Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Coming home to body: Moving through uncertainty healing from childhood trauma
by Green, Rebecca Ryan, Ph.D., California Institute of Integral Studies, 2016, 201; 10117889
Abstract (Summary)

The subject of this inquiry is the lived experience of the body healing from childhood interpersonal trauma. The questions driving this inquiry were designed to elicit the meaning body-based healing has brought to those who have endured childhood trauma and engaged in healing practices offered by the field of psychology, including both talk therapy and somatic psychotherapy and practices. The literature in psychology reveals scarce studies that privilege the lived experiences of persons who are in the process of transforming childhood trauma. Therefore, there is need for this study which foregrounds the mind, body, and spiritual lived experiences of trauma and its healing, in participant’s own words.

This study brings forth the stories of four participants who experienced interpersonal childhood trauma and also sought body-based healing modalities. Through the perspective of psyche, outcomes of this study were revealed from a deep, reflective, metaphorical standpoint. This theoretical foundation set the stage for the use of the qualitative method of narrative inquiry. Phenomenological analysis of interviews created a first-person subjective point of view into the experience of developing a deeper body consciousness.

Meaning derived from this study delineated four pathways of healing presented under the refrains of Seeking Healing, What Wants to Live, Living Within Trauma and Healing, and The Awakened Body. From here, the study provides a broader context to the experience of healing that includes the movement from dissociation to awareness in a context of uncertainty. This perspective provides a different consideration of what is happening in the healing process, important for psychotherapists, as well as trauma scholars and practitioners exploring treatments. Most importantly, the outcomes will be of interest to those who are healing from childhood trauma, sketching a trajectory of how body-based therapies and activities potentially transform many aspects of one’s life. Outcomes could guide further research related to the intersections of childhood trauma and long-term healing and transformation.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gozawa, Joanne
Commitee: Cane, Pat, Chang, Meg
School: California Institute of Integral Studies
Department: Transformative Studies
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 77/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Psychology, Individual & family studies, Spirituality
Keywords: Childhood trauma, Healing, Phenomenology, Psyche, Somatic therapy, Uncertainty
Publication Number: 10117889
ISBN: 978-1-339-79260-6
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