“So we started talking about a beach in Barbados”: Visualization practices and needle phobia
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Needle phobia is a relatively common condition that, because it involves fear of a clinical procedure, often deals a 'double blow' to sufferers. Not only can it affect their general health care seeking behaviors (with avoidance potentially having serious health implications), if and when they present for health care, it often causes them significant physical and mental distress. This paper reports on a specific type of therapeutic practice that health professionals use when injecting their clients who have (undiagnosed) needle phobia, aimed at preventing, or momentarily relieving, their negative experiences. In-depth interviews with ten nurses and two doctors explore their often spontaneous use of visualization techniques which, involving a strong and varied emphasis on place, are highly geographical. Three emerging themes provide focused insights into visualization; breadth and forms, techniques and approaches, instinct and intuition. The paper concludes with considerations of practice advancement and future research.
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