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Healing relationships: a qualitative study of healers and their clients in Germany - Zurich Open Repository and Archive


Stöckigt, B M H; Besch, F; Jeserich, F; Holmberg, C; Witt, C M; Teut, M (2015). Healing relationships: a qualitative study of healers and their clients in Germany. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2015:145154.

Abstract

Background. The aim of this study was to investigate the nature of the relationships between healers and their clients in Germany. Methods. An interdisciplinary research team performed semistructured interviews with healers and clients and participatory observation of healing sessions. All interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using content analysis. Results. Fifteen healers and sixteen clients were included. The healer-client relationship was described as a profound and unique experience, which brought forth interpersonal and spiritual connections. The healers were seen as role models for healing to occur and support for being connected spiritually. The clients had to be open-minded and responsible. The importance of the healers’ empathy was emphasized. Discussion. The relationship between healer and client can be seen as a triangular connection between client, healer, and a transcendent source which is not the case in typical patient-doctor relationships. The spiritual connection is also said to enhance the empathetic understanding of the healer. The personality and a partner-like attitude of the healer supported the client in giving a more positive meaning to his life, in reconnecting to his spirituality, and in taking responsibility. Future studies should address the role of spirituality in health care and the development of enduring healer-client relationships.

Abstract

Background. The aim of this study was to investigate the nature of the relationships between healers and their clients in Germany. Methods. An interdisciplinary research team performed semistructured interviews with healers and clients and participatory observation of healing sessions. All interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using content analysis. Results. Fifteen healers and sixteen clients were included. The healer-client relationship was described as a profound and unique experience, which brought forth interpersonal and spiritual connections. The healers were seen as role models for healing to occur and support for being connected spiritually. The clients had to be open-minded and responsible. The importance of the healers’ empathy was emphasized. Discussion. The relationship between healer and client can be seen as a triangular connection between client, healer, and a transcendent source which is not the case in typical patient-doctor relationships. The spiritual connection is also said to enhance the empathetic understanding of the healer. The personality and a partner-like attitude of the healer supported the client in giving a more positive meaning to his life, in reconnecting to his spirituality, and in taking responsibility. Future studies should address the role of spirituality in health care and the development of enduring healer-client relationships.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of Complementary Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:21 Dec 2015 12:58
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 19:42
Publisher:Hindawi Publishing Corporation
ISSN:1741-427X
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/145154

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