The Context of Mental Health Nursing

  • Derek Milne
Chapter
Part of the Psychology Applied to Nursing book series (PAN)

Abstract

One of the truisms of psychology is that the things we observe occur in a context: behaviour does not take place in a vacuum. All the models considered in Chapter 1 emphasised the relationship between behaviour and important events going on inside or outside the client. For the psychodynamic model this may consist of unconscious processes such as ‘denial’, while for the behaviourist the onus is placed on events taking place around the patient, such as social activities. Despite such differences, they both share the view that the individual’s behaviour occurs for a reason outside the individual’s knowledge or control, and is not simply the result of ‘free will’. It follows that behaviour can only be properly understood in the light of those factors known to influence it. The models disagree about the nature of these influences, but not about their existence or importance. These factors are the context for everyone’s behaviour, whether we are clients, nurses or psychologists. Examples of these different models of therapy are to be found in Chapter 6.

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Further Reading

  1. Those references listed are a mixture of general texts and detailed research studies, which you might like to pursue. In addition, here are some relevant resourcesGoogle Scholar
  2. Freeman, H. L. (Ed; 1984). Mental Health and the Environment. Edinburgh: Churchill-Livingstone. Freeman’s text contains chapters from experts on theory and practice (for example, on delinquency and housing).Google Scholar
  3. Marks, I. M. (1985). Psychiatric Nurse Therapists in Primary Care. London: Royal College of Nursing. Isaac Marks has championed the role of the nurse as specialist therapist. In this book he summarises the background to this advanced clinical role for the psychiatric nurse and then details a research study in which the work of these nurses was evaluated. This is a stimulating and positive account of psychiatric nursing in the community.Google Scholar
  4. O’Connor, W. A. and Lubin, B. (Eds; 1985). Ecological Models in Clinical and Community Mental Health. New York: Wiley. This text is a collection of articles which considers the relationships between context and behaviour.Google Scholar
  5. Walton, H. (Ed; 1986). Education and Training in Psychiatry. London: King Edward’s Hospital Fund for London. This edited book contains discussion of roles and teamwork from the psychiatrist’s perspective. The relationship between psychiatry and psychiatric nursing receives special attention. The tone is a constructive one in which the strengths of respective professions are emphasised.Google Scholar
  6. West, J. and Spinks, P. (1988). Clinical Psychology in Action. London: Wright. This edited book presents first-hand reports of what clinical psychologists do in the NHS.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Derek Milne 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Derek Milne
    • 1
  1. 1.Northumberland District Psychology ServiceUniversity of NewcastleUpon TyneUK

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