Self-awareness and reflection: exploring the ‘therapeutic use of self’
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Self-awareness and reflection: exploring the ‘therapeutic use of self’

Elaine Kwiatek Lecturer/Teaching Fellow, Napier University, School of Community Health, Edinburgh
Karen McKenize Consultant Clinical Psychologist, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh
Daphne Loads Lecturer/ Teaching Fellow, Napier University, School of Community Health, Edinburgh

A pilot partnership course was set up to help social care staff to explore new therapeutic ways of working. Elaine Kwaitek and colleagues assess what the participants gained from the experience

he way we view a person and his or her behaviour is linked to our underlying assumptions and attitudes. The factors that influence how we react to people mean that staff can intervene in ways that are unhelpful and unsupportive (Stanley and Standen 2000). Our attributions (the meaning we give to an event or behaviour) can also have a stronger influence than our knowledge, triggering inappropriate responses in relation to dealing with challenging behaviour, for example (Carr et al 1991). Both health (McKenzie et al 2000) and social care staff (Hill and Bruininks 1984) are likely to support individuals with behaviours that challenge. Recent research has found that some nursing students (McKenzie et al 2004) hold attributions about challenging behaviour which mean that they are unlikely to see it as open to change.

Learning Disability Practice. 8, 3,27-31. doi: 10.7748/ldp.8.3.27.s22

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