Therapeutic Relationship

by: Lhynnelli

therapeitic relationship Therapeutic relationship – is a relationship that is established between a health care professional and a client for the purpose of assisting the client to solve his problems.

  1. Empathy
    • the nurse should be able to perceive and experience the feelings of the patient to be able to understand the patient.

·        Empathy is therapeutic but sympathy is not therapeutic because sympathy is pity.

·        Sympathy leads the patient to develop a “poor me” self concept.

  1. Genuineness

o       this is manifested when the nurse is sincere and honest in her relationship with the patient. Consistency conveys sincerity that in turn foster the development of the patient’s trust. The nurse must maintain an honest and open communication.

  1. Concreteness and specificity

o       this pertains to the nurse’s ability to identify the client’s feelings and make the client be aware of them. Only when the nurse listens actively and is sensitive enough can she help the patient to gain awareness and insight regarding the latter’s feelings, thought and behaviors in relation to situations and person’s to the patients life in the past and in the present.

  1. Respect

o       the nurse considers the patient, like any other human being with dignity, to be deserving of high regard. This is manifested when the nurse does not belittle or judge the patient’s feelings, verbalizations and behaviors.

o       Respect is shown when the nurse realizes that several patients may have the same diagnosis but their individuality sets them apart and different from each other. As such, the nurse approach must be appropriate for each patient. Respect can be shown by being consistent yet flexible when the circumstance warrants being so.

*Transference – occurs when the client transfers conflict/ feelings from the past to the nurse. Ex. Client becomes overly dependent to the nurse because client may transfer the maternal longings to the nurse.

* Counter-transference – when nurse responds to the client emotionally on a personal level. When the nurse begins to react to the patient personal level, often unaware of it and may lose her objectivity. The nurse should discuss with the other members of the health team any negative or strong feeling she has developed towards the client so she can be helped to maintain her focus and perspective.

  1. Immediacy of relationship

o       this refers to the nurse’s ability to recognize her own feelings as she deals and communicate with the patient. It also refers to the ability to realize when it is appropriate to share them with the patient.

  1. Self-exploration

o       it is necessary that the nurse makes the patient realize the necessity of the patient exploring, identifying and understanding his own feelings and thought to be able to understand himself better, and find appropriate solutions to his problems.

  1. Self – disclosure

o       the nurse willingness to share her own points of view in a therapeutic manner can be an indication of genuineness, this encourages the patient to become more open to the nurse in return.

  1. Confrontation

o       patients sometimes behave inappropriately because they perceive the environment unrealistically. It could also be due to excessive use of defense mechanisms. These in appropriate behaviors and unrealistic perceptions can be corrected by the nurse by pointing out the patient in a matter of fact and non-judgmental manner, the inconsistencies and discrepancies in the patients behaviors, perceptions, verbalizations and feelings. The nurse also set limits on the patients behavior.


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