Therapeutic Relationships: Introduction to Counselling Skills in Psychiatric Nursing
Flipgrid Activity Instructions
Respond to the following questions, present a thoughtful reflection on the following questions and considerations:
1. What are the major issues and concerns of most beginning RPNs engaging in the counselling process?
2. How can we maintain our own personhood and our professional identity when we are involved daily with people who are struggling?
3. How do we keep their stories (some of which can be traumatic) from leaking into our personal and professional identities?
4. What values do you hold that might be a conflict in a counselling situation? Identify solutions to addressing these.
Course Name and Code
Similar to any other profession, mental health professionals face challenges from time to time when in caregiving. In counseling, RPNs do not just counsel but also provide emotional assistance which is subjected to various challenges. One of the challenges faced by beginning RPNs engaging in the counseling process is personal and professional conduct. Every individual is subjected to beliefs and values of their own as they experience growth. During the beginning of counseling processes, RPNs tend to be challenged by their values and beliefs when choosing to help patients and are unable to maintain a neutral perspective (Pereira, & Rekha, 2017). The second issue faced by RPNs is setting professional boundaries. That is, some situations faced by RPNs push them to go out of their way and provide solutions by the virtue of humanity which is not right professionally. Additionally, RPNs are faced with the issue of the desire to rescue patients from their unhappy situations and do it with perfectionists. Due to lack of experience, these RPNs have unrealistic expectations, uncertainty about self-disclosure and confidentiality, overlook patients’ physical issues, and tend to take things personally (Pereira, & Rekha, 2017).
Personal and professional identities may have negative consequences when they become indistinguishable. Professional development for medical students is essentially achieved through the promotion of students’ well-being. Students tend to alter their personal identities to meet the expectations of their profession when regarded as future health professionals. Complete diversion of students from their personal identities to professional identities results in social exclusion from non-medical people. This diversion also impacts the individual’s self-esteem and emotional well-being. The way to maintain a personal and professional identity is through embracing certain characteristics, values, and beliefs bestowed on students in their course. These characteristics, values, and beliefs possessed by an individual lead them to serve the larger population while maintaining their personal identities (Forouzadeh, Kiani, & Bazmi, 2018).
Working in health care can be stressful and demanding most especially in psychiatric counseling. Nurses are not only required to take care of the patients but also ease the fear and distress of their patients undergoing distressing conditions. One of the ways RPNs can avoid being affected by patients’ conditions both individually and professionally is by mastering their skills. Mastering one’s skills allow for the improvement of the nurse’s ability to perform counseling processes independently. The skills improve nurses’ confidence at work promoting role satisfaction. RPNs should also practice resilience which is the ability to overcome challenges quickly. RPNs practice resilience through building positive beliefs and confidence in their abilities enabling them to care for even traumatizing patient conditions. Lastly, RPNs should find a mentor who is more experienced in their roles and whom they can reach out to for guidance in case of such situations. These mentors play a vital role in helping to cope with work demands and avoiding burnout. The mentors teach emotional recognition and proper expression of those emotions for registered nurses to reduce tensions and emotional problems.
Beginning counselors experience dilemmas where personal values and beliefs conflict with the counseling situation. The main conflicting cases in counseling sessions are based on the sexual orientation of clients and pregnancy termination. It becomes a challenge when dealing with a patient of opposite sexual orientation, suppose a gay, due to personal and religious values that oppose homosexuality. One way of resolving these conflicts is by respecting all clients and promoting their welfare by understanding and acknowledging the diversity of human beings. As a beginning counselor, it is my responsibility to not impose personal values on patients. Further, there are ethical guidelines that guide counselors in counseling processes and should be followed regardless of whether they conflict with personal values. Respecting a client means that one should extend positive regard and acknowledgment that the client deserves respect and respond to them with empathy (Elliott, 2011).
Elliott, G. R. (2011). When Values and Ethics Conflict: The Counselor’s Role and Responsibility. Alabama Counseling Association Journal, 37(1), 39-45.
Forouzadeh, M., Kiani, M., & Bazmi, S. (2018). Professionalism and its role in the formation of medical professional identity. Medical journal of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 32, 130.
Pereira, M., & Rekha, S. (2017). Problems, difficulties, and challenges faced by counselors. International Journal of Indian Psychology, 4(3), 65-72.