Wright, Karen Margaret
Therapeutic relationship: Developing a new understanding for nurses and care workers within an eating disorder unit.
International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 19
The establishment of a positive therapeutic relationship has been widely acknowledged internationally as an intrinsic part of therapy and caring services, even healing and restorative in its own right. In this paper, current understandings of the therapeutic relationship are presented and reconsidered within the context of caring for patients with anorexia in hospital in the UK. The relevance of interpersonal processes and the expectations of care and recovery are re-evaluated and the question posed as to whether these principles can be wholly employed in this setting. The service in which the therapeutic relationship exists (eating disorder services), current understandings of ‘therapeutic relationship’, responsibility, and tensions that exist in attaining a relationship are examined.