Re-establishing psychodynamic theory as foundational knowledge for psychiatric/mental health nursing

Ruth Gallop, Louise O'Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)


Psychiatric nursing care is based on an interpersonal process that relies on the therapeutic use of self in the service of patient care. Despite acknowledgment of the importance of the relationship, there has been little attention paid to the knowledge embedded in psychodynamic theory that can provide a basis for understanding the nurse-patient relationship. This paper argues that nurses need to understand and apply such theory if they are to pursue the assertion that the relationship with the patient is the foundation of their practice. The authors discuss the essential components of psychodynamic theory and their application to nursing as well as the possible reasons for the loss of interest in such theory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-227
Number of pages15
JournalIssues in Mental Health Nursing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003


Cite this