Experiential Knowledge of Mental Health Professionals. Service Users’ Perceptions Simona KARBOUNIARIS, Jean Pierre WILKEN, Alie WEERMAN & Tineke ABMA EJMH Vol 17 Issue 3 (2022) 23-37; https://doi.org/10.5708/EJMH/17.2022.3.2 Received: 24 July 2021; Accepted: 19 July 2022; Online: 13 December 2022 Section: Research Papers Download full text
Introduction: Nowadays the Western mental health system is in transformation to recovery-oriented and trauma informed care in which experiential knowledge becomes incorporated. An important development in this context is that traditional mental health professionals came to the fore with their lived experiences. From 2017 to 2021, a research project was conducted in the Netherlands in three mental health organizations, focussing on how service users perceive the professional use of experiential knowledge.
Aims: This paper aims to explore service users’ perspectives regarding their healthcare professionals’ use of experiential knowledge and the users’ perceptions of how this contributes to their personal recovery.
Methods: As part of the qualitative research, 22 service users were interviewed. A thematic analysis was employed to derive themes and patterns from the interview transcripts.
Results: The use of experiential knowledge manifests in the quality of a compassionate user-professional relationship in which personal disclosures of the professional’s distress and resilience are embedded. This often stimulates users’ recovery process.
Conclusions: Findings suggest that the use of experiential knowledge by mental health professionals like social workers, nurses and humanistic counselors, demonstrates an overall positive value as an additional (re)source.
health care professionals’ lived experience, experiential knowledge, service users’ perceptions, trauma informed care, recovery
Department of Social Work and Research Centre for Social Innovation, University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, The Netherlands; Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Leiden University Medical Center, The Netherlands
Jean Pierre WILKEN
Research Centre for Social Innovation, University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, The Netherlands
Research Group Mental Health and Society, Windesheim University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands
Leyden Academy on Vitality and Ageing, Leiden, The Netherlands; Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Leiden University Medical Center, The Netherlands
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