on people’s lives. He currently lectures primarily in Allied Health and, in particular, has contributed to the development and ongoing evolution of the Occupational Therapy programme. He also manages the associate lecturer scheme at the School of Healthcare Science, which supports the secondment of health professionals to the School for a prescribed period.

    Hamed Al Battashi is a lecturer in Mental Health at Oman Specialized Nursing Institute, based in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. He is a certified counsellor and a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi at the Villanova University Chapter, USA. He is also a certified trainer in thinking skills and developing creativity. He has always been interested in exploring human relationships and the impact of cultures in influencing people’s perceptions and interactions with the world around them. His background as an educator has always motivated him to explore the role of the humanities in improving teaching experiences and enhancing students’ learning. These interests have positively shaped his working attitude and his dealings with the people around him.

    Janet Scammell is Associate Professor in Nursing at Bournemouth University. After a career in various roles in adult clinical nursing practice, Janet moved to higher education where she has specialised in nurse education for 25 years. She is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Her doctoral studies concerned internationally recruited nurses and their role as mentors to nurse students. Janet is a mentor for Mary Seacole Award Scholars who focus on improving health outcomes for minority ethnic communities. Janet’s areas of interest include practice-based learning, equality and diversity issues, humanising care for all but in particular for older people, and humanising healthcare professional education.

    Beverley Johnson graduated from Oxford Brookes in 1994 as an adult nurse. She has worked in healthcare in Oxford, London, Australia and Cardiff. Beverley became a lecturer at Cardiff University in 2004 and has primarily taught Sociology and the Social Policy of Health. She is a lead for adult field nursing and is involved in the development and support of staff and students. She is interested in emotional well-being and emotional intelligence and is keen to develop knowledge and understanding of how they can enhance care provision and patient experience.

    Andrew Santos is a lecturer at Cardiff University and a lead for adult nursing. As part of this role, he has responsibility for supporting both staff and undergraduate nurses. Alongside his academic role, he continues to work on a one-to-one basis with people who have complex health needs. He is committed to compassionate person-centred care.

    Publisher’s Acknowledgements

    The publishers would like to thank the following lecturers for their invaluable feedback on the proposal and chapters:

    • Mark Arnold, London South Bank University, UK
    • Aimee Aubeeluck, University of Nottingham, UK
    • Thomas Beary, University of Hertfordshire, UK
    • Dr Kim Goode, University of Hertfordshire, UK
    • Lena Wiklund Gustin, Mälardalen University, Sweden
    • Dr. Julie MacInnes, Principal Lecturer, Canterbury Christ Church University, UK
    • Siobhan McCullough, Queen’s University Belfast, UK
    • Linda Robson, Edge Hill University, UK

    The publishers would also like to thank Jennie Barker for her fantastic illustrations, as well as Alex Oldham, Amy Scott and Imogen Fox for providing case studies. The book is much richer for your contribution.

    The author and publishers are grateful to the following for their kind permission to reproduce material:

    • Table 4:1 is adapted from Department of Health (2012) Compassion in Practice, © Crown copyright 2012, Available at
    • Table 4.4 is adapted from Gilbert, P. (2009) ‘Introducing compassion-focused therapy’, Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 15:199–208. Reproduced with permission of The Royal College of Psychiatrists.
    • Table 10:2 Two sets of managerial styles is adapted from Bass, B.M. (1985) Leadership and Performance beyond Expectations. New York: Free Press, with permission of John Wiley and Sons.


    It is a privilege for me to write a foreword to this book because the concept of compassion is central to nursing practice and very close to my heart. I have been a nurse for 20 years and if you were to ask me what nursing is, I would firstly describe what nurses need to be like. Put simply, nursing is an evidence-based health practice of human kindness within a professional context. It is impossible to separate the practice of nursing from the qualities of the people who deliver the practice. I am going to start with a bold statement: Nursing is the second most important job in the world (I shall reveal the first, most important, at the end of my foreword!).

    Over the years, nursing has become increasingly technical. As the profession has developed, it has rightly become closely allied to medical and health sciences. Nursing uses science, but it is primarily an art. I would argue that the art of nursing is often over-shadowed by the dominance of science. In any discipline it is hard to reconcile arts and science and it is understandable that students may pay greater attention to science in their studies because science is often considered to be easier to learn than art. However, with every patient interaction, the nurse is practising his or her own art. Knowledge of all the nursing science in the world will not make a person a good nurse. Conversely, being a kind person is not enough to successfully deliver good nursing practice. However, unless the nurse understands the nature of the art of nursing, scientific knowledge alone is useless. So what is this art? It is certainly not a-theoretical. On the contrary, there are many theories and approaches that may help and instruct nursing practice and this is what this book delivers. The art of nursing is similar to the art of any human endeavour: it comes with theoretical knowledge and it comes with practice. This is recognised by regulatory bodies; usually, half of all nurse education is based in university classrooms and the other half is based in clinical areas. Together, a syllabus seeks to help the person develop from a lay-person to a professional under expert instruction.

    This book draws a great deal from the discipline of psychology. This is a good (scientific) starting point for the art of nursing, because the ‘good’ nurse is primarily aware of psychological processes. Firstly, self-awareness is required – the study of one’s own psychology. Next, the ‘good’ nurse needs understanding of other people, and finally what is needed is understanding of the complexities of human relationships. All of this then underpins what nurses do. As such, the nurse needs emotional intelligence as well as any other form of intelligence. If you would like to study this concept further, I would encourage you to read an article called ‘The heart of the art: Emotional intelligence in nurse education’ (Freshwater and Stickley, 2004). The idea for the need for compassion in nursing is essentially the need for emotional intelligence. The reason nurses need compassion is because human beings are not machines. Nurses are constantly working with people, often in pain or in emotional distress, and many we work with are coming towards the end of their lives. In nursing we often refer to person-centred care; this is essentially compassion in practice.

    However, nurses are not angels! Being compassionate in a busy and demanding job is hard, especially when resources to do the work are often depleted. Compassionate nursing takes its toll and it is hard to maintain that emotional integrity when we are feeling exhausted, exploited and surrounded by pain and suffering. This book acknowledges what it is like to be a nurse in the real world and the toll it takes, and offers ways of managing, coping and hopefully thriving in the future.

    This is a vital book for nurses today and I especially recommend it to all nursing students, who will learn a great deal by studying its pages. This only leaves me to identify the most important job in the world, which is of course being a parent.

    Theo Stickley University of Nottingham
    Freshwater, D. and Stickley, T. ( 2004 ) ‘The heart of the art: Emotional intelligence in nurse education’, Nursing Inquiry, 11 (2): 9198.
  • Glossary

    1-to-1 principle

    From Piaget’s theory. Each item has one number

    Abstraction principle

    Counting can be applied to many things


    Occurs when new information cannot be assimilated, at which point a new schema needs to be developed

    Activities of daily living

    A concept developed by Roper et al. in their nursing model. The concept includes all activities as part of daily living: breathing, eating and drinking, mobilising, sleeping, sexuality, working and playing, eliminating, dying


    A change that is positive for the organism

    Administrative process

    A system of organisation applying set rules, programmes and pathways


    A hormone that stimulates an organism into action

    Affectionless psychopath

    A term coined by John Bowlby. He identified this as an outcome for babies who did not attach to their primary caregiver. It indicates a person who does not experience warm emotions towards others


    An association or linking with another person; from the word filial meaning ‘brother’

    Age of Enlightenment

    A significant philosophical period running throughout the eighteenth century. The philosophers of the time led a revolution against the power of the state and the Church to determine truth. They identified reason, progress and tolerance as important principles and this led to the increased development of empirical approaches

    Altered states of consciousness

    Any state of awareness that differs from ‘normal’ waking consciousness. Consciousness is the awareness and responsiveness to one’s surroundings. Altered states of consciousness could include dreaming, hallucinations or intoxication


    Attribution of life to inanimate objects. Everything in the world has purpose; everything is influenced by its mind or spirit, including the sun, the trees and the sea

    Apgar score

    A measure of the physical condition of a newborn baby; the score is out of 10


    An object made by a person usually related to a particular culture or time period


    The process of incorporating new information into existing schemas


    A connection or link between people


    An enduring emotional relationship, usually between parent and baby


    A person, usually in a leadership or management role, who abides by strict rules and ensures that others abide by these rules, too


    A person, usually in a leadership or management role, who offers clear guidance on what is expected and supports people to achieve this


    Respect for the person’s right to be self-governing

    Behaviour matching

    Where an individual matches or changes their behaviour to correspond to the behaviour of others. Their behaviour is the same or matches the other person’s


    Commitment to promoting a person’s well-being


    Two generations; two age groups with parent–child spacing

    Biological predisposition

    The physical body is designed to respond in a certain way which may be due to anatomical or physiological reasons such as genes and hormones


    The holistic model used by health psychologists that includes biological, psychological and social functioning to explain health

    Blind spots

    Aspects of the self of which the individual is unaware


    A map, pattern or scheme from which to develop something

    Bobo doll experiments

    Bandura and his colleagues developed a number of experiments to explore whether through observation a child could learn vicariously. They established that a child would imitate aggressive behaviour if they saw an adult being rewarded for behaving this way


    A term usually used by ethologists to describe the mother’s relationship with her babies


    A syndrome related to psychological ill health and exhaustion through work

    Cardinality principle

    The last number said when counting is the amount of items present


    Sorting or organising things into groups

    Cause and effect

    Each time one thing happens, another thing happens because of it; for example, I turn the light switch (cause) and the light comes on (effect)


    A response or recognition that something good has happened


    Focusing on the centre, the core of the issue or person


    Elements that make up the personality

    Classical conditioning

    Learning by repetition and pairing-association and the law of exercise: the more often it occurs increases the strength of the learning


    Sorting or organising things into a hierarchical order

    Client-centred therapy

    A counselling approach developed by Carl Rogers


    Identifying something or someone with a symbol such as a number

    Cognitive dissonance

    Holding two thoughts that are mutually incompatible, which creates psychological stress for the individual

    Cognitive restructuring

    Reorganising thoughts related to a specific concept

    Cognitive shift

    Where the established thinking changes


    The way in which things come together to form unity, such as a group of people who come together to work effectively


    Working together, with others

    Comfort talk register

    Concept developed by Janice Morse and her team – the use of comforting words or sounds


    To offer for sale


    Identifying the similarity or dissimilarity with something or someone else


    Where freedom of expression is reduced to facilitate agreement


    An abstract idea or plan


    Primitive methods for changing behaviour; there are two types: operant and classical. These gain behaviour changes through reinforcement (operant) and association (classical) . It is a type of learning used within behaviourism

    Conditions of worth

    Refers to valuing things that others think are important to gain positive regard rather than valuing things that facilitate our development towards our potential and gaining unconditional positive regard


    Being genuine and honest with themselves and with others


    The joining-together of one thing with another


    An abstract concept related to the mind; the conscience is said to limit immoral behaviour


    A Piagetian term for the ability to recognise constancy in the natural world


    Thought about

    Constant comparative

    A continuous process of identifying similarities and differences


    One built idea or concept


    A theory of how sense is made of the world – people build their understanding


    In narrative approaches to research this is the words within the story. A focus on content could be the meaning of the words or how words are used

    Contentment system

    A neurological process motivating behaviour which creates a feeling of comfort


    Related to the physical body – internal to the physical body


    Demonstrates a relationship between objects

    Correspondent inferences

    Psychological theory that offers a process to understand intentions of a given behaviour


    Steroid hormones produced by the adrenal cortex


    Talking therapy or treatment


    Providing evidence or weight for one side of an argument or discussion to achieve balance


    The ability to behave in the way considered best, despite the experience of fear


    A moment of significant change

    Cultural hegemony

    The most influential ideology within a culture

    Cultural portrait

    A picture of the culture; it could be a picture developed through words


    The arts, behaviours and beliefs of a particular group of people

    Culture-sharing groups

    A group of people who have the same cultural identity


    An interest in finding out about things, the world


    An action, possibly psychological, to protect oneself

    Deficiency drive

    The motivation to maintain or achieve health


    Where a person’s thoughts and feelings do not seem real and they cannot recognise themselves as an individual or their experiences


    Where a person has not had access to something that is experienced normally within their culture


    Behaviour that does not comply with cultural norms


    A type of analytical thought for the processing of conflicting objects, messages and ideas


    A method of distinguishing between groups or individuals


    A psychological feeling of discomfort

    Distributed management

    A management approach facilitated by working together using systems such as the world wide web to involve the people doing the work in decision-making

    Divergent thinking

    A creative thought process to consider a number of approaches to problem-solving


    A nerve system where dopamine is the specific neurotransmitter

    Dream interpretation

    A technique used in psychoanalysis to understand the person’s psychological state


    A motivating force

    Drive system

    A process that motivates behaviour


    Two parts that work together for the benefit of the whole


    Something that is always in a state of change


    Repetition of a word, sound or action

    Ecological validity

    Something that appears to hold true in the everyday/natural world


    In psychodynamic theory, the balancing part of the personality that ensures that individual needs are met in a socially appropriate way

    Ego strength

    The power, robustness or skill of the ego to meet individual needs


    Assumes that everyone thinks as they do


    Part of the psychodynamic theory occurring for girls when the oedipal complex is occurring in boys. It is where girls associate with their mothers when they find that they do not have a penis like their fathers. At this time, they develop sexual fantasies about their fathers


    A person experiences the world through their holistic body. All their senses including their spirituality

    Embodied experience

    Where a person recognises how their body is experiencing the world

    Embodied knowing

    Knowing or understanding something through what Gendlin calls a felt sense; it is known to the senses but does not arrive at consciousness through any specific sense

    Emergent properties

    Things that develop out of the coming-together of other objects


    The internal understanding or experience of something

    Emotion-focused coping

    A strategy that can be used to manage stress when the problem causing stress cannot be resolved or removed. It involves techniques which allow the person to continue to stay well despite difficult experiences

    Emotional exhaustion

    Where the person is no longer able to cope with emotional demands on them. They have no emotional energy left to provide an emotional response

    Emotion work

    The management of personal and other emotions in a private place such as home

    Emotional labour

    The management of personal and other emotions in a public place such as hospitals


    The reaching-out to the feeling, experiences and attitudes of another person


    To demonstrate an understanding of another person’s thoughts, feelings or experiences


    Knowledge or understanding can only be gained through observation and experience


    Strength, vitality, power


    The suspension of time and external world influences


    Balancing of good and bad, hot and cold, etc. to maintain people’s well-being


    Freud’s life force, the motivating force to sustain life


    The core element of a thing


    A sub-group within a culture


    Cultural development over time


    A person who studies animal behaviour


    An objective explanation of something


    The study of the origins of words


    Relating to existence, what it is to exist; philosophical approach stating that every person is the creator of their own destiny: they have free choice


    Something that is made clear or obvious


    Something that no longer exists


    Something that is stopped, put out, such as fire


    Refers to the extent to which a person engages with other people. An extrovert is said to continuously seek the company of others. The other extreme of this polar trait is ‘introversion’, which occurs in people who prefer their own company to that of others


    A belief that cannot be proved or disproved by science


    Experiencing something or someone frequently

    Felt sense

    It is known to the senses but does not arrive at consciousness through any specific sense


    Honouring the trust placed in the practitioner


    In grounded theory it is the place where the information is gathered from

    Field notes

    Writing undertaken in the place where what is written takes place

    Field of forces

    The area in which different influences or forces come together to create change

    Fight-or-flight response

    This is sometimes referred to as the ‘fight, flight or freeze response’. It is where an acute stress reaction has been triggered by a feared situation or perception. This trigger sets off a biological reaction called the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis (HPA axis), and is highlighted in Figure 3.2


    Arrested or stopped at a certain point; used in Freud’s psychodynamic theory to identify that a person is exhibiting the behaviour of an earlier time as they are fixated on that time and place

    Fixed component

    An item that does not change

    Flexible component

    An item that can change


    Adhering to a particular code, strategy, process


    A developmental stage, assisting in the ‘formation’ of the person

    Free association

    A technique used in psychodynamic therapy to support understanding and growth. The therapist gives a stream of words and the client needs to give the first word that comes into their head on hearing the therapist’s words

    Functional changes

    The way something works or performs changes


    The exploration of how something functions or works

    General structure

    The bringing-together of the essential features of a phenomenon


    A term used to explain what the norm is; something that is applied to everyone


    The hereditary information about the person; their biological potential


    A type of story

    Gestalt philosophy

    A philosophical approach that recognises patterns in perceptions


    Something that occurs on the basic level; it is part of the basis of something

    Growth drive

    Growth motives are those at the top of the hierarchy and promote cognitive needs, aesthetic needs and self-actualisation


    Learning by familiarisation

    Halo effect

    Where one-word description supports a stereotype such as a warm person and a cold person


    ‘Commonsense’ approach to problem-solving; an everyday approach

    Hierarchic integration

    The coming-together of simple skills to create a complex skill


    Classifying things in order of importance or size


    Derived from the Greek language, homo meaning ‘same’ and stasis meaning ‘stoppage’. The homeostatic drive refers to the internal body processes which work together to maintain a constant optimal bodily environment


    Things that are consistent; one theory is homogenous with another; it has the same meaning


    A substance that circulates around the body, produced by glands to regulate the body

    Hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis

    The fight-or-flight endocrinal and neurological system


    A small area of the forebrain beneath the thalamus


    An idea to be examined

    Hypothetical deductive reasoning

    This is the basic scientific approach to finding things out. It is the establishing of an idea and then trying to find ways to disprove it


    Part of the personality as established by Freud. Freud’s three parts of the personality are the id, ego and superego. The id is the innate part that is always seeking the fulfilment of its needs and desires

    Ideal self

    What we want ourselves to be; who we would ideally like to be


    Philosophical approach which proposes that all knowledge comes from the senses (sight, sound, touch, smell, etc.)


    Recognising an object’s similarities and differences to other things, and giving it a label


    A cultural belief system


    Where an object is misperceived or inaccurately perceived

    Imaginative variation

    A technique used in phenomenology to identify the boundaries of a phenomenon by imagining whether, if the phenomenon looked like ‘this’, it would still be an example of the phenomenon


    Copying behaviour


    Where rules or knowledge are accepted but not clearly articulated


    A term used by ethologists to explain how animals ‘bond’ with their mothers


    A psychological experience explained by Rogers whereby the person, not being comfortable with themselves, is not self-aware or genuine. A person may be incongruent with another person, in which case they are not being open, honest and genuine with the other person

    Individual variations or constituents

    Terms used in phenomenology. Phenomenology accepts that there is an essential or core part of any phenomenon but each individual may experience the phenomenon in different ways, and these are ‘individual variations’ or ‘constitutes’ of the phenomenon

    Inert substance

    Something that does not easily interact or react with other chemicals, compounds, etc.


    Not adhering to a particular process, guidelines or strategy


    Attributes a person or animal is born with; they are present at birth

    Internal working model

    A concept developed by John Bowlby to explain babies and children’s development and the maintenance of relationships


    Where a number of professionals work together

    Intrapersonal, interpersonal and extrapersonal

    Intra- within the person; inter- between people; extra- additional to personal


    A technique for developing understanding whereby the person thinks about their own experiences


    The opposite end of the extroversion pole in Hans Eysenck’s personality traits. Introversion is where the person receives enough internal stimulation and does not therefore need to seek external stimulation from other people

    Invalidating environment

    A term developed by Marsha Linehan in dialectical behavioural therapy. It suggests that some people grow in an environment that undermines their understanding of their emotional experiences


    A term used by Jean Piaget to explain the thought processes of a preoperational child. Irreversibility is the inability to retrace a thought pathway backward to the beginning


    Fair care provision for all people


    A management or leadership style where the manager or leader takes a ‘hands-off’ approach and gives the team the space to develop their own ways of working

    Law of effect

    States that when something good happens after an action, the behaviour is likely to be repeated


    A person who enables movement; to provide a route to a place or action


    The power and energy to undertake an activity


    Sexual drive, identified by Sigmund Freud as the life-motivating force

    Life world

    The totality of an individual’s experiences

    Limbic system

    Complex part of the brain near the edge of the cortex that processes instincts and emotions

    Locus of control

    Locus meaning ‘place’ or ‘location’; where control is situated or stems from

    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

    A technique used to view inside the body, generated by magnets and using computer images

    Malignant social psychology

    A term used by Tom Kitwood to explain a care culture that creates ill-being in a person with dementia


    The process of organising staff and/or tasks. The process of controlling people and things

    Management supervision

    A meeting with a manager to explore how an employee or employees can achieve organisational goals


    The person who has the responsibility and authority within an organisation to organise staff and their tasks

    Maturational theory

    A theory which identifies that organisms grow and change throughout their lifespan


    A person who offers guidance and support


    Where the behaviour of one individual is copied by another


    The term used by John Bowlby to explain that there is only one way for a baby to grow into a healthy social adult. He says that if the child does not have a consistent relationship with their mother in their early years, they will become deviant or develop psychopathology


    The coming-together of people with different training


    In psychology, this is a personality type whereby the person is only concerned with themselves


    Connecting with others to share thoughts, ideas, etc.

    Neuroendocrine cells

    Nerve cells that infiltrate the endocrine glands


    One of the polar traits of personality identified by Eysenck. It relates to how much a person worries or is anxious


    A chemical messenger that carries messages across the nerve synapse or neuromuscular junction

    Non-judgemental positive regard

    Identified by Rogers as a necessary requirement for a sense of well-being to achieve self-actualisation. It is the provision of warmth and encouragement without conditions


    A commitment to avoiding harm to the person


    A normalising approach, bringing a conversation back to the everyday

    Number concepts

    From Piaget’s theory which indicates that the preoperational child does not have the concept of numbers. They do not understand what numerical symbols mean

    Object permanence

    From Piaget’s theory. He identified that the baby does not have a sense of object permanence, so if the baby cannot see an object it does not exist


    From Freud’s psychosexual developmental psychodynamic theory. This is the phase which boys go through at about 4 years of age. The boy becomes sexually attracted to his mother but fears that his father will castrate him if he responds to this, so the boy tries to become similar to his father


    The study of the meaning of living; of being

    Operant conditioning

    Learning through reinforcement and punishment (reward)

    Order-irrelevance principle

    From Piaget’s theory. It does not matter where you start: you still have the same number of the given items


    By, with, in or from the organism

    Organismic valuing process (OVP)

    From Rogers’ theory. This occurs when people value things that support their reaching their potential

    Orthogenetic principle

    Where ortho means ‘direction’, so the principle is that genes (‘genetic’) provide the direction (‘ortho’) for development


    A synthesis of different perspectives


    A model or pattern that is typical of a certain style


    A communication technique whereby the listener rephrases what the speaker has said and feeds this back to them


    The common term is ‘Freudian slip’. It is where a person says something, usually of a sexual nature, that discloses their true thoughts or feelings


    In the UK, it consists of the Sovereign, the House of Lords and the House of Commons. These together provide the legislator for the country

    Participant observers

    This is a research technique whereby the person collecting the data is also part of the situation being observed


    In law, this is defined as a contractual undertaking between two or more people

    Perceptual constancy

    Where an object is seen as the same size, shape, etc., despite changing the stimulus reaching the senses

    Perceptual field

    The scope of the perception, for example the hearing range, etc.

    Perceptual hypothesis

    An idea we have about the world based on previous perceptions which we then verify through the senses

    Perceptual world

    Understanding of the world based on information from the senses

    Person-centred care

    There is no single precise definition of this term but it generally involves respect, dignity and recognising individual needs and desires


    Kitwood highlighted the importance of personhood, identifying it as something that is bestowed on an individual by others. It is the recognition of the individual as a person with feelings, thoughts and rights


    Different ways of viewing the same phenomenon

    Phenomenological field

    This is the individual’s subjective experiences of the world, which is always changing. The person’s world, the phenomenological field, is their perception of their experiences. Their perceptual field provides the person with a sense of reality; it is their personal reality


    The observable and measurable features of an individual; the composite of natural (genes, biology, etc.) and environmental (food, relationships, etc.) influences on the person

    Pituitary gland

    A pea-sized gland that hangs beneath the hypothalamus in the brain. It plays a significant role in growth, development and functioning


    Extreme opposing characteristics at each end of a personality trait continuum

    Positive person work

    Developed by Kitwood as a way to develop a culture facilitating well-being

    Positive regard

    A warm way of perceiving and responding to others

    Positivism/positivist philosophy

    A philosophy to understand people which only accepts evidence that is observable and measurable


    What someone is capable of achieving

    Power base

    Where the power or control is located


    A teacher or instructor


    Elements of the mind that can be retrieved but do not appear automatically to consciousness


    A term used by Bowlby to refer to a baby or child not receiving a warm, loving relationship

    Problem solving coping

    Where the person uses a technique which resolves the problem or makes it go away and they therefore no longer need to cope with it


    A series of events

    Progressive relaxation

    A step-by-step method of achieving relaxation, the amelioration of tension in the body


    Nearness; closeness in time, space or relationship


    A psychological method for exploring the unconscious mind so that painful, repressed experiences can be resolved


    A personality trait identified by Eysenck referring to how well a person ‘fits’ in with their culture


    An unpleasant experience used to deter certain behaviour


    A research approach which focuses on meaning that does not use numerical techniques


    A research approach that uses numerical data in observations and measurements

    Randomised control trial (RCT)

    A research study design that places participants in either a control or an experimental group randomly; a participant has a 50/50 chance of being in either group


    All knowledge comes from the mind. René Descartes (1596–1650) stated that mind and matter (body) were separate entities but only humans possessed a mind. This theory was called ‘dualism’


    The state of things as they exist


    A cognitive process with the aim of understanding or decision-making


    The exchange of things for mutual benefit


    Making something as small as can be achieved; separating a person or object into its smallest component parts


    Involves making a choice to learn from an activity, to learn from our experiences


    Capable of ‘turning back’ on oneself and reconsidering experiences

    Reflexive response

    Behaviour resulting from rethinking about experiences


    Used in Freud’s psychodynamic theory as a mental defence mechanism. It is behaving in a way expected in a previous stage of the lifespan


    A reward or behaviour that supports the re-enactment of a response

    Relational ethic

    Ethics is making decisions about what is right and wrong; relational ethics is about ethics in relationship with others


    From psychodynamic theory, a mental defence mechanism that pushes uncomfortable thoughts or feelings into the unconscious mind


    An approach which facilitates the regaining of equilibrium or sense of well-being

    Reticular formation

    Nerve pathway in the brainstem influencing the level of consciousness


    A positive reinforcement; a desired thing that is given to a person to recognise achievement and encourage them to do it again

    Role model

    A person whose behaviour is rewarded and can be imitated

    Romantic Naturalists

    Philosophers who extol the virtues of nature and biological forces


    Having a need or desire fulfilled


    A collection of ideas that together form a conceptual understanding of a thing; a way of managing data or memories


    A collection of people who think about things in a similar way, or an educational establishment


    The becoming of oneself, the achievement of one’s potential; also called ‘peak moments’ because it is not a constant state of being


    The extent to which a person knows themself


    A collection of thoughts or ideas one has about oneself


    The sharing of personal information with another person


    The belief in one’s own ability to achieve a goal


    The judgements one makes about oneself


    The way one sees oneself; how a person thinks they look


    People who are in a continuous cycle of assessing and managing themselves. As with ‘impression management’, they use their self-awareness, empathy and social skills to self-regulate by coming alongside others and ‘being’ what others need and expect of them


    Something that continues occurring without an external energy or force


    Where a person monitors and manages their own thoughts, feelings and behaviour

    Self-reinforcing or self-fulfilling prophecy

    Recognising or stating that a thing will happen actually makes it happen


    Fostering the practitioner’s self-knowledge and care for themself


    The value one puts on oneself


    As part of behaviourism it is where the organism/person responds to a stimulus more each time it is presented


    Put items with some similarity into a row, or organise them to occur one after the other


    A way of dividing and separating; to isolate


    Having things in common

    Social learning theory

    Learning by observation and imitation; vicarious learning

    Social skills

    Skills needed to function well in a group


    The meaning a person gives to their life

    Stable-order principle

    Numbers always go in a set order: 1, 2, 3, …

    Statistical analysis

    A mathematical approach to understanding numerical data


    The avoidance or mistreatment of a person because they stand out in some way from the major cultural group of the society


    Something that provokes a response or action

    Stimulus–response theory

    A theory that explains behaviour: all behaviour occurs through a trigger or stimulus


    A communicated experience (may be fantasy) with a structure: beginning, middle and end


    The main theme in a story or the timeline for the story

    (The) strange situation

    An experiment developed by Mary Ainsworth to assess attachment in infants at about 18 months old

    Structuralism/structural theories of personality

    A psychological theory that offers an explanation of thoughts and feelings which identified that the structure provides the mechanism for thoughts and is more important than how this is achieved (function)


    From Rogers’ theory, this is a term used to identify how people maintain their incongruence. It is where the person deals with an issue without it coming to their direct consciousness; they would then use a mental defence mechanism such as denial to manage the discomfort

    Subjective experience

    The individual’s personal experience


    From psychodynamic theory. It is where a thought or feeling that is uncomfortable for the person, usually of a sexual nature, is transformed into a more socially acceptable form such as sport


    Matter, chemical, object

    Successive approximation

    Through practice, moving behaviour nearer to the desired behaviour – one step building on another


    This is the third part of the personality according to psychodynamic theory. The superego is the part that represents societal rules learned initially through parents


    The person who directs or oversees the actions of another


    Where something is used to represent something else


    To feel for another person


    The formation of well-constructed sentences


    A structured process

    Systematic desensitisation

    ‘Systematic’ refers to a graded introduction to the feared situation, and ‘desensitisation’ refers to the counter-balancing or reducing of the fear response


    The natural disposition of the person, which may include their mental, emotional and physical attributes


    Related to time; present experiences of life in the world


    Freud’s death drive. He suggests that all people are seeking the safety and security of the womb and the only permanent way of achieving this is through death

    Therapeutic relationship

    With the understanding that ‘therapeutic’ is to do with offering appropriate treatment, whether this is offering advice or administering medication or activities of daily living. This is a relationship in which therapy can be provided


    The use of touch to develop well-being


    Stable sources of individual differences that characterise what a person is like

    Transactional style

    This type of leader performs the role of supervising and organising to gain group performance. Leaders who implement this style focus on specific tasks and use rewards and punishments as motivation

    Transductive reasoning

    Sees cause where none exists


    From psychodynamic theory; occurs where the client transfers their relational thoughts, feelings and behaviours learned in childhood towards their therapist

    Transformational style

    These leaders attempt to engage internal motivators, appealing to the person’s moral and ethical values; it is more humanistic


    A word used to identify a category, a collection of ideas, diagnoses, etc. that have commonalities

    Unconditional positive regard

    A warm, respectful feeling towards someone without expectation

    Unconscious inferences

    Ideas that are applied but have not been consciously examined

    Unique potential

    From humanistic psychology which indicates that each individual is distinct or different: they are unique. Each individual has the ability to achieve certain things: their potential. Hence, ‘unique potential’ is what an individual is capable of achieving or becoming


    An element that can be manipulated or changed


    Learning through observing what happens to another person if they enact a behaviour


    Used in Erikson’s psychosocial developmental theory to mean an ego strength; an achievement of the personality. Also used as an attribute of the personality


    Verb: to sense through sight (eyes); noun: an aim or desire for the future

    • Loading...
Back to Top

Copy and paste the following HTML into your website