For example, the gender and past life experiences of the nurse may make empathy, which is vital to develop for the therapeutic relationship to be successful, really succeed.
For example JG was physically and mentally abusive towards his wife. Many nurses may have difficulty empathizing with this aspect of JG's behavior. Empathy does not of course imply support, but rather the ability to genuinely put oneself within the situation of the patient. Thus understanding of the why and how of the abuse would be essential to helping JG work through the reasons for the abuse and help to avoid it in the future. If the nurse is not able to cross the boundary between distaste and/or condemnation of JG's behavior into empathy then he/she might not be able to help JG. As Stein (2005, p.51) puts it, self-awareness on the part of the nurse clears the way for an honest and non-judgmental nurse-patient relationship.
To be succinct, within the therapeutic relationship, self-awareness on the part of the nurse leads to self-awareness on the part of the patient. And self-awareness, especially within the substance abuse patient, is essential for improvement and eventual cure.
The initial contact is the ideal time for a sponta ...