"The Pure Guidelines of the Monastery Are to be Inscribed in Your Bones and Mind" Dogen (2010, p. 42): Mental Health Nurses'™ Practices as Ritualized Behaviour

  • Graham McCaffrey University of Calgary
Keywords: Buddhism, hermeneutics, mental health, nurse-patient relationship, ritual

Abstract

Forms of practice among nurses on acute care mental health units present a way of revealing how different traditions and values are in play between nurses and also within nurses.  This paper represents one interpretive theme from a larger, hermeneutic study of nurses’ experiences of nurse-patient relationships on acute care mental health units, using Buddhist perspectives as a resource for interpretation of interviews with nurses. Understandings of ritual in the Zen Buddhist tradition and Catherine Bell’s (2009a) concept of ritualized behavior enabled an interpretive analysis of nurses’ activities as the expression and reflexive reinforcement of underlying traditions, values, and beliefs. In particular, nurses’ preferences among ways of relating with patients evinced contrasting background traditions of confinement and therapeutically directed engagement.

Acknowledgements

No hermeneutic work belongs wholly to its author, and I wish to acknowledge Dr. Shelley Raffin-Bouchal, my doctoral supervisor, and Dr. Nancy Moules, who was a very active member of my supervisory committee for all their guidance and support in conducting the study from which this paper emerged.

A version of this paper was presented by the author at the Canadian Hermeneutic Institute, Halifax, Nova Scotia, May 23, 2012.

 

 

 

Author Biography

Graham McCaffrey, University of Calgary

Assistant Professor

Faculty of Nursing

References

Aho, K. (2008). Medicalizing mental health: A phenomenological alternative. Journal of Medical Humanities, 29, 243-259. doi: 10.1007/s10912-008-9065-1

American Psychiatric Association (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., text rev.). Washington, DC: Author.

Anderson, R. (2001). Being upright: Zen meditation and the bodhisattva precepts. Berkeley, CA: Rodmell.

[Author], (2011).

Barker, P., & Buchanan-Barker, P. (2005). The Tidal Model: A guide for mental health professionals. New York, NY: Brunner-Routledge.

Bell, Catherine. (2009a). Ritual theory, ritual practice. New York, NY: Oxford.

Bell, Catherine. (2009b). Ritual: Perspective and dimensions. New York, NY: Oxford.

Benner, P. (1984). From novice to expert. Menlo Park, CA: Addison-Wesley.

Benner, P. (2000). The wisdom of our practice. American Journal of Nursing, 100(10), 99-105.

Clarke, L. (2009). The care and confinement of the mentally ill. In P. Barker (Ed.), Psychiatric and mental health nursing: The craft of caring. London, UK: Hodder Arnold.

Dogen. (2010). Treasury of the true dharma eye: Zen master Dogen’s Shobogenzo (K. Tanahashi, Trans.). Boston, MA: Shambhala.

Gadamer, H.G. (2001). Gadamer in Conversation: Reflections and commentary. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

O’Gorman, S.M. (1998). Death and dying in contemporary society: An evaluation of current attitudes and the rituals associated with death and dying and their relevance to recent understandings of health and healing. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 27(6), 1127-1135.

Palmer, R. E. (2001). Introduction. In H. G. Gadamer, Gadamer in conversation: Reflections and commentary (R.E. Palmer, Trans.). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Peplau, H. (1988). Interpersonal relations in nursing. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Peplau, H. (1989). Selected works: Interpersonal theory in nursing. New York, NY: Macmillan.

Philpin, S. (2002). Rituals and nursing: A critical commentary. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 38(2), 144-151.

Philpin, S. (2007). Managing ambiguity and danger in an intensive therapy unit: Ritual practices and sequestration. Nursing Inquiry, 14(1), 51-59. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1800.2007.00354.x

Wright, D.S. (2008). Introduction: Rethinking ritual practice in Zen Buddhism. In S. Heine & D.S. Wright (Eds.), Zen ritual: Studies of Zen Buddhist theory in practice. New York, NY: Oxford.
Published
2012-09-27
Issue
Section
Articles