Emotion management and the Approved Mental Health Professional: "pull" the active use of dissonance

Vicary, Sarah (2017). Emotion management and the Approved Mental Health Professional: "pull" the active use of dissonance. In: XXXVth International Congress on Law and Mental Health, 9-14 Jul 2017, Prague, Czech Republic.


England's legal context for social work has, for some decades, mandated specially trained social workers to play a significant role in assessing people for compulsory detention. Eligibility to undertake this role changed significantly in 2007, allowing other professions, specifically Nurses, Occupational Therapists and Psychologists to become approved as Approved Mental Health Professionals (AMHPs). Understanding how this role is currently being undertaken is of interest not just in England but to the international mental health community.

This paper discusses a current doctoral study which is exploring the role and experiences of AMHPs. In particular the paper will discuss one aspect namely the emotional and psychological experiences of practitioners when undertaking this role, in order to explore any similarities or differences. Based on the qualitative methodology Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis and using semi- structured interviews including the drawing and description of a rich picture this paper discusses the finding that practitioners, regardless of their professional background experience a range of emotions. This will be illustrated by drawings produced by the participants. The author will reflect upon this finding in relation to their own experience as both practitioner and researcher.

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