Mental Health Practitioner
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2021 ◽  
Vol 9 (1) ◽  
Tinashe Dune ◽  
Peter Caputi ◽  
Beverly M. Walker ◽  
Katarzyna Olcon ◽  
Catherine MacPhail ◽  

Abstract Background The development of cultural competence is central to the therapeutic alliance with clients from diverse backgrounds. Given that the majority of Australia’s population growth is due to migration, mental health practitioner construing of non-White and White people has a significant role and impact on client engagement. Method To examine the impact of mental health practitioner construing on their strategies for cultural competence and the therapeutic alliance, 20 White and non-White mental health practitioners and trainees providing mental health services were purposively sampled and interviewed face-to-face or via videoconferencing. Data was analysed thematically and the impact of construing on practitioner cultural competence and the therapeutic alliance were interpreted using Personal Construct Psychology. Results Practitioners demonstrated cultural competence in their acknowledgement of the impact of negative construing of ethnic, cultural, religious, social, racial and linguistic diversity on client wellbeing. Practitioners sought to address these negative impacts on clients by drawing on the client-practitioner relationship to improve the therapeutic alliance. Conclusions The results reinforce the need for mental health care workers to develop cultural competence with a focus on developing awareness of the impact of frameworks of Whiteness on the experiences of non-White people. This is central to the development of a therapeutic alliance where clients feel understood and assured that their mental health concerns will not be constructed (and treated) through a framework that constrains both White and non-White people’s opportunities for improved mental health and wellbeing.

2020 ◽  
Vol 7 (1) ◽  
pp. 179-204
Amberlee Green ◽  
Jhinuk Sarkar

This article reflects on the use of illustration as a tool in mental health, and attempts to answer the question, can depicting wellness or rawness of mental health experiences in illustration contribute towards recovery? The two authors of this article speak from their experiences from several roles: as illustrators; a disability adviser and mental health practitioner; as teachers and women of colour. They explore their own creative practices through their intersectionality. The first author presents wellness in illustration, the origins of both black illustrators communicating through their work alongside how black people are represented in illustration. This uncovers societal cultural preference, authenticity and overarchingly, the question of who decides our narratives. In exploring rawness, the role of illustrator, and how it connects to others through honest human experiences, the second author questions where this is impacted. The reflection throughout this article encourages true consideration of intersectionality in the creation, engagement and taught aspects of illustration, considering how this communicative instrument can continue to be used to promote wellness. This article proves that illustration can provide a space for recovery in a mental health context, ultimately demonstrating how illustration is used to portray experiences where words cannot, providing a cathartic process for practitioners, and is used as a tool to promote powerful inclusivity.

2020 ◽  
Vol 44 (5) ◽  
pp. 624-628 ◽  
Miriam Goldberg ◽  
Renana Stanger Elran ◽  
Yael Mayer ◽  
Ido Lurie

Jeffrey E. Barnett ◽  
Jeffrey Zimmerman

Although most mental health professionals are experts in their clinical area of practice, very few of them are experts in the business aspects of practice. This chapter explains the important role thoughtfully selected consultants can play in preparing for, establishing, running, and managing a successful private mental health practice. How to best use consultants to prevent business problems and help maximize your investment in your private practice is clearly explained. Examples of consultants and how their expertise may save the mental health practitioner thousands and even tens of thousands of dollars, not to mention ethical and legal difficulties, are provided. Issues such as incorporation, practice structure, contracts, leases, hiring and firing, insurance, taxes, and so forth are addressed. Additionally, the role of consultations with expert clinicians when confronted with clinically challenging situations is explained. Key recommendations for the effective use of consultants are provided.

Jeffrey E. Barnett ◽  
Jeffrey Zimmerman

It may be easy to believe that if one treats one’s employees well, the employees will look out for the practice owner’s best interests. After all, they each should have the success of the practice as their primary motivation for decisions made and actions taken. Yet, as this chapter illustrates, this frequently is not the case. Employees, while often responding more favorably to positive employment practices, nevertheless may not share the practice owner’s interests. Each mental health practitioner who hires employees and staff members should create policies and procedures relevant to the effective running of the practice and then provide sufficient oversight to ensure that all employees follow them. This chapter emphasizes how the business owner is responsible for the success of the business. Specific strategies and steps to take to help ensure the effective running of one’s practice are provided. Common staff challenges are highlighted and specific recommendations for addressing them are provided.

Jeffrey E. Barnett ◽  
Jeffrey Zimmerman

In general, mental health practitioners are very caring, compassionate, good people. Yet, even so, and even when working diligently to provide the best care possible to clients, it is possible to engage in unethical behaviors and be at risk of a malpractice claim. This chapter explains how ethical practice and effective risk management go far beyond being a nice and caring person. Specific guidance is provided on how to think and reason ethically, especially when confronted with ethical dilemmas and clinically complex and challenging situations. Specific risk management strategies that every mental health practitioner should engage in on an ongoing basis are explained. Guidance is provided on how to act in a manner consistent with one’s values to promote a good working relationship with clients, while ensuring ethical practice and active risk management.

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