Using autoethnographic methodology to explore the healing potential of non-ordinary experiences as it relates to developmental and intergenerational trauma

Stevens, Hayley (2021) Using autoethnographic methodology to explore the healing potential of non-ordinary experiences as it relates to developmental and intergenerational trauma. Masters thesis, University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

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This dissertation examines the ideas William James expressed in Varieties of Religious Experience (2011) as they relate to the healing potential of non-ordinary experiences in the context of intergenerational trauma. The research uses a autoethnographic methodology which allows for both the analytical and evocative identities, positionalities and voices of the researcher who is also the researched. A key finding is that the hereditary source of the sick soul temperament is probably intergenerational trauma. This explains behaviours which James labelled as heterogeneous and psychopathic whilst other research connects religious melancholia with pathological shame. I argue that the psychopathic experience and the conversion experience are, to a point, biologically the same. How the sick soul subjectively experiences arousal results in the different outcomes of continued heterogeneity and division or a twice born unification or conversion experience. I also argue that the sick soul has a phobic reaction to autonomic nervous system arousal which ‘highjacks’ the conversion process and prevents further arousal and the ecstatic-samadhi rebounce, ie, non-ordinary/ religious experience. This research concludes that sick souls, as a result of intergenerational trauma, have the capacity and propensity for heightened arousal, emotional intensity and automatisms - which induce fear and phobic responses. The challenge is supporting the sick soul to fully relax and let go whilst increasing and sustaining arousal levels thereby enabling ecstatic-samadhi rebounce or twice-born conversion experience. The knowledge for achieving this exists within some religious institutions and also within some secular environments which support body movement, vocalisation, emotional expression and storytelling within an empathic and compassionate communal setting. I suggest there would be value in conducting further research to test these conclusions. This research also concludes that assessment of non-ordinary experiences associated with intergenerational trauma by psychiatric professionals is essential to easing phobic responses to arousal without the use of anti-psychotics.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: religious experience, healing, intergenerational trauma, varieties of religious experience, william james, george a. coe, autoethnography, conversion, processes of unification, wilhelm reich, roland fischer, arthur deikman, energy theories
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Masters Dissertations
Depositing User: Hayley Stevens
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2021 12:53
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2024 15:51

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