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Experiential Knowledge of Mental Health Professionals. Service Users’ Perceptions
Simona KARBOUNIARISContact / Kontakt / Kapcsolat, 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
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Abstract

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.

Keywords

health care professionals’ lived experience, experiential knowledge, service users’ perceptions, trauma informed care, recovery

Corresponding author

Simona KARBOUNIARIS

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

simona.karbouniaris@hu.nl

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3805-1551

Co-authors

Jean Pierre WILKEN

Research Centre for Social Innovation, University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, The Netherlands

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1147-2970

Alie WEERMAN

Research Group Mental Health and Society, Windesheim University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands

Tineke ABMA

Leyden Academy on Vitality and Ageing, Leiden, The Netherlands; Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Leiden University Medical Center, The Netherlands

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8902-322X

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.