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ERIC Number: EJ1166267
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Feb
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1474-0222
Bodywork: Self-Harm, Trauma, and Embodied Expressions of Pain
Gurung, Kesherie
Arts and Humanities in Higher Education: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice, v17 n1 p32-47 Feb 2018
Self-harm, or self-mutilation, is generally viewed in academic literature as a pathological act, usually born out of trauma and/or a psychological and personality defect. Individuals who engage in self-harm are usually seen as damaged, destructive, and pathological. While self-harm is not a desirable act, this paper argues through the narratives of those who engage in such acts that self-harm may be better construed as a meaningful, embodied emotional practice, bound up in social (mis)understandings of psychological pain and how best to attend to such pain. In particular, this paper suggests that those who engage in self-harm practices are performing embodied, socially situated acts of healing, survival, and self-creation in a physical attempt to retell complex, fragmented stories of abuse, existential angst, trauma, and loss of self. While these individuals may be more or less successful in such attempts, this paper suggests that understandings of self-harm would benefit from more nuanced approaches to individuals' embodied expressions of pain that take into account the difficult nature of psychological suffering and the effects of trauma.
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail: journals@sagepub.com; Web site: http://sagepub.com
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A