Exploring the Meaning of a Rural Mind-Body Medicine Group Curriculum from the Perspectives of Community-Based Participants
Riegert, JoAnne Marie
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Exploring the Meaning of a Rural Mind-Body Medicine Group Curriculum from the Perspectives of Community-Based Participants (633.9Kb)
The challenges and stress that are present in our daily lives can be consuming and are often associated with chronic illnesses and mental health concerns. In rural communities, residents may experience greater exposure to a range of potentially traumatic events at both a personal and community level (Handley et al., 2015). Additionally, in many rural areas, the availability of health services is a significant issue. One emerging approach utilized to treat the increasing numbers of chronic illnesses and trauma-related mental health problems in a rural population is the integration of meditation skills presented in a group setting, to counterbalance the effects. This phenomenological study explores seven individuals' perspectives on the impact of participation in a Mind-Body Medicine Group Curriculum, in a rural community. The findings illuminate etic clusters of the impact of worry, the importance of forgiveness, growth of self-love and self-compassion, the benefits of the therapeutic bond in the group experience, and micro and macro healing. Emic themes of self-actualization and the importance of relational connection were discovered. These outcomes suggest that healing in rural communities is obtained in group settings, as an additional alternative to individual therapy. Implications for integrating mindfulness into psychotherapy practice, the impact of group work in rural areas, as well as applications for counselor educators and graduate training programs, are additionally explored.