University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

“Nourishing Communion”: A Less Recognized Dimension of Support For Young Persons Facing Mental Health Challenges?

Sommer, M., Finlay, L., Ness, O., Borg, M. and Blank, Alison (2019) “Nourishing Communion”: A Less Recognized Dimension of Support For Young Persons Facing Mental Health Challenges? The Humanistic Psychologist, 47 (4). pp. 381-403. ISSN Print: 0887-3267 Online: 1547-3333

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This study, the third in a series of three, draws on a broader Norwegian research project exploring the phenomenon of support for young persons with mental health issues. The aim was to explore and explicate the sense of “nourishing communion”, as a somewhat neglected aspect of support. Fourteen Norwegian young adults, aged 18-25, were interviewed about their experiences of support. Data was analyzed using van Manen’s hermeneutic-phenomenological approach to open up possible meanings of how nourishing communion is concretely lived. Analysis was supplemented by in-depth reflexive dialogues between the first and second author, which fostered a nourishing communion akin to the processes and dimensions of our phenomenon of interest. Findings highlight five intertwined existential themes: a) trusting the other to hold vulnerability safely; b) flourishing in mutual participation; c) acceptance in a felt togetherness; d) feeling found and received; and e) feeling an attuned resonance. The notion of “nourishing communion” as a significant but neglected element of support challenges current practice, suggesting the need for a different approach to collaboration with young persons and their networks. From the perspectives both of individual professional engagement and of policy making, there is a need for further exploration of how young persons might be supported to create and maintain a broader range of nourishing relationships.

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: support, communion, phenomenology, young adults, mental health
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Allied Health and Community
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Depositing User: Alison Blank
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2018 11:51
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2021 13:08

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