You are asked to interview a healer of your choice. You may choose to interview a biomedical doctor or nurse, a physical or occupational therapist, chiropractor, energy healer, Chinese acupuncturist, massage therapist, priest, etc. You may interview anyone that considers what he/she/they does “healing.” The person you interview should not be a family member, but if only a family member is available, I will approve that. If you have any questions about whether someone “qualifies” as a healer, please speak with me.For your interview, you should consider the following interview questions. But you can devise questions of your own as well. Be creative! AND be sure to use follow up questions and phrase questions in a way that allows the person to tell stories and provide in-depth answers, rather than yes/no concrete responses.
Do not take what the informant says at face value–explore answers more deeply with follow up questions that try to access what terms and practices mean to this individual.
1. What is your profession? What is your official title?
2. How do you define what you do to the general public? And to other professionals in your field?
3. Where do you work? Please describe.
4. What cultural and personal factors do you think brought you to your profession ?
5. In general, what kind of person chooses the same kind of path as you took professionally? In other words, in your opinion, what brings most people to this profession?
6. How did the decision to become this type of professional helper change your life?
7. Where did you receive training to do your work?
a. If you engaged in various training and education, can you describe them and what you learned?
8. In general, what are the main methods of teaching in your profession? How do most professionals in your field gain authority to do this kind of work?
9. What range of illnesses do you work with? Who comes to you for help? Are there particular types of patients? What is the age range of patients? For example, do you treat anxiety, trauma, depression, psychoses, life decision issues, relationship issues, sexuality and gender issues, domestic violence?
10. What are the rules of ethics that you must follow in your profession?
11. What types of techniques do you use in your work? How would you describe your approach to someone who has never been to your practice? How would you describe your approach to another professional?
12. What is your “healing philosophy”?
a. What are the goals of your practice? What are the expected outcomes of treatment?
b. Why is your approach to therapy effective? How do you think it actually works?
c. How do you measure success?
13. How do you see your role or status in the current health care system in your local community and in your country?
14. What do you think are the major causative factors of the problems you see in your practice? Consider biological, personal, social, cultural, economic, political, and environmental factors in answering this question.
15. How do you get paid? How do you get referrals?
16. What do people say about their experiences with you?
17. **Can you tell me a story or two or three that stands out in your mind that reveals the challenges and successes of your professional work?
Part 1: Present your data in the form of a transcript: Question and Answer Format with as much authenticity as possible. This does not have to be formal.
Write a one to two page summary of your findings that reflects the content and “spirit” of the interview and includes the following information: 1) how this person came to be a “healer” and how this reflects the cultural contexts in which this individual lived 2) process of education and training and how this reflects the cultural contexts in which this individual studied 3) healing philosophy and practice and how this reflects the cultural contexts in which this individual works 4) a story that reveals something meaningful about this healer. 5) Concluding paragraph that explains how this healer’s practice embodies the philosophy of his/her modality, and what this reveals about the culture of this practice.
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