Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Women's lives in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands and their experiences with the 'Capacitar practices' for transforming trauma: An embodied inquiry
by Hess, Regina Ursula, Ph.D., Bournemouth University (United Kingdom), 2012, 395; 3529762
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this embodied phenomenological inquiry was to explore the impact of the so-called Capacitar Body-Mind-Spirit Practices Training for the transformation of individual and community trauma. A general philosophical framework of transpersonal psychology, particularly drawing on the concept of interrelatedness, has been implemented. This research took place in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands with 14 female co-researchers (Mexican, Mexican-American, Mayan, White American) who live in the twin cities of El Paso (Texas, U.S.) and Ciudad Juárez (Chihuahua, Mexico), who were thus exposed to the constant threat of lethal violence and so-called femicide, to discrimination and the socioeconomic problems that are peculiar to this region. The women's embodied experiences of change as a result of the Capacitar Training were investigated with semi-structured multiple interviewing multilingually (English / Spanish / Mayan). Data analysis procedures combined imaginative variation and embodied interpretation that resulted in a general meaning structure with its variations.

The contribution to knowledge made by the phenomenological results consists of the confirmation of past research on the impact of the Capacitar Training that showed the potential of the body-mind-spirit practices for transforming trauma with culturally and spiritually diverse individuals. The most significant research findings of the present study suggest that: (1) the majority of the co-researchers' experiences of bodily change through body-mind-spirit practices initiated further integration of past negative (traumatic) and / or positive experiences in an embodied way, including interrelatedness to spirituality, culture and nature; (2) the initial bodily felt shift led to the co-researchers' desire for more change; (3) the experiences of change were independent of the cultural or spiritual background of the co-researchers; (4) a desire to support others' change emerged for the co-researchers based on their own experiences of improvement; and (5) ambiguity arose for a minority of co-researchers in the beginning of the training related to cultural and religious barriers, and self esteem issues; and at the end of the Capacitar Training linked with the question of commitment to time and to the engagement with the practices.

To enhance an embodied understanding of the phenomenological results, biographical information from the co-researchers' life experiences related to the borderlands had been compiled during the interviews, which mirrored the body of knowledge on issues in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands and has been presented as a cultural-spiritual narrative composite. Furthermore, evaluative information about the co-researchers' experiences of the conveyance of the Capacitar Training has been synthesized, adding their critical reflections about the conduction and the further development of the Capacitar approach.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Todres, Les, Galvin, Kate
Commitee: Watkins, Mary
School: Bournemouth University (United Kingdom)
School Location: England
Source: DAI-B 74/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Metaphysics, Womens studies, Alternative Medicine
Keywords: Body-mind-spirit practices, Borderlands, Embodied inquiry, Multicultural, Trauma, U.S.-Mexico border
Publication Number: 3529762
ISBN: 978-1-267-66840-0
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