This dissertation details a study conducted with a group of women diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in rural Western North Carolina who participated in a 6-week Authentic Movement class. Multiple sclerosis is framed as a physical illness, which often means that the psychological impact of living with the myriad of neurologic symptoms is rarely addressed. The purpose of this study is to give voice to the lived experiences of women with MS by providing a context for moving into deeper relationship with symptoms. The intention was to ease symptoms through a self-directed movement meditation practice by cultivating interoception and active imagination, both self-reflective tools that support psychological wellness. The central finding of this study is that movement meditation practices must accommodate diverse cultural communities who may not have access to movement modalities that entrain interoceptive knowing. The researcher observed that the practice of group support became the medium through which participants acquired a language of embodiment. By developing interoceptive literacy, those with the immune-mediated disease of MS often discover a stronger sense of self and an internal locus of control that may have been lost in the disease course.
|Commitee:||Fikes, Kesha, Pallaro, Patrizia, Nowak, Kenneth|
|School:||Pacifica Graduate Institute|
|Department:||Depth Psychology with Emphasis in Somatic Studies|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 82/1(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Psychology, Immunology, Disability studies|
|Keywords:||Authentic, Autoimmunity, Interoception, Movement, Multiple, Sclerosis|
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