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“Oh, this is What It Feels Like”: A Role for the Body in Learning an Evidence-Based Practice
Counseling Faculty Publications
  • Robert Allan, School of Education and Human Development at the University of Colorado Denver
  • Virginia Eatough, University of London
  • Michael Ungar, Dalhousie University
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This paper will present research that explored the experiences of couple and family therapists learning about and using an evidence-based practice (EBP). Using a phenomenological approach called Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, three themes emerged from the participants’ experiences: the supports and challenges while learning an EBP, the experience of shame while learning, and the embodiment of a therapy practice. This paper will focus on the theme of embodiment. Research participants’ experiences will be reviewed and further explored using Merleau-Ponty’s notion of embodiment and Gendlin’s (1978) more internally focused understanding of how awareness of a felt sense is experienced as a move “inside of a person”. As researchers, educators, administrators, policy makers, and counsellors struggle with what works best with which populations and when, how best to allocate resources, how best to educate and support counsellors, and the complexity of doing research in real-life settings, this research has the potential to contribute to those varied dialogues.
Citation Information
Allan, R., Eatough, V., & Ungar, M. “Oh this is what it feels like”: A role for the body in learning an evidence-based practice. Humanities, 4(4), 861–884. doi:10.3390/h4040861