chapter  5
6 Pages

The house as a grammatical form

This chapter explains about the nursing intervention by explaining a story of Valerie. Valerie was a middle-aged woman with a lifelong history of alcohol and drug abuse. Her adult years had been marked by multiple acute and long-term hospitalizations, repeated episodes of extreme violence, and removal from supervised residential homes in several different cities. Working closely with us to develop a monitoring protocol for tracking Valerie's progress, the unit psychiatrist initiated new medication trials as the nursing team launched yet another attempt to make contact. Like most good nursing interventions, it involved creating a safe and empathic interactional milieu, a relational environment characterized by consistency, reliability, predictability, and structured routine. As the visual coherence and narrative complexity of her doll play increased over time, Valerie's behavior on the unit also evolved. The doll activity did not emerge from amanual of nursing interventions or list of formal objectives read off from a diagnostic chart.