Journey to wholeness: The experience of engaging in physical occupation for women survivors of childhood abuse

Emma Ratcliff, Lou Farnworth, Primrose Lentin

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12 Citations (Scopus)


This qualitative study was undertaken to add to the conceptual understanding of occupation through exploring the subjective experience of engaging in physical occupation for women survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse (CSA). In‐depth interviews were used to gather rich contextual narrative of two women's long‐term experiences of engaging in physical occupation, martial arts and circus performance, as survivors of childhood abuse. The women identified engagement in physical occupation as having supported them to reconnect to their bodies and experience their lives more fully. The findings suggest that further research exploring the role of physical occupation in initiating the experience of embodiment and supporting a holistic mind‐body integration of the abuse experience would add to the knowledge base of occupational science and inform clinical practice with survivors of childhood abuse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-71
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Occupational Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Embodiment
  • Mind‐brain integration
  • Story telling as inquiry

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