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A Balancing Act-How Mental Health Professionals Experience Being Personal in Their Relationships with Service Users
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work. Psychiatry South Stockholm, Sweden.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work. Psychiatry South Stockholm, Sweden; University of Agder, Norway.
Number of Authors: 3
2017 (English)In: Issues in Mental Health Nursing, ISSN 0161-2840, E-ISSN 1096-4673, Vol. 38, no 7, 578-583 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Although being personal in relationships with service users is commonly described as an important aspect of the way that professionals help people with severe mental problems, this has also been described to bring with it a need to keep a distance and set boundaries. Aims: This study aims to explore how professionals working in psychiatric care view being personal in their relationships with users. Method: Qualitative interviews with 21 professionals working in three outpatient psychiatric units, analyzed through thematic analysis. Results: Being personal in their relationships with users was described as something that participants regarded to be helpful, but that also entails risks. Participants described how they balanced being personal by keeping a distance and maintaining boundaries in their relationships based on their experience-based knowledge to counter these risks. While these boundaries seemed to play an important part in the way that they act and behave, they were not seen as fixed, but rather as flexible and dynamic. Boundaries could sometimes be transgressed to the benefit of users. Conclusions: Being personal was viewed as something that may be helpful to users, but that also entails risks. Although boundaries may be a useful concept for use in balancing these risks, they should be understood as something complex and flexible.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 38, no 7, 578-583 p.
National Category
Nursing Occupational Therapy Psychiatry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-146028DOI: 10.1080/01612840.2017.1301603ISI: 000405806000008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-146028DiVA: diva2:1134896
Available from: 2017-08-21 Created: 2017-08-21 Last updated: 2017-08-21Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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