Love and Incomprehensibility

The hermeneutic labour of caring for and understanding a loved one with psychosis

Ana Luderowski, Zoe Boden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Informal carers are increasingly involved in supporting people with severe and enduring mental health problems, and carers’ perceptions impact the wellbeing of both parties. However, there is little research on how carers actually make sense of what their loved one is experiencing. Ten carers were interviewed about how they understood a loved one’s psychosis. Data were analysed using a hermeneutic-phenomenological approach. Three themes described the carers’ effortful quest to understand their loved one’s experiences while maintaining their relational bonds. Carers described psychosis as incomprehensible, seeing their loved one as incompatible with the shared world. To overcome this, carers developed hermeneutic ‘mooring points’, making sense of their loved one’s unusual experiences through novel accounts that drew on material or spiritual explanations. The findings suggest that informal carers resist biomedical narratives and develop idiosyncratic understandings of psychosis, in an attempt to maintain relational closeness. We suggest that this process is effortful – it is hermeneutic labour – done in the service of maintaining the caring relationship. Findings imply that services should better acknowledge the bond between carers and care-receivers, and that more relationally oriented approaches should be used to support carers of people experiencing severe mental health problems.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHealth
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2019

Fingerprint

psychosis
Love
hermeneutics
Psychotic Disorders
Caregivers
love
labor
mental health
experience
recipient
narrative
Mental Health
Hermeneutics

Keywords

  • psychosis
  • carers
  • Hermeneutics
  • psychoeducation
  • interpretative phenomenological analysis
  • interpersonal relationships
  • Love
  • family relationships
  • carer
  • mental health
  • relationality
  • hermeneutic labour
  • UK
  • appraisal
  • understanding

Cite this

@article{78ad41401cff465a9935c21399b1090e,
title = "Love and Incomprehensibility: The hermeneutic labour of caring for and understanding a loved one with psychosis",
abstract = "Informal carers are increasingly involved in supporting people with severe and enduring mental health problems, and carers’ perceptions impact the wellbeing of both parties. However, there is little research on how carers actually make sense of what their loved one is experiencing. Ten carers were interviewed about how they understood a loved one’s psychosis. Data were analysed using a hermeneutic-phenomenological approach. Three themes described the carers’ effortful quest to understand their loved one’s experiences while maintaining their relational bonds. Carers described psychosis as incomprehensible, seeing their loved one as incompatible with the shared world. To overcome this, carers developed hermeneutic ‘mooring points’, making sense of their loved one’s unusual experiences through novel accounts that drew on material or spiritual explanations. The findings suggest that informal carers resist biomedical narratives and develop idiosyncratic understandings of psychosis, in an attempt to maintain relational closeness. We suggest that this process is effortful – it is hermeneutic labour – done in the service of maintaining the caring relationship. Findings imply that services should better acknowledge the bond between carers and care-receivers, and that more relationally oriented approaches should be used to support carers of people experiencing severe mental health problems.",
keywords = "psychosis, carers, Hermeneutics, psychoeducation, interpretative phenomenological analysis, interpersonal relationships, Love, family relationships, carer, mental health, relationality, hermeneutic labour, UK, appraisal, understanding",
author = "Ana Luderowski and Zoe Boden",
year = "2019",
month = "4",
day = "2",
doi = "10.1177/1363459319829189",
language = "English",
journal = "Health",
issn = "1363-4593",

}

Love and Incomprehensibility : The hermeneutic labour of caring for and understanding a loved one with psychosis. / Luderowski, Ana; Boden, Zoe.

In: Health, 02.04.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Love and Incomprehensibility

T2 - The hermeneutic labour of caring for and understanding a loved one with psychosis

AU - Luderowski, Ana

AU - Boden, Zoe

PY - 2019/4/2

Y1 - 2019/4/2

N2 - Informal carers are increasingly involved in supporting people with severe and enduring mental health problems, and carers’ perceptions impact the wellbeing of both parties. However, there is little research on how carers actually make sense of what their loved one is experiencing. Ten carers were interviewed about how they understood a loved one’s psychosis. Data were analysed using a hermeneutic-phenomenological approach. Three themes described the carers’ effortful quest to understand their loved one’s experiences while maintaining their relational bonds. Carers described psychosis as incomprehensible, seeing their loved one as incompatible with the shared world. To overcome this, carers developed hermeneutic ‘mooring points’, making sense of their loved one’s unusual experiences through novel accounts that drew on material or spiritual explanations. The findings suggest that informal carers resist biomedical narratives and develop idiosyncratic understandings of psychosis, in an attempt to maintain relational closeness. We suggest that this process is effortful – it is hermeneutic labour – done in the service of maintaining the caring relationship. Findings imply that services should better acknowledge the bond between carers and care-receivers, and that more relationally oriented approaches should be used to support carers of people experiencing severe mental health problems.

AB - Informal carers are increasingly involved in supporting people with severe and enduring mental health problems, and carers’ perceptions impact the wellbeing of both parties. However, there is little research on how carers actually make sense of what their loved one is experiencing. Ten carers were interviewed about how they understood a loved one’s psychosis. Data were analysed using a hermeneutic-phenomenological approach. Three themes described the carers’ effortful quest to understand their loved one’s experiences while maintaining their relational bonds. Carers described psychosis as incomprehensible, seeing their loved one as incompatible with the shared world. To overcome this, carers developed hermeneutic ‘mooring points’, making sense of their loved one’s unusual experiences through novel accounts that drew on material or spiritual explanations. The findings suggest that informal carers resist biomedical narratives and develop idiosyncratic understandings of psychosis, in an attempt to maintain relational closeness. We suggest that this process is effortful – it is hermeneutic labour – done in the service of maintaining the caring relationship. Findings imply that services should better acknowledge the bond between carers and care-receivers, and that more relationally oriented approaches should be used to support carers of people experiencing severe mental health problems.

KW - psychosis

KW - carers

KW - Hermeneutics

KW - psychoeducation

KW - interpretative phenomenological analysis

KW - interpersonal relationships

KW - Love

KW - family relationships

KW - carer

KW - mental health

KW - relationality

KW - hermeneutic labour

KW - UK

KW - appraisal

KW - understanding

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85063935557&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1177/1363459319829189

DO - 10.1177/1363459319829189

M3 - Article

JO - Health

JF - Health

SN - 1363-4593

ER -