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Therapeutic Relationships

Professional Standards for Psychiatric Nursing

Standard 1: Therapeutic Re​​lationships

The registered psychiatric nurse establishes collaborative professional, interpersonal, and therapeutic relationships with clients​.

A registered psychiatric nurse:

  1. Continually applies the therapeutic use of self within professional practice.
  2. Recognizes and addresses power imbalances in therapeutic relationships.
  3. Ensures client needs remain the focus of the therapeutic relationship.
  4. ​​Does not exploit the vulnerability of persons encountered through their practice.
  5. Will not engage in any sexual behaviour while in a therapeutic relationship with a client, with or without consent.
  6. Will not enter into a close personal or intimate relationship with a client or a former client who has received psychotherapeutic treatment from the registered psychiatric nurse.
  7. Uses professional judgment​, effective communication and interpersonal skills, and practices with integrity to establish, maintain and terminate the therapeutic relationship.
  8. ​Recognizes and addresses transference and counter-transference​ and their impact on the therapeutic relationship.
  9. Applies critical thinking and professional judgment in therapeutic relationships.
  10. Establishes and negotiates boundaries​ in therapeutic relationships.
  11. Practices according to the principles of informed consent and confidentiality.
  12. Will make best efforts to find suitable alternatives to treating their own family or friends.
  13. Develops partnerships using a client-centred, integrated and holistic approach.​​