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Background: Developed in Europe in the 1980’s, somatic psychopedagogy (SPP) is a formative practice geared toward care giving and support. Characterized as a type of mind-body medicine, it examines how the use of the body and its movement allows for the development of one’s conscience, one’s sense of self and of others, which are all desirable qualities for professionals within the health care sector.
Purpose: To explore if and how SPP training followed by nurses modifies their perception of the quality of their self awareness, their presence in regard to others, as well as their relationship with respect to health and their professional practice.
Methods: Qualitative research based on two types of semi-structured interviews: comprehensive and elicitation. Exploratory interviews with three nurses trained (or in training) in SPP. The content of the interviews was first analyzed thematically then grouped by categories.
Findings: The three participants perceived a change in the quality of their presence with respect to themselves and to others as well as changes within the nature of their relationships with their patients, colleagues and healthcare team members. Content analysis of the interviews has allowed us to conclude that relationships with the health care team evolved into a better ability to give recognition and a better quality of interaction between members. Participants also reported an increased ability to express their opinions in both their personal and professional lives. A second level of analysis has allowed for the identification of differences between nurses just finishing their first year of training and those having completed the full four-year course.
Conclusion: Interesting transformations are reported at different levels confirming the relevance of a second phase of the project. The latter will permit to identify whether physicians trained in SPP experience changes similar to those of the nurses, and if so, whether they perceive these as having an impact on their practice.
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