Therapeutic Relationships

Topics: Health care, National Health Service, Psychotherapy Pages: 7 (2071 words) Published: November 26, 2014

1981 WORDS

This essay will explore the use of the Gibbs reflective cycle upon the development of therapeutic relationships within health and social care contexts. The Gibbs reflective cycle will be described and applied as a tool to an experience with a patient within health and social care. The Gibbs reflective cycle will then be evaluated for its efficacy and placed in context with the importance of reflective practice within health and social care.

The development of therapeutic relationships in health and social care are important in order to create and maintain a successful, professional relationship between staff and service user. This helps to promote congruence between intervention planning and treatment, increasing the likelihood of success when implementing a treatment or care plan. The Gibbs cycle (Gibbs, 1988) is a tool with which health and social care professionals and employees apply to enable reflective practice within their workplaces. Reflective practice is particularly important in health and social care contexts due to the high frequency and sensitive level of interactions between staff, patients and third parties. Reflective practice is an integral part of health and social care, particularly within nursing care (Bulman and Schutz, 2008).

The Gibbs cycle is frequently used within the National Health Service (NHS) and is utilised as a part of employee supervision to enable the individual to successfully reflect on their experiences. The outcome of these reflections can then be applied to their future practice. Reflection also contributed to continuing professional development (CPD), an integral part of the employee supervision process in the NHS and other health and social care employers. The Gibbs cycle is a particularly effective reflection tool due to its applied analysis of specific experiences, rather than arbitrarily discussing particular skills or strengths. For example, a worked Gibbs cycle example would identify specific sections of a specific scenario that may be improved upon in the future, such as 'have more patience with an individual with a hearing impairment'. This is easier for the individual to apply rather than a general statement such as 'have more confidence'.

The Gibbs cycle has six stages which are worked through systematically. The stages combine to form a cycle, indicating the continuous process of evidence-based learning and personal development. In breaking an experience into stages, the Gibbs cycle enables the individual to distinguish the different aspects of a process that led to a particular outcome in a particular context. For example, if an individual identifies that they felt nervous before the experience they then may be able to identify whether this had an impact upon their subsequent behaviour. Creating links between feelings, thoughts and outcomes is a fundamental purpose of the Gibbs cycle.

The first stage of the Gibbs cycle is DESCRIPTION- what happened. This is followed by identifying FEELINGS, what the person was thinking or feeling at the time of the event. Thoughts and feeling can be positive, negative or neutral. EVALUATION follows, identifying positive and negative aspects of the experience. This stage helps the individual to focus upon positives instead of just the negatives which can help to promote self-esteem, demonstrating the positive value of the person's contribution to the situation. A second stage of DESCRIPTION follows to establish what sense the individual can make of the experience. A CONCLUSION identifies if there was anything further the individual could do if the situation were to arise again. The individual then creates an ACTION PLAN to put these points into practise for the next time the situation happens. These points can also be transferable to other contexts and scenarios, for example, 'ensuring read patients' medical notes are read before meeting with them'....

References: Bulman, C. and Schutz, S. (2008). Reflective practice in nursing, 4th edition, Blackwell publishing: Oxford.
Ghaye, T. (2011). Teaching and learning through reflective practice: a practical guide for positive action. Second edition. Routledge: New York.
Gibbs, G. (1988). Learning by Doing: _A guide to teaching and learning methods_. Further Education Unit. Oxford Polytechnic: Oxford.
Mental Capacity Act 2005. C.9. London: HMSO
Norrie, C., Hammond, J., D 'Avray, L., Collington, V. and Fook, J. (2012). Doing it differently? A review of literature on teaching reflective practice across health and social care professions. Reflective practice: International and Multidisciplinary perspectives. 13 (4), pp. 565-578
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