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Transference in the nurse-patient relationship

journal contribution
posted on 2007-01-01, 00:00 authored by Alicia Evans
The therapeutic relationship has been considered foundational to psychiatric nursing practice since at least the mid-20th century. However, this does not, in itself, guarantee either its continuity or relevance to current practice. Concepts such as the therapeutic relationship require sustained attention, both in theory and in practice, to illustrate ongoing relevance to the discipline. This paper addresses the therapeutic relationship in psychiatric nursing via aspects of psychoanalytic theory, particularly the notion of transference, as theorized by both Freud and Lacan. Two case fragments provide practice material, through which transference in the nurse–patient relationship is explored. The nurse, in the context of his/her relationship with the patient, a sick stranger, offers both a listening and the potential development of transference. This transference can be experienced, in part, as a form of attachment to the nurse, one that is not regarded pejoratively as dependency. There is the potential, within the nurse–patient relationship, for a psychical holding to develop, one from within which both the patient can speak and transference might arise. It is argued that listening to the patient has the potential to assist the patient and, with the development of transference, can provide the context for important work.

History

Journal

Journal of psychiatric and mental health nursing

Volume

14

Issue

2

Pagination

189 - 195

Publisher

Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Location

Weinheim, Germany

ISSN

1351-0126

eISSN

1365-2850

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

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