Therapists trained to provide eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy have a global responsibility. This article summarizes the multiple impacts of high stress events, and their long-term effects on individuals, families, communities, and nations. While it is well documented that EMDR treatment will remediate the individual symptoms of posttraumatic stress, research is still needed to determine how far-reaching such outcomes are. Future studies should determine whether treatment reverses the neurobiological changes, cognitive deficits, and affective dysregulation, which are associated with exposure to traumatic events. Research should also investigate whether successful treatment decreases high-risk and/or perpetrator behavior, and whether these effects are translated into behavioral and attitudinal changes sufficient to bring an end to intergenerational trauma and ethnopolitical conflicts. It seems self-evident that the ideal way to address pressing societal needs, on both local and global levels, is by the integration of science and practice. The article also discusses the development of nonprofit EMDR humanitarian assistance programs, and their essential work in the alleviation of suffering around the world. In addition to recommending the examination of EMDR's efficacy in treating traumatization from direct, natural, structural, and cultural causes, this article advocates that research resources be dedicated for testing interventions in the areas of the world with the greatest needs. The alleviation of suffering is the duty of our profession.
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The United States Army (U.S. Army) has a fine tradition of providing healthcare on the battlefield. In March 2003, the United States military (U.S. military) entered the Iraqi theater of operations. Included in the military package were medical “assets” dedicated to sustain the health of the military fighting men and women, as well as the health of Iraqi detainees. Detainee medical care was a completely new setting where American nurses had not practiced before but where they were vitally needed. The purpose of this article is to describe the broad themes of suffering and healing at Abu Ghraib Internment Facility in Iraq and the mutual culture shock experienced by both sides of the war effort.
- Go to article: Caring for Individuals Displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma: The Lived Experience of Student Nurses
Caring for Individuals Displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma: The Lived Experience of Student Nurses
The purpose of this phenomenological study is to explore the experience of caring for individuals and families left homeless and then displaced in the aftermath of destructive hurricanes. The nursing situations, which are reflective stories from the practice of seven undergraduate nursing students, were interpreted to uncover the meaning of caring for others who have experienced disastrous situations. The interpreted findings are three thematic threads that cut across all the texts: building connections to others, appreciating the wholeness of persons, and learning the meaning of caring in nursing. The wholeness of this inquiry is presented using a metaphor to describe the fullness of lives lived, despite being left homeless and displaced by disastrous hurricanes.
The purpose of this article is to present findings from a major research project focusing on gaining a deeper understanding of health and suffering due to serious cancer disease from the perspective of patients. This study used a hermeneutic design and 14 qualitative research interviews of 6 Norwegian patients with advanced, progressive cancer are the basis for the interpretation. As a result of the hermeneutical process, patients’ life struggle appeared as a threefold battle against time and annihilation, toward being accommodated and confirmed, and to be restored and reconciled.
The aim was to search for an understanding of sacrifice and reconciliation through a hermeneutical reading of Nygren’s text, “Reconciliation, a work of God.” Sacrifice emerged as a motion toward reconciliation entailing a giving up of one’s ego in order to receive grace and holiness, that is, health and alleviated suffering. This makes it possible to dedicate oneself and thus to pass on the love that one has received by accepting the suffering human being as a gift and helping the sufferer embark on the path to sacrifice and reconciliation, and the quest for the source of health in himself/herself.
- Go to article: Exploring Students’ Perceptions and Understanding of Life-Altering Suffering: An Interview Project
Learning how to respond to others’ suffering is a significant challenge for undergraduate students in caregiving professions. An interprofessional-directed interview project related to suffering was implemented. Students (N = 247) completed a post project survey. Descriptive statistics indicated that students rated their interview-based learning experiences highly. Narrative theme analyses generated 4 main themes: a) developing self-awareness, b) expanding views of suffering, c) grasping spiritual aspects of suffering, and d) learning compassionate and supportive presence. From these preliminary findings has emerged a potential pedagogical model of suffering to prepare students to compassionately support those who suffer.
The ultimate, universal goal of caring is described by the ethics of understanding of life. The ultimate goal of alleviating suffering is the progression of suffering as an existential sign of development of the understanding of life. The progression of suffering means to create meaning in suffering together with a caregiver. The aim of this study was to elaborate on the ethics of understanding of life in relation to phenomenological aspects of nursing care ethics. Inward and outward ethical decisions affect the patient’s understanding of life through practical ethical care. When the patient and caregiver encounter one another with different understandings of life, there is no development in the understanding of life and the patient may even be abused.
Metaphors are fundamental in our language and in communication. By focusing on the use of metaphors to gain a better understanding of how suffering is expressed, and how metaphorical expressions and way of thinking can help to alleviate suffering, a meta-synthesis was conducted. Findings from this study show that patients express themselves almost exclusively through a metaphorical language. Three main findings emerged from the analysis: unbearable suffering, alleviation of suffering, and finding meaning in communion. The study concludes that suffering can be identified through metaphors and metaphors can be an important factor in the alleviation of suffering.