The latest issue of Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry is dedicated to The Practice of Constraint in Psychiatry: Emergent Forms of Care and Control. It contains at least one article that interests the readers of h-madness directly.
“Learning Constraint. Exploring Nurses’ Narratives of Psychiatric Work in the Early Years of French Community Psychiatry” by Nicolas Henckes
This article uses narrative analysis to understand how mental health professionals working in a pilot experiment in community psychiatry in France between 1960 and 1980 made sense of their work experiences. Based on a collection of essays written by these professionals as part of their training as well as on other archival materials, the article explores writing practices in post-war French psychiatry as ways of constructing and negotiating moral commitments to work. The first three sections of the article give some background on mental health nursing in France in the immediate post-war period. The subsequent three sections examine how the professionals elaborated on their experiences in their writings, focusing on three different levels: first, the narrative voice used in the essays; second, the learning processes described by trainees; and finally, the ways in which they negotiated discursively the requirement to do emotionally well at work.