The power within illness : uncovering the essence of transformation through the experience of illness




Spencer-Benson, Frances Marylou

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Research in the field of mind/body/spirit/mental connection is extensive. However very few studies have focused on the persons who have survived a life-threatening critical illness and the way in which they redefine beliefs, values and their world view. Recognition of the transformation that occurs following such a crisis is an important contribution toward understanding all facets of the connectedness that exists between our mind, our body, our spirit, our mental/’emotional state and healing. This study will consider the question “What kind of transformation occurs for some who experience critical Illness?” Transformation means starting with one thing and ending up with another. This study reveals the inner world of eight participants (co-searchers) who experienced a medical crisis and found their inner world transformed. A clear view of the road taken by the participants is elucidated following a heuristic path requiring the researcher to interview to the point of saturation. The criterion for a heuristic study has been met. Relevant literature pertaining to the changing worldview of professionals working within the area of wellness from Grecian times to the present is considered. Some qualitative methods available to researchers are explored. This study can contribute to modification and/or expansion of existing health care programs to include the person in the situation. Credible evidence is presented to support the importance of acknowledging the positive aspects within illnesses that can be offered within a variety of health related disciplines: psychology, counseling, nursing, and religious studies, social work and health care providers. The nature of heuristic research is to merge the participants and the investigator. The co-searchers and the investigator reveal their understanding of those things that existed only in an innate dimension prior to illness. As a result of their experience, the researcher and the co-searchers present a rich plethora of changed perspectives they identify as transformative revealing the power illness offers us to reevaluate our personal actions impacting those around us as our worldview expands. This study is not meant to query who lives and who dies, for death ultimately claims us all.



Healing, Mind and body, Sick