Restoring the balance of power after acute care interventions

How to give conflict a voice so that challenges and differences of opinion can be brought into the open

How to give conflict a voice so that challenges and differences of opinion to be brought into the open

When users of mental health services are in the acute phase of their illness and considered to be at high risk, intervention by a clinician can result in a damaging and non-therapeutic relationship.

There is a clear imbalance of power and threat that is not in favour of the service user.

But a therapeutic relationship can still be achieved as long as the expectations of the clinician and service user around the management of risk are discussed, observed and reflected on as an ongoing process.

Identifying expectations builds a collaborative dynamic, with less chance of ambiguity or false promises on either side. Collaborating about what needs to be done helps to equalise power between them, as both have a share in