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Back in my Niche & Thoughts on Unconditional Positive Regard

I worked yesterday on the mood disorder unit at the psych hospital where I work prn. Man, when there I think, this is really the work that I love to do. I mean there is a lot that I like about teaching, but I really do love doing group therapy and one-on-one therapy and interaction. Now I also recognize that I had been burned out in this setting – become disgruntled and disillusioned – just as little ago as last summer.  But last night, I was reminded why I love this field so much.

A Time To Talk

Robert Frost


When a friend calls to me from the road

 and slows his horse to a meaning walk,

I don’t stand still and look around

On all the hills I haven’t hoes,

And shout from where I am, “What is it?”

No, not as there is a time to talk.

I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,

Blade-end up and five feet tall.

And plod: I go up to the stone wall

For a friendly talk.”





Maybe it is because I like to talk. Maybe it is because I like to listen. There is something very powerful about the unique connection and catharsis that is possible when someone is given the space to be truly *heard*. This takes more than just listening; it involves being truly present in the moment with the patient and offering empathy and unconditional positive regard.

What is this unconditional positive regard. It is a phrase I use a lot with students and it is in my mind as I am caring for clients. Is it any more than just some important sounding words strung together? I guess it could be, depending on the intentionality of the nurse.  On the surface, it says that the nurse will provide care and concern without judgment and without allowing personal values and beliefs to affect that care.  This means that the same care and concern is given to the young college student dealing with depression as to the pedophile addict experiencing withdrawals.

Offering this type of care can be challenging for many nurses, as we all have certain judgments, values, and past experiences that make us prone to bias against certain types of patients/patient situations. Unconditional positive regard communicates that this person right now in the transpersonal nurse-client relationship has value and worth and is deserving of care. It is acceptance of that person exactly as they are and where they are at the culmination of all their lived experiences. It removes the labels of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and assists the client to move toward healing, toward self-acceptance and self-love.

It can be such a powerful experience, not only for the client, but for the nurse providing care as well.


One Response

  1. now in my rss reader)))
    sponsored link: http://semev.ru/

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