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Title: Reflective waypoints and relational bridging : a phenomenological exploration of spiritualities in therapeutic relationships between women living with borderline personality disorder and mental health nurses
Author: Watkins, Deborah Anne
ISNI:       0000 0004 7963 3950
Awarding Body: University of Greenwich
Current Institution: University of Greenwich
Date of Award: 2017
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Relational engagement with whole persons, body, mind and soul is the heart of compassionate recovery-orientated mental health nursing, yet spirituality continues to pose theoretical and practical dilemmas for service users, policy-makers, nurses and educators. This study examines ways in which the lived spiritual experience of women with borderline personality disorder (BPD) informs and influences their therapeutic relationships with mental health nurses (MHNs) and additionally provides lessons for mental health nursing practice and education. Within a participatory phenomenological methodology, semi-structured dialogic interviews with five women, recovering from a diagnosis of BPD were combined with researcher reflections. Extensive narrative and dialectical thematic analysis uncovered unheard stories of rich relational complexity and transformation. Lived spiritualties of processual becoming-bridging-being or emerging-questing-voicing emerged in the shifting dimensions of self, relationships, space and recovery. A spiritual framework for BPD is drawn from the data focusing on the identified bridging experiences or transitional waypoints of BPD recovery represented thematically as, 'Reflective Self, Letting Go, Navigating Crossings and Serendipitous Seeking'. The study proposes a symbiotic inter-spiritual educational approach that links bridging experiences in method and meaning, learning and recovery. The narratives of bridging and questing, voiced by the women, have wider implications for studying spiritualties, particularly in worlds of fragmentation and damage. These voices and spiritualties are integral to whole person approaches in mental health nurse education. The key discovery of the study is the creative potential of shared relational space in developing self-care and self-anchoring, fundamental in supporting and facilitating the emergence of unheard voices. Fluid, compassionate spaces of spiritual mutuality provide safe havens for learning and recovery. As one participant says: '... you can develop wisdom regardless of the chaos around you and that hopefully transfers into your environment as well ...'
Supervisor: Kinchington, Francia ; Evans, David Thomas ; Patterson, Jennifer Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: RA Public aspects of medicine