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Participatory Dreaming: A Unitary Appreciative Inquiry Into Healing With Women Abused as Children

Repede, Elizabeth PhD, FNP-BC, CMH

doi: 10.1097/ANS.0b013e3182228cba
Original Articles

Unitary appreciative inquiry was used to explore healing in the lives of 11 women abused as children using a model of participatory dreaming. Aesthetics, imagery, and journaling were used in a participatory design aimed at the appreciation of healing in the lives of the participants as it related to the abuse. Using Cowling's theory of unitary healing, research and practice were combined within a unitary-transformative framework. Participatory dreaming was useful in illuminating the life patterning in the lives of the women and promoted the development of new knowledge and skills that led to change and transformation, both individually and collectively.

School of Nursing, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, North Carolina.

Correspondence: Elizabeth Repede, PhD, FNP-BC, CMH, School of Nursing, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC 28723 (

This study was partially funded by the Society for Rogerian Scholars and by the Gamma Zeta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau.

My utmost gratitude to W. Richard Cowling III, Susan Letvak, Madelaine Lawrence, and L. Louise Ivanov for their guidance and support during this study and to the women who journeyed with me in this study.

The author has disclosed that she has no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.