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By Learning RelationalActs: How College Students Diagnosed with Mental Illness Grow Well-being in Times of Distress

  • Author(s): Eggleston, Na'im
  • Advisor(s): Raia, Federica;
  • Sandoval, William
  • et al.

My dissertation moves beyond the concepts of normative psychology to provide an existential phenomenological description of how college students diagnosed with “mental illness” learn to grow their well-being in times of distress. I interviewed 12 undergraduate and graduate students at two universities about how they acquired by study, experience or being taught, skills that help them to stage acts in times of distress that increase the sense of feeling whole and unfragmented. I used interpretative phenomenological analysis to analyze students’ semi-structured conversational interviews. The findings of this study highlight the necessity of guiding students to develop a practice of learning to deal with distress that is grounded in the somatically driven, felt sensations of the body.

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