Autogenic training for people experiencing chronic pain

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Porter, Catherine
  • Subject: RB0127.H355 | RC0475

The aim of this study was to explore the process of an eight-week autogenic training (AT) programme for people experiencing chronic pain, as perceived by participants, and to hypothesise about mechanism of change, where reported.\ud Eleven semi-structured interviews were conducted with women who had taken part in AT at the Royal London Hospital of Integrated Medicine (N=8) or with a private practitioner accredited by the British Autogenic Society (N=3). A grounded theory design was employed to build an inductive model ‘grounded’ in the qualitative data.\ud Six main categories emerged: 1) ‘Nobody knows what’s wrong with me’: Trying to get help for the pain; 2) ‘A “mind-body” conversation’: The process of AT for chronic pain; 3) ‘Something my body wanted more of – like nectar’: The effects of AT; 4) ‘Bringing us back’: Practicing AT with other(s); 5) ‘Giving yourself permission to stop’: Practicing AT independently; and 6) ‘Not just free-falling’: Comparing AT with other therapies. A number of inter-related sub-categories and dimensions were also identified.The study suggests that AT is a useful therapeutic tool with benefits for both physical and psychological well-being for people experiencing chronic pain. It illuminates the inter-connected nature of these areas of health, which have historically been treated as distinct entities. Further research is needed to explore a potential role for AT in management of stress, pain and wellbeing.
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