Listening as a method of addressing psychological distress

Authors

  • ALUN CHARLES JONES RMN, RGN, CPN, PGDE, MA, MSc, RNT, PhD,

    1. Specialist Nurse in Adult Psychotherapy, North Wales NHS trust, The Department of Psychological Therapies, North East Wales
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  • JOHN R CUTCLIFFE RMN, RGN, RPN, RN, B.Sc(Hon) Nrsg. and PhD

    1. ‘David G. Braithwaite’, Professor of Nursing, University of Texas (Tyler), Associate Dean, Stenberg College, Vancouver, Canada and Visiting Professor, University of Ulster, UK
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Alun Charles Jones
Position: Specialist Nurse in Adult Psychotherapy
North Wales NHS Trust
The Department Psychological Therapies
Swn-y-Coed
Grove Road
Wrecsam
LL11 1 DU
North East Wales
UK
E-mail: alun.jones@new-tr.wales.nhs.uk

Abstract

Aims  This paper discusses the values of therapeutic listening and ways that emotional difficulties can impact palliative nurses’ abilities to provide psychological care.

Background  Recent literature indicates that providing psychological care can burden some healthcare professionals including nurses; who may lack the necessary competencies or organizational resources to carry out their roles.

Evaluation  References drawn from the databases: all EBM reviews, BRITISH NURSING INDEX, CINAHL, PSYCH INFO and MEDLINE and EMBASE are discussed.

Key issues  Psychological care is considered critical to providing holistic care. Yet the literature suggests engaging in such work makes emotional demands on the professionals attempting to carry it out and is associated with psychological difficulties including burnout.

Conclusion  Clinical supervision can help reduce the distress caused by emotionally charged situations. Thoughtful clinical supervision can also contribute to safe and effective health care.

Implications for Nursing Management  Nursing would benefit from understanding more about the effects on healthcare professionals of repeated exposure to emotionally charged situations and benefits that clinical supervision can offer to health care.

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