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Research

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Ms Catherine Racine, MA

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Biography

Catherine Racine is a Canadian feminist therapist and writer who started full-time post-graduate studies with the Department of Theology and Religion in the Project for Spirituality, Theology and Health, January 2011. She is currently developing her thesis, provisionally titled: The Mystical Experience of Mental Health Professionals.

Thesis Abstract

The Mystical Experience of Mental Health Professionals

Current research on mystical experience is offering mental health professionals an opportunity to re-consider the role of love within clinical care. In psychological literature, the historical conflation of love and sexuality is fraught with concerns about professional impropriety, and the abuse of power. But the intimacy, intensity and beauty to be found within the therapeutic process bears the hallmark of the mystical, alluded to by Carl Rogers near the end of his career. This embodied experience, that researchers are striving to understand in client populations, is overlooked within the context of the therapeutic relationship. Described as the 'essence' of love, or mystical consciousness (McGinn 2008), this liminal and transformational experience has the capacity to challenge and refresh the medicalized, often inhospitable, culture of community mental health by helping 'professionals' re-discover that in treating the 'patient, client, service user', they are always treating the Sacred Self. This study will explore the experience of professionals in the context of community mental health care and offer a feminist analysis of mysticism, and its impact, within the therapeutic relationship.

Research Interests

  • Mysticism, spiritual experience and mental health
  • Feminist studies
  • Depth and Buddhist psychologies
  • Death, grief and loss
  • Creative writing, story-telling and poetry

Publications

Articles

  • Racine, C. A. (2008). "My Darling Darling: Étude on Muriel's body." Journal of the Association for Research on Mothering. 10: 51-58.
  • Racine, C. A. (1997). "Mystical experience of a counsellor: An autobiographical journey." M. Hill (ed.), More than a Mirror:  How clients influence therapists' lives. pp. 61- 68. New York: Haworth Press.
  • Racine, C. A. (1997). "Mystical experience of a counsellor: An autobiographical journey." Women and Therapy: A Feminist Quarterly. 20: 61-68.

Poetry

  • Racine, C. A. (2011). "Merton's Choir." The Merton Seasonal: A Quarterly Review. 36(3): 15-16.

Translations

  • Camara, S. (1999). "The meditation of time, the wisdom of the teller, the void of the world." (translated by Catherine A. Racine), M. Read MacDonald (ed.), Traditional storytelling today: An international sourcebook. pp. 71-81. London: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers.

Presentations

  • Racine, C. A. (Sept. 2011). "Reclaiming a connection to the body of the deceased: A personal narrative and analysis of 'intimate' ritual." British Association for the Study of Religion, Annual Conference. Durham University.
  • Racine, C. A. (Jun. 2011). "Mysticism, feminism & the mental health professional." Spirituality, Theology and Health Seminar Series. Durham University.
  • Racine, C. A. (Mar. 2011). "Mysticism and health professionals." Perspectives from where we stand: Theology and Religion Postgraduate Research Day. Durham University.
  • Racine, C. A. (Sept. 2010). "Through a crack in the pavement: Spiritual emergence in community mental health." Spirituality, Theology and Mental Health: Myth Authority and Healing Power. Durham University.

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