Speaking about social suffering? Subjective understandings and lived experiences of migrant women and therapists

Detta är en avhandling från Karlstad : Karlstads universitet

Sammanfattning: This thesis aims to investigate and illuminate lived experiences, cultural representations, and organizational conditions that influence the way therapists in Swedish psychiatry receive and treat migrant women. This overall aim is pursued through two distinct but interlinked part-studies. The aim of the first of these is to examine migrant women’s perceptions of mental (ill-) health along with their actual experiences of therapy in Swedish psychiatry. The aim of the second part is to describe and explain how therapists, in their organizational work conditions, interpret and experience their professional encounters with migrant women.  The thesis is based on qualitative interviews with twelve migrant women and eleven therapists in psychiatry.The result show that the migrant women experience health and mental health through a sense of belonging. Non-belonging, isolation and estrangement will point to the other direction i.e. not having health. The migrant women may gain a sense of belonging to society through therapy. However there are also obstructions on this path to belonging.The therapists, in psychiatry, seeing migrant women are doing emotion work comparable to physical labor. As the production is expected to increase due to marketing principles it puts a demand of acceleration on the therapists emotion work. They, thus have to find strategies to manage their emotion work. Everyday resistance thus becomes a way to gain emotional energy and to avoid emotional numbing and burnout. It is also gives openings to be content with their work with their patients and thereby to be able to offer an adequate reception of migrants into treatment in psychiatry.The thesis contributes to the gap in research by focusing on the borderlands between migrant women’s lived experiences of social suffering and the receiving therapists’ possibility to meet their migrant patients’ request.