The mental health domain demands great depth of intimacy and use of the nurse's presence, or self, to give that service. The ANCI Nursing Code (n.d) describes the role as a "specialised field.embodying a concept of caring, which is designed to be therapeutic by:
To put this concept of caring into practice, to form a therapeutic relationship, the mental health nurse must understand what essential principles are included therein, and how to skilfully apply them. Many theories of counselling and psychotherapy are brought together to assist the process, but the Humanist concept of person-centred interaction and intervention could be said to originate with the work of Carl Rogers. His approach identified that personality changes in therapeutic settings could be achieved as a result of the qualities of the therapist - in this instance, the nurse. These qualities he defined as:
Interpreting these and applying them to the nursing role simply means that the person in need would always be accepted for what they were, without prejudice, rejection or condemnation; that empathy should enable the nurse to put his/herself in the person's place, see things from their perspective; that being congruent, they would respond with genuine, open authenticity, with no barriers to communication. This approach is a foundation for all theories, models, research suggestions and standards put forward regarding the therapeutic use of self. For example, Boykin (1993, p.45) stated:
"Trust and courage are needed for such presence to occur. This mutual process is set
in motion when the nurse risks entering the other's world and the other invites the
nurse into his/her sacred space."
Through the phases of orientation, working together, reaching resolution, all the nurse's interpersonal skills, scientific knowledge and practical abilities come together to establish and manage therapeutic interventions in which the self is a powerful and creative tool for positive outcomes.
Developing Skills, Knowledge and Abilities: Standards and codes lay down the rules and provide guidance for the role. The Practice Standard of the College of Nurses of Ontario, while relating to all domains, is particularly apt when applied to the concept of therapeutic use o