New way of healing : experienced counsellors’ perceptions of the influence of ch’i-related exercises on counselling practice in Taiwan
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This study examines how Taiwanese senior counsellors with substantial experience of ch’i-related exercise (CRE) perceived the influence of their regular CRE on their counselling practice. I am interested in the perceived influence of CRE on both self-care and professional practice. In this studyn this studyn this study n this study n this study n this study, CRE, CRE, CRE, CRE, CRE refers to any refers to any refers to any refers to any ch'i enhancing exercise that coordinates movement with breathing and inner concentration wherein ch'i is a first order concept used by practitioners and regarded by them as an embodiment of ideas related to human life and human existence and able to be experienced and refined through any ch'i related exercise. CRE is a set of practices and an intrinsic part of local culture in Taiwan which in recent years, has become popular practice in Taiwanese society. There are growing numbers of counselling professionals involved in regular CRE in recent years. Studies examining the effects of CRE indicate the benefits of CRE on practitioners' global health and personal growth. However, no previous study has investigated the influence of the long-term regular use of CRE on counsellors‟ self-care and counselling practice. The narrative research design for this study was developed from a post-structural theoretical perspective located in the domain of social constructivism. The data were co-constructed between the researcher and 12 senior Taiwanese counsellors with substantial CRE experience using a semi-structured in-depth interview approach. Interview data were analysed using the structure-based approach developed by William Labov in the field of socio-linguistics. The study reveals an overall benefit of regular involvement in CRE for practitioners' global wellbeing and personal growth counsellor' self-care. The research findings also reveals the potential of ch’i to be used as a way of expressing health and illness and a way of understanding in therapy and CRE to be lived out in therapy as an embodiment. I argue that collectively the narratives, as a whole, give evidence of an increasing integratin of the ideas and practices of ch’i into counselling practice in contemporary Taiwan. This might even make up a new form of integrated and culturally appropriate practice, what I term "a new way of healing." These are therapeutic practices which value the potential of CRE for counsellor's self-care and personal growth; recognize the integral whole of the human person; promote conscious use of the knowledge and experience of ch’i and CRE in therapy as an important aspect of the therapeutic use of self. Implications for practice such as the potential of CRE to be introduced into counsellor training programmes for counsellors' preparation or ongoing education are provided. Recommendations for future research such as the development of a new healing modality based on the research findings are offered.