Introduction: Therapeutic Communication

Therapeutic communication is at the foundation of the nurse-client relationship as reflected in Figure 2.1. It is different than the conversations you have with friends, peers, family, and colleagues. Therapeutic communication has a specific purpose within the healthcare context. It is intended to develop an effective interpersonal nurse-client relationship that supports the client’s wellbeing and ensures holistic, client-centred, quality care.

Figure 2.1: Therapeutic relationship.

The word “therapeutic” is related to the word therapy: it means having a restorative and healing effect on the mind and body as well as doing no harm. It is important to consider how you communicate and how this affects the client.

Points of Consideration

Learning Therapeutic Communication

Therapeutic communication is a learned activity that requires knowledge and continued practice and self-reflection.

In this chapter, you will first learn about nurses’ accountability related to therapeutic communication, and then you will learn about the principles, approaches, and strategies used in therapeutic communication in the context of a client interview.

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Professional Communication in Health Professions by Edited by Jennifer Lapum; Oona St-Amant; Michelle Hughes; and Joy Garmaise-Yee is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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