GEXcel news

Samelius, Lotta, Post Doc

Biographical notes
Lotta Samelius received her PhD degree from Linköping University in 2007. Her background is in psychology. Currently, she has a full-time teaching position in behavioural sciences at the National Swedish Police Academy.The main focus of her research has been on abuse of women and associated ill-health. Within this framework she works on theoretical perspectives on discourses on gender and violence. Specifically, her interest lies in developing analytical tools to understand personal strategies for coping, suffering and new perspectives on intervention. 

GEXcel project, theme 4 & 5
Recovery and Reorientation after Abuse - interviews with 50 women with experience of abuse

My project is an interview study with 50 women who has, at some time in their life, experienced physical, sexual and/or psychological abuse. The interviews will be analysed by means of a directed qualitative content analysis.

The specific aims of the project are to investigate the self-perceived symptoms of women who have been victims of abuse; to explore factors of importance for the recovery process; and to examine the process of ascribing meaning to abusive experiences in a gendered context.

Medical studies of violence against women often consist of mapping prevalence of violent acts and outcome thereof in terms of medically categorized health problems. This is of great importance in that it helps us to understand the scope and epidemiology of the problem. However, prevalence studies seldom provide sufficient depth to understand the problem in terms of individual suffering, and neither can they fully indicate which treatment resources that would be most beneficial for recovery and healing. Thus, an overall aim of the project is to broaden our medical understanding of abuse-related health problems from the point of view of the subject involved.

GEXcel project, theme 7 & 8
‘Turning points’ - on agency in violent relationships. Narration, theoretization and intervention

The overall aim of the project is to analyse abused women’s narratives of turning points in their processes of recovery and of leaving violent relationships. The concept of turning points will here be applied in accordance with theories from psychology, sociology and literature conceptualizing turning points in terms of narrative events. Turning points can be understood as sites of agency in self narratives and, thus, are important narrative episodes when exploring agency and the possibility of re-writing of biographical events in order to develop empowering intervention tools. The idea is to analyse turning points as agential narrative events in recovery processes, and to develop theoretical understandings of what renders these agential changes possible as well as discuss applications for interventions.

The proposed project involves a transdisciplinary collaborative work toghether with dr Suruchi Thapar-Björkert, University of Uppsala and dr Christa Binswanger, University of Basle on ‘script as intervention’, where the focus is on the ability to change scripts, and where turning points are analysed as processes carrying within them a potential for transformative scripts. The aim is to develop transdisciplinary understandings and applications of scripts as tools for interventions that will lead to empowering and transformatory changes in therapeutic, pedagogic and theoretical understandings.

Empirically, the project draws on interviews with 30 women who have experienced physical, sexual and/or psychological abuse.