This article discusses constitutive factors in the collaboration and relationship between the employees and the inhabitants of a supported house for people with severe mental illness and addiction problems. The article emphasizes the dialectic relationship between the two partners, and where their relationship is understood as developing through a mutual interaction filled with tension and resistance. I claim that it is unhelpful to think of the relationship in terms of «helper» and «helped,» but rather in terms of two «willing» subjects who stand in opposition to each other. Two subjects, each with his/her own will to do something – and which in many situations (cases) stand in opposition to the other person’s will to do the same thing. The article’s theoretical approach is anchored in the dialectic of Georg W.F. Hegel, as well as its development in the thinking of Axel Honneth. I also build on George F. Mead’s theory on social psychology in describing and understanding the phenomena of recognition.
Homelessness is correlated with both mental health and substance related problems, and many homeless people stay in temporary accommodation for long periods of time. National guidelines emphasize locally based and interdisciplinary measures where collaboration regarding the individual recovery processes, improving quality of life and a sense of coherence are considered to be essential. Our study was conducted at a low threshold accommodation centre for homeless men. The environmental staff possesses unique experiential knowledge about collaborating with residents and this knowledge should be described. The study has a descriptive and interpretive design. Data were collected in three focus group interviews with 18 employees. The recorded interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using a phenomenological hermeneutical approach. The findings indicate that the environmental staff had unpredictable and challenging workdays. Experiences of collaboration were gathered under three themes: employees' knowledge, traits and experience, the spontaneous and informal, conditions staff are unable to influence. We interpreted the common theme of the focus group interviews as being to seize the moment.
This study evaluates the cultural feasibility of the course in coping with stress (Kurs i mestring av belastning) among a group of Tamil refugees during a crisis in the country of origin. There were few problems related to conducting the course. The most important effect of the course seemed to be that the presence of a professional counsellor with a vow of silence provided participants with an opportunity to talk together about themes connected with cultural taboos. There is a need for more studies before we can make generalizations about the cultural feasibility of the course for cultural minorities. There is also a need to investigate whether the course may have short-term effects during an acute crisis.
Individuals with major psychiatric disorders and comorbid substance abuse problems are often homeless. At the same time, having a place to live is a prerequisite for health, education, employment and community participation. A residence and home are essential to living a worthy life. This article describes a collaborative approach to establishing housing for this group of patients. The article highlights four critical factors: the individual, housing, caregivers, framework. We discuss obstacles and associated success factors, illustrated with anonymised vignettes. Settling this client group in appropriate housing calls for expertise and flexibility at all levels of the health care system. Close collaboration with the specialised health care services is required if the municipality is to succeed in the process of housing individuals with low levels of general functioning. This work presents challenges for all the professionals involved, and is a demanding field where frustration, powerlessness and pessimism often prevail.
This article attempts to explain why therapeutic work on quality of life (subjective well-being) is so essential to patients with addiction disorders, and to outline how a therapy with quality of life as its primary target can be practiced. I briefly present two health promoting models: Aaron Antonovsky?s theory on salutogenesis and Corey Keyes? theory on flourishing. Then I describe important aspects of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, which for us has proved very useful for translating rather abstract health promoting models into therapeutic practice. Finally I present our resulting therapeutic model ? The Frognerlia Model.
This article describes a qualitative study where six patients from a district psychiatric center took part in three-six days of outdoor hikes over a period of three weeks. The purpose of the study was to examine the effects of different experiences of nature during outdoor hiking trips among serious and persistent mentally ill patients. The patient's experiences are analyzed in relation to the terms therapy/recreation and education/discovery, which either alone or in combination can enhance health and wellbeing. The results show that the participants found outdoor education to be a positive experience in regard to inner calm, and the activity both instructive and of high value.