On the Construction of Knowledge in the Context of Biographical Interpretations of Illness. Professional Interventions and Collective Therapeutic Processes among Women with Psychosomatic Diseases

Kirsten Hohn, Andreas Hanses


Constructing knowledge and dealing with different types and representations of knowledge are analyzed on the basis of interviews with female participants of post clinical psychosomatic groups in the women's health center of Bremen (Germany). This article shows how women's construction of knowledge is based, on the one hand, on interactions with professional experts and the confrontation with their medical, therapeutic and educational knowledge. On the other hand, these constructions emerge against the backdrop of biographical experiences and conceptions as well as in connection with the interactive and collective experiences within the context of the post clinical psychosomatic groups. While the knowledge communicated by the physicians and therapists is kept at a distance or rejected, the collectively produced knowledge through experience is characterized by its possibility to become incorporated into women's biographies. The collective therapeutic processes, the exchange among the women and the (re)construction of experiences are shown to be relevant especially concerning sexual violence and problematic situations in relationships.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0801480


expert knowledge; biographical knowledge; collective construction of knowledge; experience; actions; psychosomatic rehabilitation; experiences of sexual violence

Copyright (c) 2008 Kirsten Hohn, Andreas Hanses

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