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Therapeutic Modalities in Psychiatric Nursing

Course Code: PNUR 4710
Faculty: Health Sciences
Department: Nursing - Psychiatric
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Online
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

Students will develop an understanding of the most relevant therapeutic approach for clients through examination and analysis of selected current therapeutic approaches and issues related to psychiatric nursing practice. Self growth-oriented techniques, therapeutic environments, crisis intervention, and advanced pharmacology related to different age groups are addressed. Issues related to health beliefs and health care system complexity, legal and ethical considerations, and strategies which influence the decision-making process are discussed. There will be opportunity to apply the concepts to psychiatric nursing practice within the context of primary health care delivery systems.

Course Content

  1. common therapeutic approaches
    • most suited client populations
    • most suitable level of intervention
    • selecting degree of complexity
  2. self-growth techniques and target groups
  3. indicators used to analyze traditional therapeutic approaches
  4. client populations, their characteristics and needs
  5. components of a health care system
  6. psychotropic agents - review
  7. general principles and mechanisms of psychotropic drug action
  8. drug interaction effects
  9. psychotropic agents and the life span variances
  10. therapeutic environment review
  11. networking
  12. team roles in a therapeutic environment
  13. systems use of communication patterns
  14. essential elements of a therapeutic environment in all settings
  15. health care system decision-makers
  16. decision-making in treatment situations
  17. health care models
  18. principles of effective decision-making

Methods of Instruction

Students will acquire knowledge and skill and learn to apply concepts through a variety of means of instruction and activities, including: lecture, demonstration, audio-visual aids, case studies, debate forums, critical thinking exercises and teamwork. 

Means of Assessment

The course evaluation is consistent with Douglas College evaluation policy.  An evaluation schedule is presented at the beginning of the course.

This is a graded course.

Learning Outcomes

1.  discriminate among selected therapeutic approaches

1.1      identify therapeutic approaches most suited to client populations
1.2      identify the level of intervention required
1.3      identify the degree of complexity required in the therapeutic situation

2.  describe selected self-growth techniques which are used to effect changes in individuals or groups

2.1      relaxation techniques
2.2      exercise regimes
2.3      biofeedback
2.4      imaging

3.  analyze the use of traditional therapeutic approaches to effect change in individuals or groups

3.1      psychotropic agents
3.2      electroconvulsive therapy
3.3      milieu therapy
3.4      crisis intervention

4.  identify components of a health care system which affect health care delivery
5.  review psychotropic agents - indications for use, actions, dosages, side effects and contraindications
6.  relate the general principles and underlying mechanisms of action of psychotropic agents
7.  describe mechanisms that give rise to drug interactions
8.  analyze effects of psychotropic agents on client populations across the lifespan
9.  analyze the concept of therapeutic environment and its use in all client settings
10 describe ways to assist the client to establish networks within the community and health care system
11 describe roles of the psychiatric nurse and team members in establishing a therapeutic environment
12. dentify formal and informal communication patterns between and among clients, nurses, team members and families
13. analyze the essential internal and external environmental factors which contribute to a therapeutic environment in all settings
14. identify decision-makers in the health care system
15. analyze the basis for treatment decisions in the health care system
16. describe selected health care models and their effects on decision-making
17. apply principles of effective decision-making in independent and interdependent situations
18. describe the impact of decision-making strategies in selected client and staff situations
19. analyze uses and abuses of physical restraint, seclusion and use of medications
20. analyze patients rights regarding treatment, informed consent
21. analyze the role of patient advocate

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.