Body awareness – a vital aspect in mentalization: experiences from concurrent and reciprocal therapies





Physiotherapy theory and practice;30(5)


Informa Healthcare



Background : A psychomotor physiotherapist and a clinical psychologist had collaborated on patients consistently for several years, when their individual therapeutic approach had turned out to be insufficient. Aim : The aim of this study was to investigate the therapists’ understanding of their patients and the therapeutic processes they had been involved in, and to develop concepts in order to understand the concurrent therapeutic processes. Design and method : This qualitative study is based on a grounded theory approach. The two strategically chosen therapists participated in ‘‘mini focus-group’’ interviews, in data transcrip- tion and in the analyzing process. Findings : Three empirical categories emerged from the therapists’ experiences. The core category ‘‘Body awareness: a vital aspect in mentalization’’ was comprised of two main categories: (1) ‘‘The over-stretched children in the grown-up patients’’; and (2) ‘‘The traumatized children in the grown-up patients’’. Conclusion : Reduced body awareness seemed to correspond with lacking or fragmented memories of their own life history. Body awareness was a vital aspect in the therapeutic processes. Future challenges seemed to become manageable for the patients once they had realized that the resources for coping with these demands were available within themselves.


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