Health visiting as therapy: a phenomenological perspective



Health visiting as therapy: a phenomenological perspective¶ In the course of their work British health visitors encounter many individuals and families with problems. Support is usually offered, but if that support is for psychological health needs, it is less likely to be accepted as legitimate health visiting practice. Where a referral is either not accepted, or placed on a waiting list, the health visitor will support the client through a holding relationship until the other appropriate professionals can accept the referral. From a literature review, helping styles and holding relationships provide a ‘listening to’ opportunity, a ‘being there for’ and an exploration of the presenting problems. This paper aims to explore the practice of health visiting as therapy and urges health visitors to expand their psychological support of clients in preference to other role developments.