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Aims or purpose

This research is an initial exploration of data sources and method to assess its suitability for a larger study. It concerns the researcher's personal experience of bereavement through the suicide of her daughter and her subsequent grieving, meaning making, transformation, and growth. The researcher is a practising integrative counsellor using the arts; specialising in bereavement; seeking to draw from her personal and professional life to explore what helped, what hindered and how the bereavement profoundly changed her life.

Design and methodology

Intuitive Inquiry, resonated with the researcher in that it is integrative; drawing as it does on metaphors, images, visualisations, dreams, bodywork and rituals as well as academic literature. Intuitive Inquiry incorporates hermeneutic, heuristic and transpersonal elements.

There are five iterative cycles:

  • Cycle 1- clarifying the research topic via a creative process
  • Cycle 2- reflecting on the topic in the light of extant literature and describing the researchers understanding prior to data collection
  • Cycle 3 involves data collection, analysis and description of the findings
  • Cycle 4 refines the researcher's lenses in light of the data gathered
  • Cycle 5 is an integration and discussion of the implications.

The data used will be past personal journals relating to the bereavement and artwork, memorabilia, published literature, clinical experience, a reflexive journal, training courses on working with the suicide bereaved, interaction with peers, supervisors, and the wider suicidology research community.

Ethical approval

Will be sought from the committees of Metanoia Institute and Middlesex University.

There are many factors that influence a person's grief. The researcher has drawn upon her own personal experience. The deep subjectivity of the researcher will influence the results hence the importance of examining perspective and blind spots critically. Nevertheless, it is hoped that an imaginal approach which brings together two ways of knowing, integrating both art and science will bring new insights which will move beyond the personal.

The aims of this study are to:

  1. increase the researcher’s self-awareness and clarify her own preconceptions and perspective
  2. pilot the methodology to assess its suitability for a larger study
  3. preliminary insights into supporting the suicide bereaved.

Views expressed in this article are the views of the writer and not necessarily the views of BACP. Publication does not imply endorsement of the writer’s views. Reasonable care has been taken to avoid errors but no liability will be accepted for any errors that may occur.