Navigating the Wilderness - A Heuristic Self-Search Inquiry into the Lived Experience of Chronic Pain
This dissertation presents a heuristic self-search inquiry (HSSI) into my experience with physical chronic pain syndrome. This dissertation serves as a means of resolving my pain by going beyond the existing literature and accessing implicit, intuitive, and corporeal knowledge. Various methods, including poetic inquiry, drawing, imagery, and journaling, were used to delve into the experience of pain. Through this exploration, my research illuminated physical chronic pain's chaotic, nonlinear, creative, and ontological nature. The experience of chronic pain, while debilitating, provides fertile ground for existential reflection and a fresh perspective on the life of chronic pain sufferers. Following the HSSI process, I discovered the root cause of my illness, namely, heavy metal toxicity. Drawing on my triple role as an individual experiencing pain, a psychotherapist, and a researcher, this dissertation offers a unique and innovative illustration of the subjective encounter with pain, as well as providing a promising outlook for individuals suffering from physical chronic pain syndromes and the psychotherapists involved in their treatment.