This qualitative study describes somatic countertransference (SCT) experiences of nurse Therapeutic Touch practitioners. Defined by Orbach and Carroll (2006), SCT is “the therapist’s awareness of their own body, of sensations, images, impulses, and feelings that offer a link to the client’s healing process” (p. 64). Use of purposeful sampling recruited eight experts. Audiotaped sixty-minute face-to-face in-depth interviews were conducted using a semi-structured interview guide with six open-ended questions. Sandelowski’s (2010) preferred method of latent content analysis produced codes and subcategories grounded exclusively in the saturated data (Krippendorff, 2004). Ten subcategories and three categories were inductively generated. Consensus on coding and data analysis led to the emergent theme, “A Language for Healing Trauma.” Consistent with social science communication research (Krippendorff, 1989), SCT was found to be a factor in the healing of trauma, experienced during the verbal and nonverbal communication of one group of nurse TT practitioners in interaction with traumatized clients.
Keywords: Therapeutic Touch practitioners, communication, integrative medicine, nurse-patient relations, somatic countertransference, trauma therapy
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