The Lived Experiences of Community Caregivers Who Use Integrative Mind-Body-Spirit Practices




integrative mind-body-spirit practices, indigenous practices, complementary practices, lived experiences


This article demonstrates the use of integrative mind-body-spirit practices as experienced by a group of caregivers from a poor, working class community on the outskirts of Johannesburg, South Africa. The social work profession in South Africa has been influenced by Western models of practice that do not necessarily respond to the needs of many communities. To be more responsive to communities and to provide a holistic and integrative approach, this study demonstrates the contribution that integrative mind-body-spirit practices can make to social work interventions with communities. Sixteen women participated in a qualitative study that sought to understand how they experienced and interpreted the use and benefits of integrative mind-body-spirit practices. Interpretive phenomenology was used as the research design to explore how the participants made sense of and gave meaning to their experiences. The participants were first empowered with integrative mind-body-spirit practices and implemented these as homework over a period of sixteen weeks. The data were collected through focus group sessions, using a topic guide to facilitate the group discussions. The data were analysed using an interpretive phenomenological analysis. The findings demonstrated that the use of integrative mind-body-spirit practices provided the participants with the tools for self-healing and wellness that were self-nurturing beyond basic survival. Integrative mind-body-spirit practices provided them with tools and techniques to manage their day-to-day lives better. The author concludes that social workers must be introduced to integrative mind-body-spirit practices as an additional set of tools and techniques to have at their disposal, and that does not rely on talking only.


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Author Biography

Yasmin Turton, University of Johannesburg




How to Cite

Turton, Yasmin. 2020. “The Lived Experiences of Community Caregivers Who Use Integrative Mind-Body-Spirit Practices”. Southern African Journal of Social Work and Social Development 32 (2):18 pages.



Received 2019-05-11
Accepted 2020-05-02
Published 2020-07-06