Reviving the Heart of the Practitioner Through Research in a Mental Health Agency

  • Deborah Gioia University of Michigan


In this narrative the author rediscovers something she thought she'd lost—her identity as a practitioner—and finds it again as a researcher doing interviews with mental health practitioners about their clinical work lives with persons with severe mental illness. The nature of the research is the use of in-depth interviews with practitioners using evidence-based practice (EBP) in a real-world setting where EBP had not been used before and understanding key aspects of this change process. Some of the early findings are described in the article. The author's self-transformation is likened to the Buddhist notion of 'beginner's mind': that is, finding something from one's past and seeing it as new again.

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