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Therapeutic Communication in Mental Health Patients

When dealing with mental health issues, such as disease or trauma, illness, and death, one of the most difficult things for nurses to accomplish is therapeutic communication. Finding the right words to say to these people suffering from stress and depression is critical in creating a therapeutic relationship in this scenario. Therapeutic communication, in this situation, refers to a practice in which a health care professional uses nonverbal or verbal contact to manage or aid a patient in increasing their comprehension intentionally. Therapeutic communication is a type of psychotherapy that employs nonverbal and spoken communication techniques (Blake & Blake, 2019). Furthermore, communication encompasses the patient’s and nurse’s interpersonal relationships throughout the patient’s rehabilitation process. As a result, the goals, methods, and costs of therapeutic communication in mental health patients will be examined in this research.


In treating people with mental diseases, therapeutic communication is an essential skill. Therapeutic communication, according to Siregar et al. (2021), has had a substantial influence on patients, particularly those in psychiatric units. To assist patients in dealing with their diseases, the nursing staff use therapeutic communication techniques, both verbal and nonverbal (Donovan & Mullen, 2019). This research aims to look at therapeutic communication and its significance in the treatment of people with mental diseases. Therapeutic communication is an important skill in mental health nursing that must be embraced to enhance healthcare quality.

Statement of Problem

In the mental health system, stigmatization has been a major problem. Persons have varied opinions of mentally ill people, affecting patients’ and caregivers’ therapeutic experiences. These views differ based on one’s understanding and cultural background. Therapy is an important mental health intervention strategy, and the nursing staff collaborates closely with the patients (Villanueva et al., 2019). In mental health nursing, the role of therapeutic communication has been underestimated, influencing the anticipated results of nurses’ therapeutic communication practice with mental health patients.

Significance of the Project

This study endeavor is significant because it will contribute to a better understanding of therapeutic communication in mental health nursing. Therapeutic communication is a necessary ability for patients to understand their conditions better. Patients are encouraged to engage in their care at the practice actively. Nurses’ treatment is also improved due to this Approach since it allows them to grasp particular patients’ conditions better. This study endeavor is significant because it will contribute to a better understanding of therapeutic communication in mental health nursing. Therapeutic communication is a necessary tool for patients to understand their conditions better. Patients are encouraged to engage in their care at the practice actively. Nurses’ treatment is also improved due to this Approach since it allows them to grasp particular patients’ conditions better.

The capacity of a healthcare practitioner to have a productive discussion with a patient determines the effectiveness of therapeutic communication. A nurse must build a long-term therapeutic connection with patients, according to Donovan and Mullen (2019), which is made possible by strong communication skills. Patients should be allowed to confide in their carers without fear of being judged. (Rnning & Bjrkly, 2019). Caregivers should establish an atmosphere where patients can develop trust and rely on them. Both sides will gain from effective therapeutic dialogue between healthcare practitioners and mental health patients (Levin, 2019). The intervention will address the patients’ physical, mental, and emotional health requirements, increasing their experiences and improving their situations (Donovan & Mullen, 2019). On the other hand, healthcare workers will give excellent and helpful healthcare services to the public through effective therapeutic communication. Because mental health patients are members of the general public, and their concerns influence society somehow, the study’s findings are useful to mental health patients, caregivers, and the general public.

Literature Review

Emergency physicians have been chastised for their inadequate therapeutic involvement and inability to connect with persons with mental illness. Several studies have been undertaken to figure out what’s causing the problem. As a result, material acquired as evidence from papers and journals is included in this part of the literature search.

Therapeutic communication, as per Sharma, is an important method for improving patient engagement that may be used in a variety of settings. The method has been shown to improve patient compliance and results. It has also been demonstrated to increase diagnosis accuracy, judgment, teamwork with patients, and patient attitudes and perceptions about medicine and therapy (Therapeutic communication, 2021). Despite its relevance to patients and the health industry, therapeutic communication currently lacks adequate training and execution. Handling mentally ill patients and interacting with them can be challenging at times. Several problems obstruct good communication with patients. As a result of the nurses’ breakdown in communication due to their poor training, it leads to a strained relationship.

Worldwide, communication skills have mostly been acknowledged as a vital ability that indicates a nurse’s proficiency. It is a critical aspect of nursing and patient-centered care. Furthermore, patient safety is determined by communication. A breakdown of communication between patient and care provider is responsible for at least 60% of low-quality or unsatisfactory treatment (Furnes et al., 2018). As a result, nurses should be well-versed in communication skills to improve patient evaluation.

There are three basic therapeutic communication techniques: employing quiet, accepting what the patient says, and providing acknowledgment. Silence is critical in allowing the patient to assess themselves to bring forth their issues. It gives the sufferers a sense of security. In addition, stillness aids the nurse in fully understanding the patient’s difficulties (Furnes et al., 2018). The nurses should not pressure the patients to break the quiet; instead, they should allow them to do so. Accepting what patients say is one method to encourage them to speak up by demonstrating that their viewpoints are valued and accepted (Harley et al., 2019). Another therapeutic strategy aimed at valuing the patients is giving appreciation.

Therapeutic communication is crucial for people with mental health problems because it puts them at rest, creates a safer atmosphere, and helps them feel more at ease. Therapeutic communication channels let the patient feel more at ease, allowing them to articulate their difficulties quickly and effectively for the caregivers to comprehend (Harley et al., 2019). Many people with mental health problems experience mental and behavioral distress, influencing their behavior. As a result, it’s critical to help patients unwind and feel at peace. Therapeutic dialogue is one technique to do this.

Outcomes, Approach, and Budget section


Therapeutic communication, as described, involves interacting with mental health patients to help them with their emotional and physical well-being, with the potential for long-term benefits. Therapeutic communication can help the process go more smoothly from when you contact the patients. The following are the results of developing therapeutic communication in nursing and healthcare in this example.

Patients feel comfortable

Most individuals with mental health disorders are stressed by health care facilities, especially if they experience anxiety before their hospital appointment. As a result, therapeutic communication may include active listening, making mental health patients feel valued and heard. As a result, therapeutic conversation prevents patients from shutting down and becoming comfortable, as Siregar et al. describe (2021).

Establishes a safe space

When nurses therapeutically speak with mental health patients, they will feel safer and more at peace. Trust and transparency provide a safe environment where patients may have the greatest possible experience. As a result, therapeutic dialogue fosters a nonjudgmental environment and openness, helping mental health patients to feel more valued and comfortable, as Moosvi and Garbutt describe (2020).

Emphasizes emotional well-being

Most people go to the hospital for emotional support and well-being rather than physical discomfort. Patients may wish to leave or cancel their session in most situations, especially if they are discouraged. As a result, nurses who focus on emotional well-being will notice gains in their emotional stability and will be better able to deal with the pressures that come with mental health issues. In this scenario, therapeutic dialogue is a tried-and-true method of coping with pressures. According to Abdolrahimi et al. (2017), it will allow people to leave their appointments with healthcare practitioners feeling more assured.


Therapeutic communication strategies for mental health difficulties must be implemented. In this instance, mental health sufferers require the following implementations or methods to facilitate a therapeutic and secure setting.

Allow patients to choose the topic of discussion.

Allowing patients to choose the topic of conversation is an important strategy for healthcare practitioners to help improve therapeutic communication. Healthcare practitioners can avoid directing the conversation for their patients by allowing them to select what they want to talk about or whatever comes to mind. In this scenario, as patients begin to pick their themes, it may be a good opportunity to examine their views in greater depth, as Siregar et al. describe (2021).

Start with acknowledging pain

The most crucial thing that healthcare practitioners can do is acquire the cooperation and trust of their patients. As a result, the most important place to begin is by establishing a therapeutic connection based on acceptance and understanding. According to Siregar et al., healthcare practitioners can build a therapeutic relationship with patients by recognizing their suffering, sentiments, and fears (2021).

Become comfortable with the patients’ silence

In certain situations, silence is preferable to the most well-considered response. In this scenario, silence may help the patient gain clarity and reflect on their thoughts by slowing down the discourse. Nurses and other healthcare staff can help patients refocus during these times of stillness by supporting them in asking them what they are thinking. As a result, by examining the periods of silence, healthcare practitioners are signaling to patients that they are willing to devote time to listen to them; as a result, patients may steer communication in the direction they desire, as indicated by Abdolrahimi et al. (2017).


Details Hospital

In-patients ($)




Community services


Social services


Planned outing 50 100 115 100
Meals 100 120 100 110
Cinemas 100 150 150 100
Teleconferencing 100 100 100 100
Reading books 100 100 100 100
Total 450 570 565 510

According to the budget, creating a healthy therapeutic communication connection necessitates nurses initiating specific actions that aid in the creation of trust and transparency with patients. Activities like going on trips or walking with patients outside of the hospital would aid in the development of therapeutic relationships with them. Furthermore, as explained by Moosvi and Garbutt (2020), initiating activities such as eating meals together, reading books together, teleconferencing, and going to the movies together will help nurses and other healthcare providers concerned with communicating with mental health patients create an effective therapeutic relationship that is essential in assisting patients in coping better with their stressors.

Strategies and Results


The internet was the primary source of information. Digital publications were used to perform a literature review. We undertook an extensive investigation to gain the data. Various peer-reviewed papers containing significant information on the issue were evaluated in the study. The investigations focused on nurses’ communication abilities with mentally ill patients, and their contacts were highlighted throughout the research.

The Walker and Avant concept analysis technique was utilized to investigate this notion of therapeutic communication. The selection of concepts is the initial stage in the idea analysis process. It entails assessing a difficult subject and devising a strategy for dealing with it. The determination of goal analysis, on the other hand, is concerned with assessing the causes and aims of the concept analysis technique (Foley & Davis, 2017). According to our article, these goals included devising a method of educating patients about treatment programs and boosting the efficacy of care workers in providing health services. This concept’s potential nursing applications include integrating healthcare operations throughout an entire system, calculating risks and rewards from certain healthcare procedures, resolving faults, and improving patient safety.


According to the findings of this study, therapeutic communication is context-dependent and heavily influenced by the culture of the people engaged. The procedure is also influenced by the language utilized (Foley & Davis, 2017). In addition, the instruction on the therapeutic dialogue between nurses and mental health patients has received a favorable response. It decreases occurrences like as aggression among mental health patients, fosters positive connections between nurses and patients, alleviates fear and discomfort among ER staff, and assures that they receive correct and effective care. Therapeutic communication has been recognized as a notion that improves patients’ emotional and physical health while also encouraging nurses’ professional growth (Foley & Davis, 2017). Therapeutic communication may be characterized as having three primary characteristics, according to the research: developing interpersonal relationships, transferring information, using a patient-centred instrument, and demonstrating professional expertise.


When used properly, therapeutic communication may be a successful strategy to improve nurse-patient connection. It is recognized as a communication skills strategy that has proven to be more effective in maintaining positive connections with patients while also assisting in the healing or reduction of their symptoms. Therapeutic communication, according to the article, is mostly centered on the language used by both concerned parties- patients and nurses. Nurses may also evaluate and assess the results and put the proposed methods for appropriate interpersonal therapeutic contact with patients into effect. They can use these strategies to help these patients manage their difficulties and enhance their connections.


Abdolrahimi, M., Ghiyasvandian, S., Zakerimoghadam, M., & Ebadi, A. (2017). Therapeutic communication in nursing students: A Walker & Avant concept analysis. Electronic physician, 9(8), 4968.

Blake, T., & Blake, T. (2019). Improving therapeutic communication in nursing through simulation exercise. Teaching and Learning in Nursing, 14(4), 260-264.

Browning, S. M. (2019). The Clinical Research Coordinator: Perception of Roles, Responsibilities, and Competence. Georgetown University.

Chou, H., & Tseng, K. (2020). The experience of emergency nurses caring for patients with mental illness: A qualitative study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(22), 8540.

Donovan, L. M., & Mullen, L. K. (2019). Expanding nursing simulation programs with a standardized patient protocol on therapeutic communication. Nurse Education in Practice, 38, 126-131.

Fite, R. O., Assefa, M., Demissie, A., & Belachew, T. (2019). Predictors of therapeutic communication between nurses and hospitalized patients. Heliyon, 5(10), e02665.

Foley, A. S., & Davis, A. H. (2017). A guide to concept analysis. Clinical Nurse Specialist, 31(2), 70-73.

Furnes, M., Kvaal, K. S., & Høye, S. (2018). Communication in mental health nursing – Bachelor students’ appraisal of a blended learning training program – an exploratory study. BMC Nursing, 17(1).

Harley, A., Johnston, A., Denny, K., Keijzers, G., Crilly, J., & Massey, D. (2019). Emergency nurses’ knowledge and understanding of their role in recognizing and responding to patients with sepsis: A qualitative study. International Emergency Nursing, 43, 106-112.

Levin, J. (2019). Mental health care for survivors and healthcare workers in the aftermath of an outbreak. Psychiatry of Pandemics, 127-141. 15346-5_11

Moosvi, K., & Garbutt, S. (2020). Shifting Strategies: Using Film to Improve Therapeutic Communication and Nursing Education. Nursing Education Perspectives, 41(2), 134-135.

Rønning, S. B., & Bjørkly, S. (2019). The use of clinical role-play and reflection in learning therapeutic communication skills in mental health education: An integrative review. Advances in Medical Education and Practice, 10, 415-425.

Siregar, I., Rahmadiyah, F., & Siregar, A. F. (2021). Therapeutic communication strategies in nursing process of angry, anxious, and fearful schizophrenic patients. British Journal of Nursing Studies, 1(1), 13-19.

Therapeutic communication. (2021, February 9). National Center for Biotechnology Information.

Villanueva, J., Meyer, A. H., Rinner, M. T., Firsching, V. J., Benoy, C., Brogli, S., Walter, M., Bader, K., & Gloster, A. T. (2019). “Choose change”: Design and methods of an acceptance and commitment therapy effectiveness trial for transdiagnostic treatment-resistant patients. BMC Psychiatry, 19(1).

Xue, W., & Heffernan, C. (2021). Therapeutic communication within the nurse-patient relationship: A concept analysis. International Journal of Nursing Practice, 27(6).


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