English summaries

English Summaries (05/2019)

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Olli Snellman, Jaakko Seikkula, Jarl Wahlström & Katja Kurri

Helpful factors in therapeutic conversations expressed by adult asylum seeker and refugee clients

This study examined what factors in natural therapeutic conversations asylum seeker and refugee clients reported as helping them with their problems and contributing to positive changes. The clients’ therapeutic sessions with workers in a crisis center were videotaped and the articulations given by the clients and mediated by an interpreter were extracted as units of analysis. The research method was inductive qualitative content analysis. Five categories of helpful factors emerged from the analysis: helpful ways to manage problems, information, explanations and guidance received from the worker, a supportive therapy relationship and supportive worker, the possibility to talk about problems, and the client’s inner strength and perseverance. Helpful factors were related to the content of the therapeutic conversations, the clients themselves, the worker, the therapeutic relationship, and extra-therapeutic factors. The clients’ expressions of helpful factors were quite similar to what has been detected in previous qualitative research with asylum seeker and refugee clients. The task of the worker conducting the therapeutic conversations can be seen to be the activation and promotion of helpful factors and steering the joint effects of helpful factors in a beneficial direction.

Keywords: asylum seeker, refugee, therapeutic conversation, helpful factors, qualitative research

Pessi Lyyra & Tiina Parviainen

What can the heart see? The significance of interoception for human cognition and well-being

Interoception refers to sensing the internal state of the body – the functioning of the viscera, in particular the cardiovascular, respiratory, and gastrointestinal systems. Interoception also includes various chemical, mechanical, thermal, and nociceptive sensations emanating from the surface of, and from within, the body. The afferent sensory information from the viscera mainly serves the homeostatic regulation of the body, as orchestrated by the autonomic nervous system. Unlike the discriminative senses that guide controlled movements, interoception is an indiscriminative and coarsely localized sensation. Rather, interoception informs about the general state of the body: how well an individual feels and how ready the individual is for action. Interoception also participates in allostatic, predictive regulation of the body in response to changes in the environment. Therefore, interoception also has a link to the perception of the environment. In particular, the neural interoceptive system seems to participate in processing the significance and salience of inner and outer stimuli. The idea of allostatic interoceptive regulation has opened an important perspective into many of the most common clinical psychological conditions, such as anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. In addition, many well-being related exercises also used as clinical interventions based on conscious observation of the body depend on interoception. There are significant individual differences in sensitivity to interoceptive sensations. Therefore, understanding interoception and its neural basis is central for individually targeted clinical interventions. 

Keywords: interoception, autonomic nervous system, body awareness, well-being

Kirsi Peltonen, Jenni Nyberg, Samuli Kangaslampi & Ann-Christin Qvarnström-Obrey

Narrative Exposure Therapy – A new method for children with multiple traumas

Narrative Exposure Therapy is a therapeutic intervention developed for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It focuses on exposing a client to past trauma in safe conditions and building a complete and intact life story. In this article, we review the effectiveness of Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET) and KIDNET, which is especially developed for the care of children and adolescents. The statistical meta-analysis is offered as part of the review. We further review the operating mechanisms and the utility of the therapy in a Finnish outpatient context.

Keywords: Narrative Exposure Therapy, trauma, children, adolescents