Exploring Identity in Transition for Adults Who Experience Physical Disability
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The objective of this thesis is to gain a greater understanding of the components and processes that contribute to an optimal transition of identity in adults who experience physical disability subsequent to illness or injury. Disability experience is understood to include possibility for the full spectrum of negative and positive psychology, from posttraumatic stress to posttraumatic growth. Pre-disability identity, patient identity, and post-disability identity are considered within the themes of physical, psychological, social, and spiritual identity. Peer supported autonomy is believed to be a key element for establishing a positive post-disability identity. Therapeutic interventions informed by a narrative theory mindset can be employed to offer collaborative therapeutic support to peer supported autonomy in the identity transition process. These interventions can be optimally explored and enacted in a small group process. Using themes drawn from the research this study proposes a facilitated small group design in which identity in transition is considered in a collaborative, peer group environment that explores pre-disability identity, disability identity, autonomy, power, and peer witnessing.