Should Mental Health Professionals Show Their Feelings?

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This paper describes a staff development exercise that allowed workers in a Mobile Support and Treatment Team for people with severe and long-standing psychiatric conditions to appreciate their complex and contradictory work role, thus validating common emotional experiences of frustration, anger, powerlessness, and hopelessness. This validation then placed workers in a better position to be able to appreciate clients and their families’ predicaments, dilemmas, and often contradictory roles. The beauty of this approach is that it is simple, non-blaming, non-pathologizing and easily transferable to other work contexts.

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