Therapeutic Relationships Essay

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Reflective Competency – Therapeutic Relationships

This essay addresses my experience of therapeutic relationships within an acute hospital setting. I have changed the name of the patient and places in order to protect confidentiality as outlined in the Nursing and Midwifery Council Guidelines (2010). I have used the Gibbs Reflective Cycle (1988) to demonstrate my understanding of the situation and how I feel it should be performed. By using this cycle, it has enabled me to reflect in a structured way.

Neal (2003) cited in Hinchliff et al (2003) states that a therapeutic relationship can be described as being between nurse and patient and is based on the patient’s needs for care, assistance and guidance. It is a relationship that is established solely to meet the needs of the patient and therefore, is therapeutic in nature.

I felt that it was very important to develop a therapeutic relationship with my patient in order that they could feel that they could put their trust in me and that I was there to talk and listen to them, and not just in a caring capacity. Therefore there is a great need for good interpersonal skills to be able to achieve a therapeutic relationship. Cutliff (2005) states that you can gain comfort from drawing on your interpersonal skills by having strength and endurance, feeling self confident and brave, having sufficient competence, feeling independent, being at peace and at ease with oneself and also having a sense of being valued and useful. Interpersonal and therapeutic relationships are at the centre of nursing work, the relationship that exists between nurse and patient can often provide the energy and be the catalyst, the motivation and the source of strength to continue with treatment or face difficult sometimes life threatening situations.

The Kings Fund (2010) states that there is evidence that a good quality

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