The embodied experience of women who suffered from heart attacks: an existential view

Heiba, Rana (2021) The embodied experience of women who suffered from heart attacks: an existential view. DCPsych thesis, Middlesex University / New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling (NSPC). [Thesis]

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The purpose of this research is to gain a deeper understanding of the embodied experience of women who suffered from heart attacks. The heart attack is primarily seen as a medical concern and is treated on that basis without giving significant attention to the person’s lived experience. Recently, researchers have attempted to bring the two monologues into a dialogue, looking at physical illness beyond its medical or biological causes. This research aims to build on the following idea, with the attempt of coming closer to the understanding of women’s embodied experience of a heart attack. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was chosen to help explore this phenomenon. Seven women who have experienced at least one heart attack in the past five years were interviewed using semi-structured interviews. The data analysed presented five main themes: experience of the heart attack, the self, loss, roles and responsibilities, and being-with-anxiety. Findings suggest that the embodied experience of having a heart attack is a complex phenomenon, one which impacts the women’s entire existence. This research provides an in-depth study to understand the lived experience of these women before the heart attack as well as after. The results add to the work of counselling psychologists when dealing with such a phenomenon, and suggestions on how to integrate it with existential work are discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (DCPsych)
Sustainable Development Goals:
Keywords (uncontrolled): Embodiment, heart attack, women, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, physical illness, existential
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology
B. > Theses
C. Collaborative Partners > New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling (NSPC)
Item ID: 36711
Depositing User: Lisa Blanshard
Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2022 11:55
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2022 13:21

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