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Transformative change of self: The unique focus of (adolescent) mental health nursing?

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In mental health nursing, inadequate nursing practice research has resulted in a deficit of knowledge concerning the nurse–client relationship; an area seen as the heart of practice. In turn, the specialty has experienced difficulty in identifying its unique domain of practice. Findings from a hermeneutic study into adolescent mental health nursing explicated its practice knowledge. These findings include (i) ‘engaging in therapeutic relationships’; (ii) ‘guiding the potential for change’; and (iii) ‘facilitating positive outcomes’. A higher order finding was named ‘fostering a functional self’. These findings are discussed. Findings point to the nature, purpose and processes of the nurse–client relationship, and to outcomes from that relationship. It is suggested they also represent a beginning understanding of the specialty's unique contribution to nursing; that mental health nursing fosters transformative change of self.
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Keywords: adolescent mental health nursing; nurse–client relationships; self; transformation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2002

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