Title of Article‘To see each other more like human beings… from both sides.’ Patients and therapists going to a study course together
Type of ArticleOriginal Practice Development and Research
Author/sBengt Karlsson, Marit Borg, Tevje Revheim, Reidun Jonassen
ReferenceVolume 3, Issue 1, Article 1
Date of PublicationMay 2013
Keywordsempowerment, mental health, recovery, study course, therapeutic relation

Background: The relationship between patient and therapist has long been of central importance in mental health and substance abuse services, and in recent years the perspectives of equal footing, collaboration and partnership have been emphasised. In this paper we present the experiences of participating in a common study course for mental health or substance abuse patients and their therapists.

Objectives: To explore the participants’ experiences of the course, and its impact on the relationship between the patient and therapist and on the processes of empowerment and recovery.

Methods: A semi-structured, qualitative focus group interview was conducted and analysed within a thematic and phenomenological framework, with hermeneutic phenomenology as the approach.

Results: The following themes emerged through the analysis: recognising common humanity and common strength; being accepted as a person, an inviting control-free zone; and doing things differently.

Conclusion: The significance participants attach to discovering common humanity and reciprocity in the therapeutic partnership and the positive impact of training together draw attention to the potential for more collaborative ways of competence building and service transformation.

Implications for practice:

  • Identify the possible impact of common study courses on therapeutic relationships
  • Recognise the potential of involving patients and service users in practitioners’ training and competence building
  • Recognise the impact of context on therapeutic relationships

This article by Bengt Karlsson, Marit Borg, Tevje Revheim, Reidun Jonassen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 3.0 License.

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