Somatic countertransference experiences of nurse Therapeutic Touch practitioners: A content analysis

  • Monetti C
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This qualitative study describes somatic countertransference (SCT) experiences of nurse Therapeutic Touch (TT) practitioners during their work with traumatized clients. Increased understanding of SCT can further promote the role of TT in trauma therapy. Orbach and Carroll (2006) define SCT as 'the therapist's awareness of their own body, of sensations, images, impulses, and feelings that offer a link to the client's healing process' (p. 64). The study is timely and aligned with current state of the science on use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM; WHCCAMP, 2000; Strauss, Coeytaux, McDuffie, Williams, Nagi, & Wing, 2011). Its findings pose an alternative to current exposure-based psychotherapies. Following IRB approval, purposeful sampling was used to recruit and interview eight expert nurse TT practitioners. After signing the informed consent, sixty-minute face-to-face in-depth interviews were conducted in a private setting of the participants' choice, and audio taped. A semi-structured interview guide with six open-ended questions was used to collect sufficient narrative data to answer the main research question: 'What is the experience of SCT as described by nurse TT practitioners who have cared for traumatized patients within the previous 6 to 12 months?' Qualitative data from verbatim transcription of interviews were analyzed using the preferred method of latent content analysis described by Sandelowski (1993, 1995, 2000, 2010). Codes and subcategories were grounded exclusively in the data (Patton, 2002; Krippendorff, 2004). Categories and one major theme were inductively generated to reveal the underlying meaning in the communication (Chang, 2001). Data saturation was reached (Sandelowski, 1995). Consensus on coding and results of data analysis was achieved to produce a credible research report. Ten subcategories and three categories led to the emergent theme, 'A Language for Healing Trauma.' Consistent with communication research in the social sciences (Krippendorff, 1989), SCT was found to be a factor in the healing of trauma that emanated from the verbal and nonverbal communication of one group of nurse TT practitioners in their interaction with their traumatized clients.

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  • Countertransference (Psychology) Psychiatric Nursi

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  • PMID: 109828603


  • Catherine Jirak Monetti

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