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Title: Narratives of art-making in chronic fatigue syndrome/ myalgic encephalomyelitis: Three case studies
Authors: Reynolds, F
Keywords: chronic fatigue;ME;art;narrative;qualitative
Issue Date: 2006
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Arts in Psychotherapy. 33, 435-445
Abstract: This paper explores the narratives of three women who had lived with severe chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) for many years, and who engaged in art-making as a leisure activity rather than for psychotherapy. Three distinct narratives about the role of art-making in CFS/ME were inferred. One participant represented art as a way of filling time rather than having further psychological significance. In her narrative, art provided satisfaction but also functioned as a witness to time and opportunity that had been lost to an unchanging illness. The second participant narrated both illness and art-making as intertwined journeys towards a more able and useful self. Her narrative had features of the quest described in previous typologies. The third participant also provided a quest narrative, but her struggle focused inwards on understanding her feelings about her illness and its effects on her life. The analytic focus on narrative revealed the distinctive constructions of illness and art-making that are usually submerged when qualitative analysis focuses on themes common to groups of participants. These narratives of art-making in CFS/ME have relevance to understanding the multi-faceted therapeutic benefits of art.
Appears in Collections:Community Health and Public Health
Dept of Clinical Sciences Research Papers

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