Integration of therapeutic approaches: a new direction for mental health nurses?


  • G. Wilshaw MA BSc DipN CertEd RGN RMN RNT RCNT Dip Com MH

    1. Lecturer/Practitioner in Community Mental Health Nursing and Freelance Counsellor, 2 Garstang Road West, Poulton Le Fylde, Lancashire FY6 7SW, England
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In this paper, the author reviews the value of the taking up of a specific therapeutic school or base for practice in mental health nursing, such as cognitive behavioural therapy or client-centred therapy. This is examined against a background of increased interest in non-‘purist’ forms of therapeutic approach in the fields of psychotherapy and counselling. The common factors present in effective helping relationships are highlighted, along with a way of understanding the fundamental form of a given helping relationship which is perhaps independent of theoretical orientation. Thinking in this mode cuts across traditional ‘models of nursing/therapy’ speak. This may allow the mental health nurse to adopt appropriate client-need-driven interventions, which are not hamstrung by theoretical dogma. Given this, the paper suggests an ‘honourable position’ of eclecticism for mental health nurse education and practice.