Awareness of breathing as a way to enhance the sense of coherence : patients' experiences in psychomotor physiotherapy


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Body, movement and dance in psychotherapy;6 (2)


Taylor & Francis

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Aims: The intention of this study was to clarify former patients’ experience while undergoing therapeutic treatment in Norwegian Psychomotor Physiotherapy (NPMP). Subjects and methods: A qualitative approach based on 10 in-depth interviews was adopted. The data were analysed with the aid of grounded theory. Results: Three categories were identified from the patients’ experiences: (1) the realisation that their health was at stake, (2) the therapeutic process, and (3) increased self-awareness. During NPMP they realised that when the therapists brought their attention to autonomic reactions, such as changes in their breathing rhythm, they came to a better understanding of what these reactions could mean, thereby increasing their self-understanding. Discussion and conclusion: Focused attention on autonomic reactions, mainly breathing, increased the patients’ self-understanding and their sense of coherence (Antonovsky, 1987, 1996)



This is an electronic version of an article published in Body, movement and dance in psychotherapy;6 (2), 2011. Body, movement and dance in psychotherapy is available online at:

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