Limit setting in mental health: historical factors and suggestions as to its rationale

Vatne, Solfrid, and Holmes, Colin (2006) Limit setting in mental health: historical factors and suggestions as to its rationale. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 13 (5). pp. 588-597.

[img] PDF (Published version)
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website:


The task of enforcing behavioural limits in mental health settings is widely regarded as necessary but also potentially counter-therapeutic. There has been little discussion of the ideological basis for limit setting in psychiatry, and this paper attempts to locate the progress of this ideology from the moral treatment movement to contemporary medicalized psychiatry. It is suggested that limit setting has its foundations in the Enlightenment tradition of the autonomous individual and the power of reason, and in the dual functions of psychiatry as a therapeutic and social control system. The account draws on the work of critical psychiatry, as well as on recent research concerning the discourses and practices of mental health nurses, and concludes that these dual functions are inherent to the psychiatric project.

Item ID: 3737
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1351-0126
Keywords: acculturation; civilization; limit setting; mental health; social control
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2009 01:06
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1110 Nursing > 111005 Mental Health Nursing @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 4
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page