Psychosoma in crisis: an autoethnographic study of medically unexplained symptoms and their diverse contexts

J. Hills, J. Lees, Dawn S. Freshwater, J. Cahill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In this study, we examine autoethnographic data from three critical incidents as experienced by the first author demonstrating the importance of context in understanding medically unexplained symptoms, their incidence and underlying patterns. We make the case for ethnographies as a crucial research strand in discerning the finer aspects of the patient or client experience; aspects that might be missed where people are directed along protocolised pathways of care. The article describes care as fragmented and depersonalising, leading to disembodied exchanges, as reflected in other autoethnographic studies, particularly those that highlight the complex relationship and controversies surrounding diagnostic uncertainty. We observe that psychological therapists, given the quality of the therapeutic relationship and sustained attention to the person’s experience, are well placed to assist in the necessary processes of re-contextualisation and re-embodiment. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalBRITISH JOURNAL OF GUIDANCE & COUNSELLING
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Apr 2016

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