Posted by: ayrshirehealth | August 17, 2012

Growth .. reflections from a student mental health nurse. by @laurengoudie

Recovery through the eyes of student mental health nurse – how reflection and understanding can support nurturing as a two way process.

I’d suggest that emotion and learning in combination are powerful sources of meaning and direction, it creates a place for personal and professional development and growth, which has supported my understanding of recovery.

Throughout my training I have grown to understand that the phenomena ‘recovery’ requires self- awareness, drive and acceptance to operate outside the box in improving quality of care shadowed by clinical and educational governance, critical appraisal and synthesis.

A unique process

I consider the process unique, a continuum of expectations, attitudes and values, fruitful of conceptional descriptions entwined with a variety of characteristics representing one’s perception.

If I am honest I feel recovery is a personal choice flourished on how much the individual sits on the continuum of hope, growth and change. As nurses we develop an unconscious awareness that enables us to build on using our thoughts and experiences ‘self’; the ability to enter the perceptual world of another person.  That personal choice challenges our expectations on meeting the highly valued outcomes of our governing cornerstones ‘Person centred, safe and effective care’, giving us movement in implementing change.

I could argue that reflection contributes to the enablement of the flight in understanding recovery for the person.  It allows us to recognise resilience, risk and vulnerability, empathizes understanding, avoids bias perceptions and attitudes; symbolic interactionism (World Health Organization, 2002).

Sartre’s quote (1944) ‘Hell is other people’ may  at times reflect on the impact of negative perceptions to recovery based on  beliefs and values imposing on how that person values their journey- free of existential obstacles instead a purpose and meaning in life.

Therapeutic use of self

Wherefore questionable, I comprehended the credibility of multifariousness factors, thus the values and principles to understanding recovery i.e. evaluating strengths and barriers, emotional or personal beliefs, goals in establish identity, hope and meaningful life.

Amongst this learning I discovered that the importance of expressing compassion in the therapeutic use of ‘self’ positively within the therapeutic relationship can be crucial in avoiding false hope and maintaining boundaries.

Throughout my training I have had the honour of getting to know different people and their stories, and can confidently say that not one story is the same.

I have learned that their individuality is the key to finding the right direction in enabling footsteps in finding that hope and pathway (The National Framework for Pre-registration Mental Health Nursing Programmes in Scotland, NHS Education for Scotland, 2006).

I have often reflected on my experiences and feel it is important to synthesise findings and develop own coherent understanding -a competent nurse is crucial for the recovery of mental health service users (Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland, 2003).

Personal and Professional Growth

To conclude I have learned that supporting recovery requires a cultural awareness embedded in the vision of values and trust (NHS, Scotland, 2011) therefore this working relationship to recovery is very valuable process to which puts onus on promoting  personal and professional  growth and understanding.

Lastly I feel a point to us all  ‘ You are the most important person in your life’  (Purcell ,2009).

An extensive list of references were used in this blog which have been listed below:

Next week @micmac650 discusses “Measurement: for judgement or improvement?”



Cottrell S (2005) Critical Thinking Skills, Developing Effective Analysis and Argument. Basingstoke: Palgrave McMillan

DeSilvia, L.(2011)Self Management[online].Available: http://athena/ahp/Documents/Helping%20people%20help%20themselves%20-%20evidence%20review%20(FINAL).pdf [Accessed on July 1st 2012].

Gamble, C and Brennan, G (2006) Working with serious mental health illness  A manual for clinical illness – A manual for clinical Practice. Elsevier, London 2006.

Macquarrie, J (1972) Existentialism Philadelphia; Westminster Press

Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland, (2003) Respecting diversity [online] Available: [Accessed on 3 July 2012]

Morgan, S. (2000) Clinical Risk Management: a Clinical Tool and Practitioner Manual. London:Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health.

National Institute of Clinical Excellence (2007) Drug misuse: psychosocial interventions [online].Available: [accessed on 30 March 2012]

NHS Ayrshire and Arran (2011) Equality and diversity [online]. Available: httlp://athena/pages/Default.aspx [accessed on the 1 April 2012]  – NB Intranet of NHS Ayrshire & Arran

NHS Ayrshire and Arran (2008) Scheme of Establishment for Community Health [online]. Available: [Accessed on 12 July  2012]

NHS Education for Scotland (2007) 10 Essential Shared Capabilities for Mental Health Nursing [online]. Available: on 14/2/2010[Accessed on 19 July 2012]

NHS Education for Scotland (2007) The ten essential shared capabilities for mental health practice [online] Available: [accessed August 1st 2012].

NHS Education for Scotland and the Scottish Recovery Network (2008) Realising Health Practice – Learning Materials (Scotland). [Online]Available [Accessed on 1 April 2012]

NHS Scotland, (2010) An Evaluation of the Impact of the Dissemination of Educational Resources to Support Values-Based and Recovery-Focused Recovery Learning Materials. [Online] Available on 30 July 2012]

NHS Ayrshire and Arran (2008) Promoting Health Reducing Health Inequalities [online].Available[Acessed on 27 July 2012]

NHS Scotland. (2007) Inequalities Sensitive Practice Initiative Operational Plan [online].Available on 1 July 2012]

NHS Scotland. (2011) Trust Social Inclusion and Recovery Project Board [online].Available: on 3 August 2012]

Norman, I and Ryrie, I. (2004) The art and science of mental health nursing – a textbook of principles and practice Glasgow: Bell and rain ltd

Nursing and Midwifery Council (2004) Standards of Proficiency for Pre-registration Nursing Programmes. London: NMC.

Nursing and Midwifery Council (2007) Guidance for the Introduction of the Essential Skills Clusters for Pre-registration Nursing Programmes. Annexe 1 to NMC Circular 07/2007.people with Special Needs. Ross-on-Wye: PCCS Books

Nursing and Midwifery Council, (2008) The code London: NMC

Purcell, J (2009) People Management and Performance New York. Routledge

Repper J, Perkins R. (2003) Social Inclusion and Recovery. A Model for Mental Health Practice. London: Bailliere Tindall.

Scottish Executive Health Department (2001) Initial Guidance on shared Care Arrangements. Edinburgh: Scottish Executive.

Scottish Executive Health Department (2001) National Care standards for care homes for people with drug and alcohol misuse problems. Edinburgh: Scottish Executive.

Scottish Executive Health Department (2001) Poverty and social Inclusion in rural areas. Edinburgh: Scottish Executive.

Scottish Government Health Department ( 2011) Rights, Relationshipsand Recovery: RefreshedThe Report of the National Review ofMental Health Nursing in Scotland[online] Available:[accessed [ August  1st 2012].



  1. Fantastic writing my wee Lauren! Well done! Really enjoyed reading it! Xxx

  2. […] Growth .. reflections from a student mental health nurse by Lauren Goudie via Derek Barron Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestMoreEmailRedditPrintDiggStumbleUponTumblrLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. This entry was posted in education, health, health services, learning, mental health, public sector, therapy, training, Uncategorized, working practices and tagged Health, mental health by weeklyblogclub. Bookmark the permalink. […]

  3. […] Janet’s reflective beach to reflections of a work-related kind in Growth .. reflections from a student mental health nurse by Lauren Goudie. This is first time Lauren has contributed to Weekly Blog Club, and we do hope […]

  4. “Wherefore questionable, I comprehended the credibility of multifariousness factors, thus the values and principles to understanding recovery….”
    This blog is dense with these blurts of dictionary-bashing and poor grammatical construct and this excerpt amongst others makes very little actual sense to the incidental reader! Look, sometimes the way to impress is to display discipline, not indulgence, especially in academic writing. The reference list however – that is impressive, well done.

    • Thanks for your reply, I appreciate the feedback, and will consider this for future blogs. I understand and appreciate your rationale behind your positive criticism, this is acknowledged and your perception is valued. I am new to this venture and have embraced it with honesty and anticipation. In essence this was an opportunity to express my thoughts and yes maybe an indulgence too. I guess the message I was trying to get across is that we are all individuals and entitled to our own choices and expression. i choose to do this as m y first ever blog and hope that the next one I do is also personal and not conformed to what is perceived to be appropriate in the eyes of others. Thank you again though I really appreciate you taking time to reply and respect your opinion. Lauren

      • Perjorative comments such as ‘dictionary-bashing’ are rarely helpful and my sense was that your aim Lauren was not to impress, but as you say to express your thoughts and share your experiences in training to date. As you say in the blog, “Throughout my training I have had the honour of getting to know different people and their stories, and can confidently say that not one story is the same” – which seems to me to be a very pertinent observation in terms of the diverse range of writing experiences, confidence, skill and style that exist; and the developmental processes that we all transition through when embarking upon different styles of writing – whether academically focused, the content of a blog or otherwise. I can see where ‘pedant’ was coming from, though when I read your blog entry I clearly appreciated how enthusiastically you have embraced the concepts and issues encountered in your training to date. I hope that the feedback will not discourage you from sharing your emergent thoughts through public fora in the future. Best wishes, Craig White

      • Lauren, like Craig I appreciate the enthusiasm of your first blog and the opportunity you’ve taken to express yourself. I see your response has embraced the earlier feedback (‘pedant’), while underlining your commitment to remain true to yourself – good on you. Others have feed back how much they have enjoyed your blog, this needs to be balanced with less positive feedback. Also note that feedback from ‘pedant’ recognised the great deal of work you had done regarding your references. I know you will be focusing on completing all the tasks required to gain your registration over the next few months, after which I hope we will again be able to share ‘your emergent thoughts’. Well done on your first venture into the blog-o-sphere. Derek

    • I loved it and it reminded me of the true values and hopes we share as clinicians and spurs me on to doing a great job for those I support. Can’t beat a wee bit of inspiration however it is presented. 🙂

  5. Great stuff Lauren. Recovery is complex. The philosophy underpinning it is complex and often paradoxical. Therefore learning and practicing it is in principle a practical and reflective endeavour, and your blog articulates this beautifully. I wouldn’t pay too much attention to anybody who feels the need to hide behind a pseudonym. For the record I disagree with him/her/it. Anybody can throw a collection of references together. It takes great courage to stand up and go public with your own views. Very well done. Austyn.

  6. Thank you very much, Craig, Derek, Kim and Austyn.
    I appreciate your kind and supportive words of encouragement. It is a rather daunting experience, but I will look forward to embracing the next opportunity (no longer a student)…
    Thank you very honoured to receive such positive feedback form respectful and inspirational people like you,

  7. I really enjoyed reading your blog Lauren. Your writing identified essential themes of recovery whilst your reflection demonstrating many of your personal characteristics synonymous with the virtues of a professional nurse. You are to be congratulated on your interest in professional development, and your response to comments posted also highlight a determination for improvement. Please keep writing, it is a great stimulus for growth and can help to guard against tradition and routine. You have stuck your head above the parapet and had a few shots fired at you. Best get used to it. However, reading some of the other comments I can see you have also brought yourself to the attention of some influential and passionate nurse academics and nurse leaders (in a good way!). You are embarking on a wonderful career. A career I think you will thrive in. Good luck.

  8. Thank you Paul I really appreciate your encouragement, I feel very honored actually. I will continue to keep that focus in practice – and keep reflecting on the valuable experience and opportunity we have to learn and develop.
    Thank you, Lauren

  9. Great piece on recovery Lauren, the key qualities of empathy, compassion and hope shine through. Anyone’s prose can be critiqued, but taking that approach risks missing the point. The issues you explore of self-awareness, personal growth, reflection on values, the search for meaning, these all are the hard work of a lifetime. The question is how best can we support recovery, and the ingredients in your recipe for good professional practice are the essential starting point. We at SRN wholeheartedly encourage reflective, values based practice, and the SRI 2 tool ( is designed to help practitioners reflect on the very issues you have raised. I look forward to your next piece. John.

  10. Hi John, thanks much appreciated from someone like you who is at the heart of recovery, and have much respect for your work. Yes I aimed to highlight the importance in recognising your own ‘self’ and the need for continuing development for effective practitioners. Looking back, this is what I achieved in the journey of understanding recovery. I feel it is not a concept that can just be picked up, and used slap dash instead you as a person as well as a professional have to engage with it, build up a relationship and use it therapeutically .
    I look forward to my next one, as a newly qualified nurse. Thanks again John, very touched 🙂 Lauren

  11. I feel your pain. I never had any luck with this stuff, either.
    So glad to find out I am not all by my lonesome!

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