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Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology

On-line version ISSN 1445-7377
Print version ISSN 2079-7222

Indo-Pac. j. phenomenol. (Online) vol.11 n.2 Grahamstown Oct. 2011 

Perceived helpfulness and unfolding processes in body-oriented therapy practice



Cynthia Price; Kevin Krycka; Tara Breitenbucher; Naoko Brown




To examine the underlying processes of an innovative mind-body practice, Mindful Body Awareness, this exploratory study involved four case studies analyzed phenomenologically using the dialogal method. Mindful Body Awareness combines manual (touch-based) and verbal processing, and is focused on facilitation of client body awareness. Four individuals were recruited to receive weekly 1.25 hour sessions over four weeks. The Helpfulness Aspects of Therapy (HAT) form was administered immediately after each session to access participants' perceptions of the therapy experience. In addition, the Scale of Body Connection was used to examine pre- and post-body awareness and bodily dissociation. Analysis involved phenomenology and descriptive statistics. The overall perceived helpfulness of the intervention was evident in the four themes that emerged from the analysis. These themes were gaining interoceptive awareness, personal agency, therapist trust and conceptual framing, and transformation. The participants' responses were also used to investigate the therapy process across time. A pattern of increased interoceptive depth was apparent, as was a concomitant progression in embodied sense of self. Improvements in body awareness and bodily dissociation were evident for two of the four participants. These findings help to identify primary components of Mindful Body Awareness and suggest the role of these components in the embodiment process.



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