ERIC Number: EJ905890
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Points of Contact: Using First-Person Narratives to Help Foster Empathy in Psychiatric Residents
Deen, Serina R.; Mangurian, Christina; Cabaniss, Deborah L.
Academic Psychiatry, v34 n6 p438-441 Nov-Dec 2010
Objective: The authors aimed to determine if writing narratives in psychiatric training can foster empathy for severely and persistently mentally ill patients. Methods: One resident wrote first-person narrative pieces about three different patients at a community mental health clinic. She reviewed these pieces with a writing supervisor weekly. The supervisor and resident examined the style of writing, choice of words, and story line to help the resident learn about her feelings about the patient. Results: In each narrative, different choices were made that provided clues about that particular resident-patient relationship. These writing exercises helped the resident become more connected to her patients, develop interviewing skills, and engage in more self-reflection. Conclusion: Narrative writing effectively fostered empathy in a PGY-1 psychiatric resident working with severely and persistently mentally ill patients. This exercise also fostered understanding of countertransference and improved psychiatric history-taking skills. Psychiatry training programs may want to consider incorporating narrative writing exercises into their curriculum.
Descriptors: Mental Health, Psychiatry, Writing Exercises, Interviews, Patients, Empathy, Supervisors, Mental Disorders, Graduate Medical Education, Medical Students, Physician Patient Relationship, Writing (Composition)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A