Ahmad-Larijani, S. (2022). An exploratory case study of Australian adults with Inflammatory Bowel Disease and their perception and experience of wellbeing: A transpersonal perspective and approach [Unpublished Master’s thesis]. Alef Trust & Liverpool John Moores University.
Inflammatory bowel disease is broadly defined as chronic and relapsing inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Physical symptoms include but are not limited to abdominal pain, bloody and loose stool, urgency, nausea and vomiting; all ranging from mild to an acute presentation. Due to the increasing prevalence of IBD, in Australia and across the globe, the physical indicators of the disease are extensively researched; and in the absence of a permanent cure, many clinical trials and treatments are available. However, what is lacking in the literature, research and treatments pertaining to IBD, is the consideration of the whole-person wellbeing experience of people with IBD. In this study, wellbeing is considered to be the balance between an individual’s physical, psychological, emotional, social and spiritual resources and challenges. Consequently, through a transpersonal lens case study, this paper inductively explores how wellbeing is perceived and experienced by six adult Australians with IBD. Here, the transpersonal lens is understood as the whole-person, multi-disciplinary and transformative inquiry into human existence, in connection with this world, its beings and the transcendent. Through meditation, thematic analysis of the interviews, and reflection, the following seven themes emerged: connection with others, growth and development, limitations, self, shame and guilt, treatment and action, and uncertainty. In the review and discussion of said themes, what comes to light is the essentiality of considering the whole-person within any future studies and treatments of IBD. With that in mind, the active inclusion of transpersonal therapy, in partnership with medical treatment, is put forth and explained as a step in the right direction.