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

University House - Room 108
Social Sciences
Wednesday 21st March 2018 (16:00-18:00)
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At this Seminar, Dr Sarah Vicary discussed findings from her PhD study on the work of the Approved Mental Health Professional, a statutory role that involves the co-ordination of assessments for deciding whether to make an application for compulsory admission to psychiatric hospital under the Mental Health Act 1983.

Sarah interviewed five social workers (three male and two female), five nurses (three female and two male) and two occupational therapists (both female) as part of her doctoral studies. The focus of her study was to understand what impact, if any, professional background might have on Approved Mental Health Professional practice. Sarah’s talk will explore the emotional aspects of the work as experienced by her participants.

The participants were each asked to produce a drawing called a ‘Rich Picture’ of their experience as Approved Mental Health Professionals and to describe this drawing during a semi-structured interview. Using verbatim quotes and excerpts from the drawings, Sarah will argue that Approved Mental Health Professionals, irrespective of professional background, actively use dissonance, the capacity to simultaneously balance emotions in order to accomplish the role.

The session was filmed and can be viewed online:

Watch video

sarah-vicaryAbout Dr Sarah Vicary

Sarah is a Senior Lecturer at the Open University and a registered social worker. She leads the social work degree in the North West of England and in Yorkshire. Sarah has worked extensively in Adult Social Services, primarily within mental health, practising as a frontline social worker, an Approved Social Worker, a development and training officer, and a senior manager in an inner city multidisciplinary emergency mental health setting. Sarah is the coordinator for the Social Work History Network and publishes widely on mental health social work.

About the seminar series

The Seminars are an opportunity for practitioners, students, members of the public, and academic staff to come together to listen to a speaker and engage in discussion around a particular area of practice. These quarterly Seminars will be held from 4-6pm and refreshments will be served.