Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Listening to the body: Embodied engagement with chronic illness
by Mycue, Victoria de los Santos, Psy.D., California Institute of Integral Studies, 2016, 175; 10117914
Abstract (Summary)

Using a phenomenological hermeneutic embodied methodology, this study investigates the phenomenon of chronic illness as it is experienced internally. Through a focusing meditation and an embodied art directive, the stage is set to explore the phenomenon. Using a semi-structured protocol, participants were interviewed two times over a four-month period, and asked to identify how their internal experiences informed the management of their illness. Participants were also asked how this body-based information converged with medical prescriptions from primary care providers. Qualitative data were analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). Participants took part as co-researchers in the coding process and two peer debriefers were engaged in a discursive analysis tracing themes across narratives to develop codes organized under three superordinate categories with ten corresponding subordinate headings. Three primary findings were clustered under the superordinates: 1.0 My body has a place at the table now, 2.0 My body as it relates to medicine, 3.0 Looking forward, looking back: making meaning from this body’s history. Results indicate that participants used their bodies’ signs by recognizing the language that the body communicates, then processing the impact and making decisions about how to proceed. Secondly, participants described a time when their bodies conflicted with medical advice and the reality of what they were physically experiencing was so compelling they were obliged to go with the strong physical evidence that was expressed by their bodies. A third finding from this investigation is that individuals can have highly developed ideas about the origins of their illnesses and these ideas might play a pivotal role in their healing process.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Puhakka, Kaisa
Commitee: Clausen, Margaret
School: California Institute of Integral Studies
Department: Clinical Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 77/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Health sciences, Counseling Psychology, Psychology
Keywords: Body, Chronic illness, Embodied, Health, Interpretative, Phenomenological
Publication Number: 10117914
ISBN: 978-1-339-79285-9
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