Joining, belonging, and re-valuing: a process of meaning-making through group participation in a mental health lifestyle intervention

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Balancing Everyday Life (BEL), a new group-based intervention for mental health service users, was implemented in Sweden. Mental health service users often experience group interventions as meaningful, but knowledge of the process of meaning-making in a group is lacking. Aim: To explore participants’ perceptions of the group in the Balancing Everyday Life (BEL) lifestyle intervention; specifically, personal experiences of what brings meaning when participating in a group. Methods: This qualitative Grounded Theory study included 26 interviews with 19 BEL participants. Results: A process of meaning-making in a group was constructed: Joining with others: from feeling alone to connected, A sense of belonging: mutual support and understanding, and Re-valuing Self: respect and self-worth. No longer feeling alone contributed to meaning. Peers and group leaders were considered important parts of the group, and participants appreciated feeling understood, respected, and helping others. Conclusion: The proposed process of meaning-making, as well as ‘Joining’ as a unique step, seems to be new contributions which could help practitioners when organizing groups. Overcoming fear of joining could break a cycle of isolation and lead to connecting and belonging. The value of participants finding purpose through helping others should be further explored.

Details

Authors
Organisations
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Occupational Therapy
  • Psychiatry

Keywords

  • grounded theory, group intervention, groups, lifestyle, meaning, mental health, Mental illness, occupational therapy
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-68
Number of pages13
JournalScandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy
Volume26
Issue number1
Early online date2017 Nov 28
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

Related research output

Kristine Lund, 2019, Lund: Lund University, Faculty of Medicine. 95 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)

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