Experiences of relating with the self and others amidst living with fibromyalgia

Haig, Caroline (2013) Experiences of relating with the self and others amidst living with fibromyalgia. D.Clin.Psychol. thesis, Canterbury Christ Church University.

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There is a paucity of research that explores how people with Fibromyalgia (FMS) relate to themselves and others, with a particular focus on childhood experiences, mentalization and attachment theory. Ten people with FMS participated in semi-structured interviews, which explored the following areas: Important current relationships, experiences with others and childhood experiences of relationships. Stress and coping were also explored. Interview transcriptions were investigated using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (Smith & Osborn, 2003). The following three superordinate themes were identified: “The power of painful childhood experiences”, “the connection between stress and relating to others” and “interpersonal stress is wedded to illness”. Among the participants, childhood was characterised by abuse, illness, bereavement or parental discord. These early events related to various adult consequences in terms of how others and the self were related to. Mirroring childhood experiences, adult relations were often described as destructive. Interpersonal stress was wedded to illness in that others were perceived as invalidating or as ignorant of the suffering experienced. Illness tended to be described as leading to isolation and increased vulnerability to abuse. Literature pertaining to FMS, attachment and mentalization theory was useful in informing the interpretation. Limitations, clinical implications and directions for future research are discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: fibromyalgia, attachment, interpersonal relationships, interpretative phenomenological analysis
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0697 Differential psychology. Individuality. Self
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology > HM1001 Social psychology > HM1106 Interpersonal relations. Social behavior
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0925 Diseases of the musculoskeletal system > RC0927.3 Fibromyalgia
Divisions: pre Nov-2014 > Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > Applied Psychology
Depositing User: Mrs Kathy Chaney
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2013 09:19
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2016 15:45
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/12441

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00