Institutional and emotion work in forensic psychiatry: detachment and desensitisation

Hui, Ada M.L. (2017) Institutional and emotion work in forensic psychiatry: detachment and desensitisation. In: Mental health uncertainty and inevitability: rejuvenating the relationship between social science and psychiatry. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, pp. 137-165. ISBN 9783319439693

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Mental health professionals are frequently tasked with balancing care, safety and security. They are obliged to meet professional, organisational and institutional standards. Yet, these roles, expectations and practices are often in contention, whilst personal feelings and values are often ignored. This raises questions as to what the processes are in attempting to reconcile personal, professional and organisation conflict, how workers manage their emotions, and ultimately, what impacts these have upon those conducting such work, as well as those receiving care.

Forensic psychiatry is a pluralistic institution where care and containment are precariously balanced. High secure hospitals offer a unique context in which to study such tensions. The social theories of institutional and emotion work provide useful frameworks from which to study the interactions between institutions, emotions and actions in psychiatry. Interviews were conducted with healthcare professionals using a constructivist grounded theory approach. Workers’ feelings and experiences were explored in relation to their professional roles, organisational expectations and wider institutional contexts. In doing so, the relationships between institutions, emotions and actions may be better understood and institutional and emotion work theories developed, thus providing important iterative connections between sociology and psychiatry.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: This extract is taken from the author's original manuscript and has not been edited. The definitive, published, version of record is available here:
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Depositing User: Roe, Jonathan
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2017 09:01
Last Modified: 04 May 2020 18:34

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