Somatic Countertransference Experiences of Nurse Therapeutic Touch Practitioners: A Content Analysis, Part 1: Body
Repository Posting Date2017-07-21T16:07:38Z
Author DetailsCatherine Jirak Monetti, PhD, RN, CNE, QTTP; Doris Ezomo; Dorothy Nwosonyiri
Lead Author Sigma AffliationLambda Iota
Level of EvidenceN/A
Title: SOMATIC COUNTERTRANSFERENCE EXPERIENCES OF NURSE THERAPEUTIC TOUCH PRACTITIONERS: A CONTENT ANALYSIS. PART 1: BODY
This qualitative study describes somatic countertransference (SCT) experiences of nurse Therapeutic Touch practitioners. Defined by Orbach and Carroll (2006), SCT is “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).
Use of purposeful sampling recruited eight experts. Audiotaped sixty-minute face-to-face in-depth interviews were conducted using a semi-structured interview guide with six open-ended questions. Sandelowski’s (2010)
Preferred method of latent content analysis produced codes and subcategories grounded exclusively in the saturated data (Krippendorff, 2004). Ten subcategories and three categories were inductively generated. Consensus on coding and data analysis led to the emergent theme, “A Language for Healing Trauma.” Consistent with social science communication research (Krippendorff, 1989),
SCT was found to be a factor in the healing of trauma, experienced during the verbal and nonverbal communication of one group of nurse TT practitioners in interaction with traumatized clients.
The results of this study demonstrate the phenomenon of SCT is indeed real and that it occurs in nurse TT practitioners. Importantly, it can be articulated and conceptualized as a language to describe a process of nonverbal communication whereby useful clinical information is garnered from clients’ somatic memory. In other words, TT can access the knowledge of the body beyond the use of words. The findings validate Leddy’s (2004) conclusion that actual physical touch and exchange of energy are not needed for energetic healing. This further articulation of SCT increases the limited expression of the non-linear experience of TT (Samarel, 1992). Given the multitude of trauma experiences in the clinical population, these findings contribute to knowledge about the phenomenon of SCT and the significant role TT plays in trauma treatment. Of course, further description of SCT is needed, as well as related outcomes.