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The experience of contemporary peacekeepers healing from trauma

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SUSAN L. Nursing Inquiry 2009; 16: 53–63

The experience of contemporary peacekeepers healing from trauma

This research study was an interpretive inquiry into the experience of contemporary peacekeepers healing from trauma. Ten contemporary peacekeepers were interviewed who have sought treatment from trauma resulting from deployments to Somalia, Rwanda, and the former Yugoslavia. A thematic analysis of the text was undertaken, in which themes emerged to document and understand the ways in which contemporary peacekeepers heal from trauma. Narratives from the transcribed interviews were reviewed with the participants and reflective journaling by the researcher provided further clarification of the data to understand the experience. The peacekeepers’ descriptions of the situations of their bodies in time, space and relation provided a fresh way into understanding the embodied nature of healing from trauma. Three overarching themes: the centrality of brotherhood and grieving loss in the military family; the centrality of time and the body in healing from trauma; and the military response as betrayal and creating trauma from within emerged from the inquiry which will contribute to more effective practice guidelines for the care of contemporary peacekeepers healing from trauma.

Keywords: contemporary peacekeepers; healing; nursing; trauma

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2009-03-01

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