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Violent patients within Psychiatric Intensive Care Units: treatment approaches, resistance and the impact upon staff

  • Paul Dawson (a1), Marc Kingsley (a2) and Stephen Pereira (a3)

Abstract

It has become evident that Psychiatric Intensive Care Units (PICU) accept aggressive, violent patients often with criminal histories and personality disorders. This paper aims to document the effects that this patient group can have on a PICU and the significant role that psychotherapy can offer this complex patient group. The conclusions have been drawn from psychotherapeutic work on a PICU (Pathways on Tagore, NELMHT). Such patients present unique therapeutic and emotional challenges to staff. As a result staff need to recognise and address these issues. This paper identifies and discusses a number of central themes, challenges and practical skills that may be important in enabling the successful treatment of such patients within a PICU setting.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence to: M. Kingsley, Pathways PICU on Tagore, Goodmayes Hospital, Barley Lane, Essex, IG3 8XJ, UK.

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