Conversation starters: re-examining and reconstructing first encounters within the therapeutic relationship
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This paper describes, analyses and reconstructs early encounters between nurse and client. Too often nurses take for granted ordinary encounters with clients and thus overlook opportunities to develop the nurse-client relationship. Common encounters, drawn from reflection on practice, are analysed using contemporary cultural theories. Creative alternatives are suggested and we argue that they represent opportunities to make meaningful connections with and for clients. As conversation starters, these ideas may be used by nurses to facilitate a more trusting therapeutic relationship. They may help to deepen understanding or insight into mental health problems and help to reveal hidden strengths and solutions. By noticing, valuing, discussing and developing this space, we as mental health nurses are extending our discipline base and articulating, with more precision and persuasion, exactly how we contribute to better health outcomes.
Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
© 2004 Blackwell Publishing. The definitive version is available at [www.blackwell-synergy.com.]