Recovering from provoked vestibulodynia: Experiences from encounters with somatocognitive therapy.
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionDanielsen KG, Dahl-Michelsen T, Håkonsen E, Haugstad GK. Recovering from provoked vestibulodynia: Experiences from encounters with somatocognitive therapy.. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice. 2019;35(3):219-228 https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09593985.2018.1442540
Although provoked vestibulodynia (PVD) represents a significant challenge for many young women in the Western world, little is known about how these women experience therapeutic efforts. The aim of this paper is to enhance our knowledge of the way that the therapeutic process is experienced by women with PVD undergoing somatocognitive therapy (SCT). The study enhances insight into this recently developed therapy through a detailed description of the physiotherapy approach. The empirical data are based on interviews with six women who participated in SCT. The empirical data analysis is guided by thematic analysis. Our findings demonstrate how the women experience SCT as a bodily process of wholeness. The process of wholeness relates to new experiences in the women’s own bodies, awareness of muscular and mental tension and relaxation, breathing patterns, and perceptions focusing on pain. The findings are presented as three interrelated themes: 1) sensitising the body as an interconnected unit; 2) incorporating the painful pubic region into the body; and 3) developing a new understanding of oneself. The women who participated in this study found that SCT contributed significantly to the process of their recovery from PVD.