A Complementary Health Approach to Facilitate Healing and Integration Among Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse: The Shamanic Practitioner’s Perspective
Contributor(s)Healey, Martha W. (Healey, Martha W.) (Authoraut)
Willis, Danny G. (Willis, Danny G.) (Thesis advisorths)
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AbstractAbstract Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) survivors are at risk of suffering from myriad physical, emotional, relational, spiritual, and energetic aftereffects. Scant research has addressed healing of spiritual and energetic aftereffects, especially sense of fragmentation/soul loss. No published research has addressed shamanic healing for CSA survivors. Thus, the purpose of this qualitative descriptive research was to describe the use of shamanic healing as a complementary health approach for adult CSA survivors from the perspectives of shamanic healers. A qualitative descriptive design was used in this research. In-depth semi-structured individual interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of 15 shamanic practitioners. Interviews focused on the shamanic practitioners’ perspectives of CSA healing from western and shamanic viewpoints, shamanic methods of assessment, intervention, evaluation of outcomes, and benefits for adult CSA survivors. Interview data were analyzed using conventional qualitative content analysis, including coding, sorting, and categorizing. Shamanic practitioners described the Western viewpoint on CSA healing as limited in scope by not adequately addressing energetic and spiritual aftereffects, with the potential to leave the survivor stuck in victim mode. In contrast, the shamanic perspective was described as an expanded paradigm for CSA healing, extending beyond the individual to multigenerational healing. CSA was framed as an event in the survivor’s life that served as a teacher of life lessons, inviting the survivor to live up to one’s full potential and not be defined by CSA. The findings indicated that shamanic healing has the potential to facilitate transformative integrative healing of the adult CSA survivor by addressing the relational, spiritual, energetic, and multigenerational impact of CSA. Shamanic healing involved integrating the survivor’s perceived lost soul parts (vital energy) back into consciousness, clearing toxic energy, and restoring energy flow. The findings have implications for nursing education, theory, practice, research, and policy. The findings can serve as a foundation for designing future research on shamanic healing to address the full spectrum of healing needs of adult CSA survivors.